Competence Framework Glossary

Active listening: Focus one’s attention on the speaker, pay attention to both non-verbal and verbal elements present in order to understand the complete message. Then being able to share with the speaker what has been said by way of rephrasing in their words or providing feedback, paraphrasing in an appropriate manner and without interpreting.

Approach: a specific way in dealing with a situation or accomplishing something.

Attentiveness: The state of being alert and effectively attend or respond to the needs of the client.

Attitude: evaluation with some degree of favour or disfavour of ideas, objects, social issues, institutions, people, groups etc. Attitude may include and influence beliefs (see Belief), ideas, feelings and behaviours and it is changeable in the course of one’s life.

Awareness: State of (ability of) perception, knowledge and feeling of elements affecting a situation. It does not by default imply understanding.

Behaviour: The way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others or in response to a particular situation or stimulus whether internal or external, conscious or subconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary.

Belief: An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof that usually results into a firmly held opinion. It shows trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something. A belief is always part of a belief system and it implies a lack of doubt especially when it is a designation of a life stance.

Belief system(s): A set of mutually supportive beliefs. The beliefs of any such system can be classified as religious, philosophical, ideological, personal (about oneself) or a combination of these. Belief systems are difficult to completely revise or reject.

Coach (the role): A professional accredited coach (can be internal or external) is an expert in establishing a relationship with people in a series of conversations with the purpose of:

  • Serving the clients to improve their performance or enhance their personal development or both, choosing their own goals and ways of doing it.
  • Interacting with each person or group by applying one or more relevant methods, according to standards and ethical principles set up by EMCC and other professional associations.

Coaching & Mentoring: It is a professionally guided process that inspires clients to maximise their personal and professional potential. It is a structured,purposeful and transformational process, helping clients to see and test alternative ways for improvement of competence, decision making and enhancement of quality of life. Coach and Mentor and client work together in a partnering relationship on strictly confidential terms. In this relationship, clients are experts on the content & decision making level; the coach & mentor is an expert in professionally guiding the process.

Client: Denotes anyone using the services of a mentor/coach/supervisor in return for monetary considerations.

  • This definition is meant to cover both for external and internal clients as in the latter case there are also monetary considerations in the form of the salary the internal coach is paid for his role.

Client Systems: The client and those in the client’s environment who are potentially influential in contributing to a resolution of the client problems (Sociology).

Diversity: It is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements or qualities. It is the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organisation:

  • Social diversity: Refers to all of the ways that people within a single culture are set apart from each other. Elements of social diversity can include ethnicity, lifestyle, religion, language, tastes, preferences and gender. It is the respect and the active reaching out for this difference.

Empathy: It is a way of recognising the emotional state of the coachees from within. It aims at seeing the coachees’ world from their point of view.

Holistic: Characterised by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
Holism, opposed to reductionism, proposes that in addition to parts there is something else, another actor: the “whole”. In a team, there are team members and “the team”, with its own behaviour and spirit. This “whole” can be identified when team members use “we”: “In this team, we work hard, we always help each other etc.

Insight: The capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something.

Inter-vision (Peer Supervision): It refers to a specific form of supervision carried out among colleagues (peers). It has no permanent supervisor because the members of the group take turns in adopting the role of supervisor and thus provide supervision to each other. All members are responsible for the supervision process. Synonyms are: “Peer Super-vision”, “Collegial Coaching”.

Mentor (the role): A mentor interacts with each person or group by applying one or more relevant methods, according to standards and ethical principles set up by a professional association such as EMCC, AC or ICF. He/she may be internal or external mentor.

Mentoring: A developmental process, which may in some forms involve a transfer of skill or knowledge from a more experienced person to a less experienced, through learning, dialogue and role modelling. In other forms may be a partnership for mutual learning between peers or across differences such as age, race or discipline.

Model: A model is a set of concepts, possibly part of a theory, designed to explain and act on reality. Systemic, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, NVC, Cognitive Behavioural etc. are examples of models used in coaching

Needs (Outside Safe & Contracted Boundaries): It is a lack of something deemed necessary. It is a perceived necessity that the coach cannot provide either because it is not his/her role or because it is against the coaching code of conduct, or because he/she has not qualification.

Paradigm: A paradigm is a set of theories, methods, results shared by a population of researchers or practitioners.

Practice of Coaching/Mentoring: It is the action or process of performing or doing something. It is the way a coach operates and it is influenced by a complex set of elements, some intrinsically connected with who he/she is (his/her values, personality, knowledge, experience, background), other with the context and his/her coachee.

Process of Coaching/Mentoring: A process is a systematic series of actions directed to some end. It is the way a coaching conversation or session is structured. It expresses itself in a sequence of interdependent and linked steps/phases and its actions. Its ultimate goal of is to full the coaching objectives and during the process insight and learning, personal development, increase capability and change are enabled.

Psychological Processes: Psychological processes refers to an activity that is ongoing and takes place in relation to the person involving joint contribution of mental, physiological, physical and social activities. Key psychological processes are thinking, motivation, learning, memory, sensation, perception and emotion. They are emergent as they unfold in the daily life of human beings in their interactions. It is what is going inside the coach’s mind and might prevent he/she from being in the ‘here and now’ and focus on his/her coachee, as well as might interfering with his/her perception and interpretation of what is happening. This might translate also in the so called ‘inside voice’, which might be critical or grandiose. This is especially relevant if this leads the coach to non-tested assumptions and unconscious bias. Also being knowledgeable and aware of psychological phenomena such as transference, counter-transference and parallel process is relevant.

Reflection: Observing and articulating own experiences, thoughts, and beliefs. By doing so the present attitudes are connected both with their origins in the past, and with the future attitudes one wants to adopt. One may reflect on the contents, on the process and on the way of reflecting (meta-reflection). Reflection includes an emotional component: consideration of personal emotional states and behavioural components; analysing behaviour,decisions and the consequences of one`s own actions in a certain context, and draw one’s own conclusions about the necessary changes to achieve wished for outcomes in the future.

Respect: It is the esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person. It is the recognition of the coachee’s knowledge, values, experience and views’ world. This is the pillar of building trust ,which enables the questioning and the curiosity to understand the other’s views.

Self-Awareness: Conscious knowledge of one’s own existence (abilities, beliefs, feelings, motives, values, etc.) as a separate entity from others. Capacity to look into one’s inner self (introspection).

Sponsor/Sponsoring Organisation: The person or organisation who may have commissioned and finance the mentoring/coaching programme or coachworks.

State of being: Being is an extremely broad concept of reality and existence. Anything that partakes in being is also called a “being”, though often this use is limited to entities that have subjectivity (as in the expression “human being”). One’s ‘state of being’ consists of their condition, attributes, personality, etc.

Structured Input (definition & examples): Structured input as “input that is manipulated in particular ways to push learners to become dependent on form and structure to get meaning” (Lee and VanPatten 2003: 142). Types of structured input:

  1. Supplying information
  2. Surveys
  3. Matching Options (true/false, logical/illogical, normal/strange, etc.)
  4. Ordering/ranking
  5. Selecting alternatives

Supervision: the interaction that occurs when a mentor or coach brings their coaching or mentoring work experiences to a supervisor in order to be supported and to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the mentor or coach, their clients and their organisations.

Technique: A technique is a set of methods and skills designed to obtain a result.

Theory: A theory is a knowledge built upon basic assumptions and observations with the objective to explain reality

Tool: A tool is an instrument used to act on an environment, on others, in relationships, in professional conversations (coaching/mentoring) with improved efficiency.

Trust: It is currently viewed in its social meaning and having several connotations, a definition of trust includes the following elements:

  1. Willingness of a person or group to be dependent on the acts of another person or group.
  2. Belief that another person is fair or that something will go well.
  3. Expectation of a person that the person he / she trusts will act in a way that will do no harm.

Values: Values are ideals and motives in a society or a group. They reflect one’s sense of what is right and wrong or what “ought to be”. Worth striving Values are beliefs about what is meaningful to the person. There are major categories of values:

  • Instrumental value: a meaning that is actually provided to persons, things and events by specific individuals or groups. Values are usually collective, but they can also be experienced as highly personal.
  • Intrinsic value: values that are being pursued with the idea that the good ought to be done. Ethical values retain their significance and validity, even if they are not actually worn by people and groups. Examples of ethical values are justice, love, freedom and equality. They are the motives and ideals on which the concrete standards are based.

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