Christian Coaching Competencies

CCNI Competency #4 – Cultivates Trust and Safety

Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust.

  1. Seeks to understand the client within their context which may include their identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs
  2. Demonstrates respect for the client’s identity, perceptions, style and language and adapts one’s coaching to the client
  3. Acknowledges and respects the client’s unique talents, insights and work in the coaching process
  4. Shows support, empathy and concern for the client
  5. Acknowledges and supports the client’s expression of feelings, perceptions, concerns, beliefs and suggestions
  6. Demonstrates openness and transparency as a way to display vulnerability and build trust with the client

Christian Coaching Application

The emphasis of this competency is the Christian coach’s ability to create an atmosphere of trust that will enable the client to explore session topics, focuses and goals without judgment. Undergirding this competency is the assumption that the client has the capacity to discover and reach their potential provided they have been offered a safe environment. The term “unconditional positive regard” supports this notion. Unconditional positive regard is the total acceptance of another and is a prerequisite to establishing the trusting environment for the client.

Christian coaches offer a supportive environment that fosters a deep-abiding trust, but it is not assumed that the client will reach full potential without God’s influence. Trust and safety are communicated when the coach fully respects the client’s journey and the pace at which God is working with them.

Our efforts in providing a trusting and supportive environment model God’s interest and care. Jesus invested considerable attention on the individual. The Holy Spirit is portrayed as “one who comes alongside” for the purpose of encouragement and instruction. (John 14:6; Acts 4:31) The attributes necessary to foster trust are realized in the full expressions of the attributes of faith, hope and love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

Not only do we provide a trusting relationship in which the client can explore without judgment, but we also place a high level of trust in God and invite Him into the coaching conversation. The coach realizes that God is involved in the coaching process and is standing for both the client and the coach.

In addition, the CCNI credentialed coach:

  1. Honors each person as a unique creation of God, with a specific calling and gifts.
  2. Communicates trust and safety by fully respecting the client’s journey and the pace at which God is working with them.
  3. Provides an atmosphere where the client can explore delicate issues without judgment from the coach.
  4. Respects the client’s doctrinal perspectives.
  5. Respects the client’s understanding of scripture and level of spiritual maturity.
  6. Respects the client’s right to be coached without a spiritual reference.
  7. Respects the client’s right not to honor their faith.
  8. Recognizes that both the coach and client are fallen persons and in a process of sanctification.