International Coach Federation Competencies — References and Resources

NOTE: we have elected not to use an academic APA style as is typical for a reference section, nor have we always included the original research (in many cases, we have instead included an interesting, readable article about key findings). We want to bring you these resources in the most accessible, user-friendly way possible. Our goal is that you delve in and enjoy a deeper exploration!(Please note that research is cited under the earliest competency where it appears, and is not repeated even if cited in subsequent competencies. Also, all links have been verified through Google Chrome and may or may not work using other browsers.)


Positive and Negative Emotional Attractors and Intentional Change – Anita Howard, 2006 (citing Richard Boyatzis’ work)

The Neuroscience of Trust – Brad Winn and Paul Zak, 2014


To Trust or Not to Trust: Ask Oxytocin – Mauricio Delgado, 2008


The SCARF Model – David Rock, 2008

The Ebb and Flow of Attention in the Brain – Trey Hedden and John D.E. Gabrielli, 2006


Do Mirror Neurons Give Us Empathy? – Greater Good, 2012

Coaching With Compassion Can “Light Up” Human Thoughts – Think, 2010

Connect to Thrive – Emma Seppälä, 2012

The Compassionate Mind: Science shows why it’s healthy and how it spreads – Emma Seppälä

Building Trust – The Blanchard Companies, 2010

The Neural Bases of Social Pain: Evidence for shared representations with physical pain – Naomi Eisenberger, 2012

Three Keys to Change – Alan Deutschman


BOOK: Science of the Heart, Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance HeartMath Institute, 2016

Intuition and Evidence—Uneasy Bedfellows? – Trisha Greenhalgh, 2002

The Polyvagal Perspective – Stephen Porges, 2008

Your Heart and Stomach May be Smarter than you think – Ed Decker, 2013

BOOK: The Master and His Emissary – Iain McGilchrist, 2009, Introduction here:
The Neuroscience of Mindfulness – David Rock, 2013

Humor Triggers Our Reward Centers – Harvard “On the Brain” Newsletter, 2010

Rethinking Feelings: An fMRI Study of the Cognitive Regulation of Emotion, Oschner, et al, 2002

Emotions Directly Influence Learning and Memory Processes – Neuroscience News, 2015


Victims’ perceptions of support attempts: What is helpful from whom? – Dakof & Taylor, 1990

BOOK: Mindsight, The new science of personal transformationDaniel Siegel, 2010 (short intro to Mindsight)

The human brain is intrinsically organized into dynamic, anticorrelated functional networks – Michael D. Fox, et al, 2005

Mindfulness and the Art of Noticing Things and Work and Play – Ellen Langer, 2014

Why Labeling Emotions Matters – Amelia Aldao, 2014



Perceiving active listening activates the reward system and improves the impression of relevant experiences – Hiroaki Kawamichi et al, 2015

Neuroscience and Leadership: the Promise of Insights – Boyatzis, 2011

How Curiosity Changes the Brain to Enhance Learning – Neuroscience News, 2014


Antagonistic neural networks underlying differentiated leadership roles – Boyatzis et al, 2014

Thinking makes it so: A social cognitive neuroscience approach to emotion regulation – Kevin Ochsner, James Gross, 2003

The Ebb and Flow of Attention in the Brain – Trey Hedden and John D.E. Gabrielli, 2006

Relative reward preference in primate orbitofrontal cortex – Tremblay & Schultz, 1999



Carol Dweck Revisits the Growth Mindset – Carol Dweck, 2015

The Aha! Moment: The Cognitive Neuroscience of Insight – John Kounios and Mark Beeman, 2014

Beyond money: Toward an economy of well-being – Ed Diener & Martin Seligman, 2004



An overview of intentional change from a complexity perspective – Richard Boyatzis, 2006

BOOK: Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom—Rick Hanson, 2009

Interview with Dr. Rick Hanson—The Mindful Word, 2012

Cognitive Reappraisal of Emotion: A Meta-Analysis of Human Neuroimaging Studies – Jason T. Buhle et al, 2013

Creative Minds: Making Sense of Stress and The Brain – NIH Director’s Blog, 2014


BOOK: The Master and His Emissary – Iain McGilchrist, 2009, Introduction here:


Accounting and decision making under accountability: a social neuroscience perspective – A. Sluga, 2015