LCAN Competencies


1. Guidelines and Standards— LCAN pushes for the understanding of coaching ethics and standards and ability to apply them appropriately in all coaching situations.

  • Understand and exhibit the LCAN Code of Ethics
  • Clearly communicating the difference between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions.
  • Refer client to another support professional as needed.

2. Coaching Agreement—Ability to understand what is required in the specific coaching interaction and to come to agreement with the prospective client about the coaching process and relationship.

  • Discuss with the client the guidelines and specific parameters of the coaching relationship (e.g., venue, fees, scheduling, inclusion of others if appropriate).
  • Reach an agreement about what is appropriate in the relationship and what is not, what is and is not being offered, and about the client’s and coach’s responsibilities.
  • Determine whether there is an effective match between his/her coaching method and the needs of the prospective client.

3. Trust and Intimacy—Ability to create a safe, supportive environment that produces ongoing mutual respect and trust.

  • Show genuine concern for the client’s welfare and future.
  • Continuously demonstrates personal integrity, honesty and sincerity.
  • Establish clear agreements and keep promises.
  • Demonstrate respect for client’s perceptions, learning style, personal being.
  • Provide support and champion new behaviors and actions, including those involving risk taking and fear of failure.
  • Access own intuition and trusts one’s knower.
  • Demonstrate confidence in working with strong emotions and can self-manage and not be overpowered or enmeshed by client’s emotions.
  • Focus completely on what the client is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires, and to support client self-expression.
  • Attend to the client and the client’s agenda and not to the coach’s agenda for the client.
  • Encourage, accept, explore and reinforce the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs, suggestions, etc.

4. Questioning—Ability to ask questions that reveal the information needed for the coaching relationship and the client.

  • Ask questions that reflect active listening and an understanding of the client’s perspective.
  • Ask questions that evoke discovery, insight, commitment or action (e.g., those that challenge the client’s assumptions).
  • Ask open-ended questions that create greater clarity, possibility or new learning.
  • Ask questions that move the client toward what they desire, not questions that ask for the client to justify or look backward.

5. Creating Awareness—Ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information and to make interpretations that help the client to gain awareness and thereby achieve agreed-upon results.

  • Invoke inquiry for greater understanding, awareness, and clarity.
  • Identify for the client his/her underlying concerns; typical and fixed ways of perceiving himself/herself and the world; differences between the facts and the interpretation; and disparities between thoughts, feelings, and action.
  • Help clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them.
  • Communicate broader perspectives to clients and inspires commitment to shift their viewpoints and find new possibilities for action.
  • Identify major strengths vs. major areas for learning and growth, and what is most important to address during coaching.

6. Designing Actions—Ability to create with the client opportunities for ongoing learning, during coaching and in work/life situations, and for taking new actions that will most effectively lead to agreed-upon coaching results.

  • Help the client to focus on and systematically explore specific concerns and opportunities that are central to agreed-upon coaching goals.
  • Engage the client to explore alternative ideas and solutions, to evaluate options, and to make related decisions.
  • Promote active experimentation and self-discovery, where the client applies what has been discussed and learned during sessions immediately afterward in his/her work or life setting.
  • Celebrate client successes and capabilities for future growth.
  • Challenge client’s assumptions and perspectives to provoke new ideas and find new possibilities for action.

7. Planning and Goal Setting—Ability to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client.

  • Create a plan with results that are attainable, measurable, specific, and have target dates.
  • Make plan adjustments as warranted by the coaching process and by changes in the situation.
  • Help the client identify and access different resources for learning (e.g., books, other professionals).
  • Identify and targets early successes that are important to the client.
  • Demonstrate follow-through by asking the client about those actions that the client committed to during the previous session(s).
  • Acknowledge the client for what they have done, not done, learned or become aware of since the previous coaching session(s).
  • Effectively prepare, organize, and review, with client information obtained during sessions.
  • Keep 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).
  • Focus on the coaching plan but is also open to adjusting behaviors and actions based on the coaching process and shifts in direction during sessions.
  • Be 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.
  • Promote 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.
  • Develop 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).