Enhancing evidence-based coaching practice by developing a coaching relationship competency framework

Yi-Ling Lai, Almuth McDowall

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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    This chapter takes a competence focused approach to coaching in order to outline relevant knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) for Coaching Psychologist to enhance coaching relationship towards positive outcomes. We commence with a comparison of relevant existing competency frameworks for coaching practitioners, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF), Association for Coaching (AC) and also the Special Group in Coaching Psychology (BPS, UK) to determine their similarities and differences. Our analysis outlines how the different models feature in terms of their development process, conceptual robustness and also how they address cross cultural issues in coaching. As a next step, we outline a rigorous role analysis to develop a comprehensive Coaching Relationship Competency Framework (CRCF) focusing furthering the effectiveness of the coaching relationship. A Systematic Review which can inform us about current knowledge as well as gaps and research trends in the field therein is essential prior primary research. The review results determined the need to focus on the coaching relationship and in particular the coach’s competencies for facilitating this in an effective way. It then fed into three subsequent studies to draw up a new competence framework, which has been tested out through a pilot study. A Coaching Relationship Competency Framework with 75 behavioural indicated was identified and provided a guideline for future practice and research by spelling out (a) ‘Soft Skills’ which are key behaviours needed in any coaching relationship such as “listening actively”, and (b) ‘Hard Skills’, such as “establishing mutually agreed goals”, which can inform concrete coach training and development. In short, we argue that a behavioural focus and framework has much to offer by providing benchmarks for training and reflective practice. We illustrate the chapter with brief interactive exercises and reflections for practice, giving attention to cross cultures issues as appropriate. In conclusion, the key contribution of the framework presented here is that it was designed from the outset to acknowledge the perspectives of coaches, coachees and also commissioning clients.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCoaching Psychology
    Subtitle of host publicationMeta-theoretical perspectives and applications in Multi-cultural Contexts
    EditorsLlewellyn E. van Zyl, Marius W. Stander, Aletta Odendaal
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-31010-7
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2016


    • evidence-based coaching
    • competency framework
    • coaching


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