The current ICF Competency framework has direct communication as competency. It is described by the ICF as:
7. Direct Communication—Ability to communicate effectively during coaching sessions, and to use language that has the greatest positive impact on the client.
- Is clear, articulate and direct in sharing and providing feedback.
- Reframes and articulates to help the client understand from another perspective what he/she wants or is uncertain about.
- Clearly states coaching objectives, meeting agenda, and purpose of techniques or exercises.
- Uses language appropriate and respectful to the client (e.g., non-sexist, non-racist, non-technical, non-jargon).
- Uses metaphor and analogy to help to illustrate a point or paint a verbal picture.
As coaches of groups and teams, there are several core skills to be exploring, namely:
Metaphor and Analogy. For groups and teams this may be one of the more significant, and impactful, doorways into having teams and groups articulate and explore themes, finding areas of common ground.
While questions are always the primary vehicle into the world of metaphor, don't hesitate to get more creative in incorporating visuals and other metaphor doorways - take a look at the photos I've included here of some of the 2020 kick off work I did using Rory's Story Cubes and a beta version of some of the Remote Pathways Icon project.
Reframing is also another key part of the group and team coaching conversation. What are you doing as a coach with clients to help them reframe? This may take us into perspectives work, and/or
Directness with Feedback - an interesting area is about directness with feedback. What is direct for one, may be soft for another team member. What is the role of feedback in the coaching process? What might we do to boost the team's feedback muscles? This is an area which many teams struggle with and team coaches may find themselves exploring in multiple touchpoints.
What is important to note in your conversations around Direct Communication? How can more of a focus on this competency support support the shifts teams and groups need to make?
With best wishes,
Jennifer Britton - GroupCoachingEssentials | Potentials Realized
Author of Effective Group Coaching (2010), Coaching Business Builder (2018), Effective Virtual Conversations (2017) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013). Check out my author page on Amazon for all publications.
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