The ICF has established 11 Core coaching competencies. Any coach who is ICF credentialed uses these competencies as a foundation for their coaching. As many of us know, it is easy to let time slip by as we build our coaching practices without reviewing and refreshing our understanding of these key concepts.

The benefit to going back to the core competencies every so often is not only having a review, but also to bring our experiences and seasoning as a coach, which adds to the richness of each competency.

We thought we would take a look at one core competency in this blog post to hopefully inspire you to look a little deeper and see what you might find. But which competency to choose? Each one is an important piece of the coaching landscape. So we drew straws and landed on Creating Awareness.

Creating Awareness can be looked at from two perspectives: How do we create awareness for ourselves as coaches and how do we support our clients in creating awareness for themselves?

So let’s start with you. When you are coaching a client, how do you maintain your own awareness as a coach? How do you keep from becoming distracted, and if you do become distracted, how do you bring yourself back to the session?

You might take a few minutes to jot down some of the ideas that come to mind. Some of the coaches we work with use the following strategies when they find themselves distracted in a session:

  1. Write down the thought that is distracting you to “get it out of your head.”
  2. Ask yourself; what is your client saying that you can be curious about right now?
  3. Be transparent with the client. Let them know that you missed the last thing they said and ask them to repeat it.

How about helping your client to gain their own awareness? Here are a few strategies to try; also take a moment to jot down your own ideas:

  1. Share a concise recap of what you think you heard your client saying in order to provide them with a new way of hearing their situation.
  2. Notice words, behaviors, and images that your client mentions and incorporate those ideas in the exploration with your client.
  3. Ask a question that invites your client to look a little deeper or expand out to a larger picture.

Notice how quickly your mind can come up with great ideas for your own awareness and the awareness of your client? That’s your brilliance shining through!

If you would like to join a deeper conversation with your coaching colleagues this spring and earn CCEUs for your ICF Credential Renewal, please visit Deeper Conversations Coaching to learn more and register. Or, contact us at