top of page

Tip 168: Coaching Competencies

According to Kouzes and Posner, authors of A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders, “Coaching can be viewed as both an art and a science. It requires both the science of tools and techniques and the art of intuition and instinct.”

During the next several months, we will review Kouzes and Posner’s key coaching competencies, providing ideas and suggestions for how to build and implement the skills and knowledge to coach potential within your teams and throughout your organization.

The Coaching Competencies are presented in six categories:

  • Communication Skills: related confidentiality, communication styles, and best practices

  • Interpersonal Proficiency: how well you relate to others

  • Building Relationships: establish expectations, build trust and confidence, provide support

  • Designing Developmental Plans: analyze the needs of your leader and create an action plan

  • Inspiring Action: determine what is compelling enough to move your leader to do something

  • Facilitating the Coaching Process: practical processes for working effectively with your leader

As a coach, you are a living example of the values, ethics, and professional practices of your organization. Setting the example might be your most effective coaching tool. Your leader will learn a great deal from you while observing how you handle situations and interact with others. Working with you and the Coaching Competencies will help you give your leaders an opportunity to learn the positive qualities of the coaching process.

To help prepare for our work with the Coaching Competencies, view the TEDx Talk by Barry Posner, “Why Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership,” and reflect on his assertion that “People will not believe the message if they don’t believe the messenger.


Kouzes, J. and Posner, B., 2010. A Coach's Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders: Making the Most of the Leadership Challenge and the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). Pfeiffer.


bottom of page