Acknowledges that clients are responsible for their own choices

ICF defines embodiment of a coaching mindset as developing and maintaining a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered.

  1. Acknowledges that clients are responsible for their own choices

Acknowledgment is not just what a coach says to a client. It is recognizing and accepting that clients are responsible for their own choices. This becomes a powerful influencer of the way the coach thinks, believes, and approaches interactions.

How will I interact with others if I truly believe that they are responsible for their own choices?

I will:
• respect that my client’s way of doing things may be different than my own
• be transparent, straightforward, and honest in my observations
• support their definition of success and partner with them to achieve that end
• reflect accountability so they can examine their decisions, actions, and inactions
• see them as competent and not in need of my fixing, advising, correcting, suggesting
• believe they can make the best decision respect their choice

I will not:
• be frustrated when they aren’t changing or when they seem to be moving in reverse
• push my own agenda, thoughts, opinions, and desires on them
• judge their actions, inactions, decisions, or words to be right or wrong
• rescue, coddle, or protect

In short, this first indicator of coaching mindset goes far beyond what you do in a coaching session and encourages you to examine who you are as a coach.

Next time: More on mindset

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