One of the things that marks coaching as a fully-fledged profession is the ethical code it follows. Just by reading this code, you marvel at coaching’s noble purposes and how deeply those in the profession care. It sets the bar so high.
Simon Sinek says, “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.”
And that’s so true. By reading the ICF Code of Ethics, you find this “Why” and become more passionate about coaching.
But beyond that, it is the first building block of trust between you as a coach and your clients. It gives them more clarity and makes them feel safe. How is that?
Let’s just go over some of these codes and enjoy their beauty.
One of these admirable codes is “Confidentiality” even when the sponsor is not the client. What do we mean by that? Simply put, a coach could be hired by a top manager to coach his employees and even though he is the boss and the one paying the fees, he won’t get access to the shared information.
So why is he hiring a coach?
Certainly to achieve some goals such as increasing employees’ motivation, passion and productivity or reducing their stress, anxiety and fear. And as such, a coach will report on how much progress has been made but never on what was said. He may highlight the blocks holding people back or standing in their way, but never unravel people’s secrets and personal stories. And this is really something important to be mentioned up-front in black and white in the “Agreement”, which is another clause of the Code of Ethics.
Honesty, respect and professionalism are among the values that the Code of Ethics inspires. You can see all of these in how it urges coaches to put clients’ interests first. As an illustration of this, coaches are urged to immediately stop the coaching relationship if they come to the conclusion that it is not adding any more value to the client even if that goes against their financial interest.
In conclusion, for coaches, ethics come first. It is all about being genuine and displaying authenticity in helping people become happy and successful. That’s what makes the beauty of this profession.