ICF Core Competencies 8: Facilitates Client Growth

facilitates client growth icf core competencies Apr 16, 2024
ICF Core Competencies 8: Facilitates Client Growth - image shows tree with green leaves against blue sky background

“Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process”

  1. Works with the client to integrate new awareness, insight or learning into their worldview and behaviours
  2. Partners with the client to design goals, actions and accountability measures that integrate and expand new learning
  3. Acknowledges and supports client autonomy in the design of goals, actions and methods of accountability
  4. Supports the client in identifying potential results or learning from identified action steps
  5. Invites the client to consider how to move forward, including resources, support and potential barriers
  6. Partners with the client to summarize learning and insight within or between sessions
  7. Celebrates the client’s progress and successes
  8. Partners with the client to close the session


Growth happens in coaching conversations. 

Though sometimes thinkers are so “in” the conversation that they might not notice this growth happening.

At Stellar Conversations we talk about “surfacing” the learning and the growth with coaching partners. What are they learning, what are they noticing and how they are growing in the conversation.

This might sound like;

“What are you noticing when you think about this?” 

“What are you learning in this conversation?” 

“What are you learning about yourself?” 

“What is coming up in this conversation?”

Surfacing this learning with coaching partners throughout the conversation can continue evoking awareness and really help facilitate growth.

We encourage the frequent use of these check-in questions and for this competency to be embedded throughout the conversation. It is very much part of the conversation. It is not something that is simply stuck on at the end as a tick box, where it might sound like; “We have two minutes left, what have you learned?”

Once learning and insight is surfaced during the conversation, the coach can then partner with the thinker to support them to design next steps or goals to take forward. This might include actions or accountability measures that will take the learning and facilitate further growth.

It is important that these goals, actions, or accountability methods come from the thinker and are not the coach imposing their own way of working. The coach can then partner with the thinker to find the best way forward, whether that’s identifying potential resources and support or uncovering possible barriers.

It is important to say that post conversation actions might include a list of smart goals and KPIs but might also be “I’m going to breathe slower in meetings and be more intentional.” This is up to the thinker. Thinker led growth. These next steps need to be thinker led and thinker owned.

By co-creating these next steps the coach helps to facilitate growth after the conversation. The power of coaching is that it’s not only what happens in the actual conversation but also afterwards and between conversations.

The coach can celebrate the thinker’s progress and successes with them as part of facilitating growth. This is something that coaches can be wary of as they worry it’s “leading” or “colluding” somehow. But “how might you celebrate your success?” or “I want to acknowledge your growth” can be affirming for the thinker and support them in the next phase.

Image credit: Wolfgang Hasselmann