Field and functional competences
Field experience is critical to coaching. In the coaching context, field experience means profound far-reaching experience, encounters, and discussions with and within specific business areas and their contexts. Workplace contexts include roles, functions, cultures, milieus, organizational structures, and other aspects of social systems.
Practical experience with diverse aspects and dynamics of such social systems – as opposed to theoretical knowledge about them – determines the breadth and depth of field competence.
Core components of a coach’s field competence are:
- Field and function experience
- Profession development
- Organizational competence
- Role awareness
- Micropolitical aptitude
Field competence expresses itself in the behavior of coaches by their knowing and following the ethical principles and professional guidelines of their coaching association. This includes loyalty to confidentiality agreements in the coaching contract. Coaches can at any time verbally explain their coaching approach and realistically assess assignments and reject them when necessary. They are aware of their various roles as advisors, guides, sparring partners, etc. and can assume one or more of them for the benefit of the client. Field competence also expresses itself in market and industry knowledge of coaches, professional and managerial experience as well as their understanding of organizations and authority. Coaches are familiar with and can address phenomena of power. Adept handling of and comfort with crises also belongs to the field competence repertoire of coaches.