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“What makes for a good coaching relationship?”

This blog is intended for coaches and trainee coaches looking to deepen their capability and confidence in coaching.


James Flaherty, the founder of Integral Coaching, writes in his book “Coaching, Evoking excellence in Others” that relationship is the first and most important operating principle in coaching. The ICF core competencies include a whole domain on co-creating the relationship. At Bamboo Being, we believe the relationship is the ground from which growth happens not only for client but for the coach.


Is there a difference between ICF competencies in co-creating relationships and what we seek to do as integral developmental coaches?

ICF core competencies might be likened to driver competencies when licensing drivers: they have been developed in the context of assessing coaches to work competently with clients.

ICF assessors don't interview your coaching clients about your relationships. They instead try to see whether you are establishing and maintaining agreements, cultivating trust and safety and maintaining presence via 'markers' in a 60 minute recording and an online test (plus assume these behaviours have been observed in your ICF approved coach training).

So there's a distinction between ICF assessment-ready coaching and deepening as a coach ie, you may pass your driving licence, but still need good practices to drive well. Let's look at both...

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