Congruence – A – Z Coaching and Mentoring

about us hero image

A – Z Coaching and Mentoring – here is the latest in a series of random extracts from Clare’s book – more to follow each week throughout 2018 – if you have a special request for a definition of a coaching term or principle, just let us know! Perfect for anyone studying for an ILM Coaching & Mentoring qualification, or as a refresher for experienced coaches.


Congruence comes from the Latin verb ‘congruere’, which means ‘to meet together’ or ‘to agree’. Being congruent is when your values and beliefs, what you say, and what you do is in harmony. This is the same as physical, mental and spiritual energy being in alignment. Integrity and authenticity are based on the same principle.

A congruent coach is more likely to be trusted and therefore will be able to build rapport quicker. A congruent coach will have their own style, approach and personality which fits with their ethos and values.

As a coach it is useful to notice the clues of incongruence in clients, for example maybe a client’s words don’t match with their body language. Do they mean what they say? Is there some inner discomfort or anxiety which can be detected? Maybe they were telling you they are committed to making a change and yet subtle clues in their tone of voice or physiology are suggesting otherwise? Spotting incongruence gives the opportunity to ask better questions and delve below the surface of what is being presented verbally.

Lack of congruence within the client may be demonstrated through:

  • signs of stress
  • inner conflict
  • not feeling ready for change
  • conflict with others
  • spoken words not matching body language.


Taken from the A-Z Coaching Handbook by Clare M Smale where you will find a comprehensive A-Z, plus a full list of references.


View Blog Categories

Contact Clare and the i2l team

Still not sure if we’re the right training provider for you?

Speak to one of our team to find out more.

Stay updated

More Posts

Clare’s Coaching Cards – Great Ways to Use Them – Part 2

The Importance of Self-Awareness and Self-Management for Managers and Leaders

Neuroscience – A-Z of Coaching & Mentoring

A great example of coaching in an NHS setting

The juggling act of work and ILM study

Being non-judgemental – 3 simple steps for coaches

Deep Listening – do you?

Are you in love with coaching?