A few years back, inspired by fellow coach Tracy Adams, who was at that time hosting a study group for certification with the International Association of Coaches, I started posting on another blog I was maintaining at that time a series of reflections and observations on the Fifteen Proficiencies of a Certified Coach.

I’ve decided to revisit the proficiencies here and revise and complete the series I started back then.

I had a great introduction to learning about the Fifteen Proficiencies. Late in 2002 I had the great privilege of participating in the Coachville Certified Coach Intensive program held in Sydney, Australia. This was a special privilege because the program was run by Thomas Leonard, founder of Coach U, Coachville, the International Coach Federation and the International Association of Coaches, and since sadly departed from us.

One of the key lessons I drew from that great experience was the importance of being fully human in the coaching process – that as a coach I must above all engage with the person being coached as one human being talking with another. In the roleplay demos during the two day course, Thomas said more than once to people playing the coach role “take your ‘coach’ hat off”.

I have to say that when I’m coaching I get a strong sense that I’m most helpful to the client when I’m being fully engaged with them as a caring, albeit relatively objective, person, rather than “being their coach”. Interestingly in this regard, the 15th proficiency is “Respects the Client’s Humanity” – last but definitely not least. And the corollary to that is I guess that the coach “respects her/his own humanity”.

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).