Coaching Through It

ICF Core Competency #1: Demonstrates Ethical Practice

Show Notes

DEFINITION: Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of coaching.
  1. Demonstrates personal integrity and honesty in interactions with clients, sponsors and relevant stakeholders
  2. Is sensitive to clients' identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs
  3. Uses language appropriate and respectful to clients, sponsors and relevant stakeholders
  4. Abides by the ICF Code of Ethics and upholds the Core Values 
  5. Maintains confidentiality with client information per stakeholder agreements and pertinent laws
  6. Maintains the distinctions between coaching, consulting, psychotherapy and other support professions
  7. Refers clients to other support professionals, as appropriate 
WATCH: Dr. Frances Penafort, MCC for ICF Core Competency 1: Demonstrates Ethical Practice [VIDEO]
READ: Link to the ICF Core Competencies (Updated)

Three ways to demonstrate an ethical practice: 
  • Focus on self: how much of yourself do you want to bring into the coach/client relationship? What is your level of honesty, professionalism, and integrity? How are you showing up as a coach? How are you honoring others' identities as a coach?
  • Focus on the relationship: how are you showing empathy, care, and nurturing the coach/client relationship? How can you be sure you are honoring the identities of the client? How are you nurturing the relationship?
  • Follow the system: believe in the structure, policies, and competencies of ICF. Coach the person; not the problem. T to the P  (Trust the Process)
Questions to reflect on as a coach:
  • How might your identities impact your coach/client relationship? 
  • What will you do if your identities/experiences are blocking you from being your best coach self? 
  • How do you create a space for a client to share their identities? 
  • What curious questions have you used when building the client relationship?
  • How do you seek help as a coach? 
  • How are you better understanding/growing within the ICF system? 
  • How are you setting up your coaching practice in an ethical way? (e.g. parent/sponsor for coaching) 
  • How are you keeping things confidential?
Plus encourage your clients to ask you questions during the exploration session:
  • What curious questions do you have for me?
  • What can I share about my experience?
  • What would you like to know about my coaching practice?
What ways are you thinking about ethics as a coach? Tell us about it!
Music credit: The song reCreation by airtone has been remixed under a CC-BY license. 

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