ICF Core Competency: Facilitating Learning and Results – Managing Progress and Accountability

Finally, we come to the 11th core coaching competency as defined by the International Coach Federation. The person who is accountable is always the client, that is, the person being coached. If the client is not serious about and committed to her development and making progress on her goals, then coaching may just be a waste of time and money.

11. Managing Progress and Accountability—Ability to hold attention on what is important for the client, and to leave responsibility with the client to take action.

  1. Clearly requests of the client actions that will move the client toward his/her stated goals.
  2. Demonstrates follow-through by asking the client about those actions that the client committed to during the previous session(s).
  3. Acknowledges the client for what they have done, not done, learned or become aware of since the previous coaching session(s).
  4. Effectively prepares, organizes, and reviews with client information obtained during sessions.
  5. Keeps the client on track between sessions by holding attention on the coaching plan and outcomes, agreed-upon courses of action, and topics for future session(s).
  6. Focuses on the coaching plan but is also open to adjusting behaviors and actions based on the coaching process and shifts in direction during sessions.
  7. Is able to move back and forth between the big picture of where the client is heading, setting a context for what is being discussed and where the client wishes to go.
  8. Promotes client’s self-discipline and holds the client accountable for what they say they are going to do, for the results of an intended action, or for a specific plan with related time frames.
  9. Develops the client’s ability to make decisions, address key concerns, and develop himself/herself (to get feedback, to determine priorities and set the pace of learning, to reflect on and learn from experiences).
  10. Positively confronts the client with the fact that he/she did not take agreed-upon actions.

Retrieved from ICF Core Coaching Competencies.

The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines accountability as “the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.”  It defines accountable as “required to explain actions or decisions to someone.”

So, how does a coach establish and manage accountability?  The tenth point above sums it up: the coach positively confronts the client with the fact that she did not take the agreed-upon actions. It also involves exploring why not and what the client is willing to do to move forward. Hindrances and obstacles, whether real or imagined, may be explored to foster insight, and identify what the client is able and ready to do.

If a client wants change, she must must take action to make it happen. One way of looking at coaching is that it is facilitating change from the inside out, from the client’s being or character.

Here’s an interesting view of Change from the Inside Out. What do you think?

Click here to see the 11 ICF Core Coaching Competencies in this blog.

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