Center for Coaching Certification

Record Keeping: What do you think? Ethical Challenges Series

A coach keeps notes on paper and stores them in a locked file cabinet.  The coach’s house is broken into, the file cabinet is busted open, and the files thrown all over their lawn.  Or, on a similar note, the notes are on a computer and the computer is stolen.  The coach has completed their coach training and is a member of the ICF and accountable to the Code of Ethics. Record Keeping

Possible Responses regarding paper notes:

  • The coach cleans up their lawn themselves as soon as they discover it.
  • The coach asks neighbors to help so the clean-up is faster.
  • The coach cleans up everything and notifies their clients about what happened.
  • What else?

Possible Responses regarding computer notes:

  • The coach explains the confidential nature of the information on the computer to the police and asks for additional help.
  • The coach notifies the clients of the potential breach.
  • The coach lost their client information because it was on the computer so when clients contact the coach, the coach explains what happened.
  • What else?

Refer to the ICF Code of Ethics:

11) Maintain, store and dispose of any records, including electronic files and communications, created during my coaching engagements in a manner that promotes confidentiality, security and privacy and complies with any applicable laws and agreements.

potential value of the coaching process or of me as a coach.

24) Maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information unless release is required by law.

25) Have a clear agreement about how coaching information will be exchanged among coach, client and sponsor.

26) Have a clear agreement when acting as a coach, coach mentor, coaching supervisor or trainer, with both client and sponsor, student, mentee, or supervisee about the conditions under which confidentiality may not be maintained (e.g., illegal activity, pursuant to valid court order or subpoena; imminent or likely risk of danger to self or to others; etc.) and make sure both client and sponsor, student, mentee, or supervisee voluntarily and knowingly agree in writing to that limit of confidentiality. Where I reasonably believe that because one of the above circumstances is applicable, I may need to inform appropriate authorities.

AND https://coachfederation.org/ethics-faqs

Q: How long do I have to keep client records?
A: There is no ICF guideline at this time. You should check your local and national laws and regulations for compliance guidelines. If you are audited for income taxes, be sure to protect confidentiality.

Q: How should I dispose of records?
A: To the best of your ability you should delete all online and electronic records, as well as shred paper records.

How do you recommend it be handled?

 

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Confidentiality What do you think? Ethical Challenges Series

A coaching client’s manager wants a full report on what is discussed during coaching sessions.  They threaten to stop paying for the coaching unless they receive it.  The coach has completed their coach training and is a member of the ICF and accountable to the Code of Ethics. Confidentiality

Possible Responses:

  • The coach explains that the information is confidential.
  • The coach asks the client what information they want shared and shares only what they are told they can share.
  • The coach and the client co-create a report and the client gives permission for it to be shared.
  • The coach asks the client for written permission to share and asks that what can be shared be stated in the document.
  • The coach explains the information is confidential and then the manager goes to the IT department and has them get the notes.
  • What else?

Refer to the ICF Code of Ethics:

11) Maintain, store and dispose of any records, including electronic files and communications, created during my coaching engagements in a manner that promotes confidentiality, security and privacy and complies with any applicable laws and agreements.

potential value of the coaching process or of me as a coach.

18) Carefully explain and strive to ensure that, prior to or at the initial meeting, my coaching client and sponsor(s) understand the nature of coaching, the nature and limits of confidentiality, financial arrangements, and any other terms of the coaching agreement.

19) Have a clear coaching service agreement with my clients and sponsor(s) before beginning the coaching relationship and honor this agreement. The agreement shall include the roles, responsibilities and rights of all parties involved.

24) Maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information unless release is required by law.

25) Have a clear agreement about how coaching information will be exchanged among coach, client and sponsor.

26) Have a clear agreement when acting as a coach, coach mentor, coaching supervisor or trainer, with both client and sponsor, student, mentee, or supervisee about the conditions under which confidentiality may not be maintained (e.g., illegal activity, pursuant to valid court order or subpoena; imminent or likely risk of danger to self or to others; etc.) and make sure both client and sponsor, student, mentee, or supervisee voluntarily and knowingly agree in writing to that limit of confidentiality. Where I reasonably believe that because one of the above circumstances is applicable, I may need to inform appropriate authorities.

AND https://coachfederation.org/ethics-faqs

  1. Do I have to provide client records in case of subpoena or ethical complaint?
    A: This will vary by country and jurisdiction, but generally, yes. Consider carefully what you put in your records.

Q: How long do I have to keep client records?
A: There is no ICF guideline at this time. You should check your local and national laws and regulations for compliance guidelines. If you are audited for income taxes, be sure to protect confidentiality.

Q: How should I dispose of records?
A: To the best of your ability you should delete all online and electronic records, as well as shred paper records.

Q: Is verbal permission for release of confidentiality acceptable or must I obtain it in writing?
A: It is more solid and irrefutable in writing.

Q: The supervisor of my new client has a coaching outcome that he does not want the client to know about. I am being paid out of the supervisor’s budget. May I keep this information from my client?
A: This sets up an ethical conflict. How can you coach someone without having clarity and an agreement about what is being coached? Whatever you put in your agreement that all three sign is what is acceptable.

Q: May I coach a business client who has some personal outcomes that are not shared with the sponsor?
A: Coaching for personal outcomes is an integral part of all professional coaching. Whatever is stated in the contract or agreement will govern what can be shared.

How do you recommend it be handled?

 

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A Gift: What do you think? Ethical Challenges Series

A coaching client offers their box seat tickets to a big game to the coach.  The coach has completed their coach training and is a member of the ICF and accountable to the Code of Ethics. A Gift: What do you think?

Possible Responses:

  • The coach declines the tickets.
  • The coach accepts the tickets.
  • The coach says they will take the tickets if they can pay for them.
  • The coach barters a free coaching session in exchange for the tickets.
  • The coach explains accepting the tickets could be perceived as a conflict of interest and invites the client to discuss implications and set boundaries.
  • The coach explains they have a policy of not accepting gifts over a pre-determined amount.
  • What else?

Refer to the ICF Code of Ethics:

15) Disclose to my client and the sponsor(s) all anticipated compensation from third parties that I may receive for referrals of clients or pay to receive clients.

16) Honor an equitable coach/client relationship, regardless of the form of compensation.

AND https://coachfederation.org/ethics-faqs

Q: I received a surprise gift of baseball tickets from my realtor after I referred my client to her. Must I tell my client I received these tickets?
A: If the gift was not anticipated and happens after the referral is made, no disclosure is necessary.

How do you recommend it be handled?

 

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An Invitation: What do you think? Ethical Challenges Series

A coaching client invites the coach to their wedding.  The coach has completed their coach training and is a member of the ICF and accountable to the Code of Ethics.  

Possible Responses:

  • The coach accepts the invitation and attends the wedding.
  • The coach declines the invitation without explanation.
  • The coach says they have a schedule conflict and cannot attend.
  • The coach invites the client to discuss the pros and cons of their attendance.
  • The coach explains that it might be perceived as the coach benefitting from the relationship and for that reason they will not accept.
  • The coach accepts and gives the client a gift card in the amount of the cost of their attendance.
  • What else?

Refer to the ICF Code of Ethics:

21) Avoid any sexual or romantic relationship with current clients or sponsor(s) or students, mentees or supervisees. Further, I will be alert to the possibility of any potential sexual intimacy among the parties including my support staff and/or assistants and will take the appropriate action to address the issue or cancel the engagement in order to provide a safe environment overall.

AND https://coachfederation.org/ethics-faqs

Q: If my client invites me out to a social engagement, may I accept?
A: Accepting the engagement would be appropriate if:

  • the coach and client both think that the coaching relationship would not be impaired
  • the coach can remain objective in the coaching meetings

If however, the coach finds it difficult to maintain the boundaries of a coaching relationship with the client, then the coach has the option to terminate the relationship and refer the client to another coach. A good guideline is that whatever the nature of the relationship prior to beginning coaching is where it should remain throughout the duration of the coaching arrangement.

How do you recommend it be handled?

 

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Ethical Challenge: Benefitting from the Relationship What do you think? Ethical Challenges Series

A coach also works as a trainer teaching communication skills.  The coaching client hires trainers for programs inside their company.  The coach has completed their coach training and is a member of the ICF and accountable to the Code of Ethics.  Can the coach solicit that business?  Can the coach provide the training if asked by the client? Ethical Challenge: Benefitting from the Relationship

Possible Responses:

  • The coach informs the client that they do not want to benefit from the coaching relationship and does not take on the additional business.
  • The coach discusses the potential conflict of interest with the client and asks the client how they want to handle it.
  • The coach reflects on their own ability to provide their best as a coach whether or not they are hired for the training and ensures they are fully present for the client when coaching.
  • The coach thanks the client for the referral and talks about keeping the coaching relationship separate from any potential training work.
  • What else?

Refer to the ICF Code of Ethics:

13) Seek to be conscious of any conflict or potential conflict of interest, openly disclose any such conflict and offer to remove myself when a conflict arises.

AND https://coachfederation.org/ethics-faqs

Q: If I have a multi-level marketing business, can I sell my product to my coaching clients?
A: The coaching relationship might be impaired if you sell other products to the client, as the client might perceive undue pressure to purchase from you.

How do you recommend it be handled?

 

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Ethical Challenge: An Accusation What do you think? Ethical Challenges Series

A coach goes to their clients.  The coach is coaching the client in their office and the client closes the door.  The client accuses the coach of sexual misconduct.  The coach denies any misconduct.  The client contacts the ICF and submits a complaint.  The client wants to continue coaching.  The coach has completed their coach training and is a member of the ICF and accountable to the Code of Ethics. Ethical Challenge: An Accusation

Possible Responses:

  • The coach terminates the coaching relationship and refers the client to a different coach.
  • The coach asks for a third person to be in the room during coaching sessions.
  • The coach asks for a location where there they can be seen and not heard.
  • The coach asks for the coaching sessions to be online or on the phone.
  • The coach documents what happened and sends it to the ICF.
  • The coach waits to be contacted by the ICF.
  • What else?

Refer to the ICF Code of Ethics:

20) Hold responsibility for being aware of and setting clear, appropriate and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern interactions, physical or otherwise, I may have with my clients or sponsor(s).

21) Avoid any sexual or romantic relationship with current clients or sponsor(s) or students, mentees or supervisees. Further, I will be alert to the possibility of any potential sexual intimacy among the parties including my support staff and/or assistants and will take the appropriate action to address the issue or cancel the engagement in order to provide a safe environment overall.

Check out: https://coachfederation.org/icf-ethics

ICF’s Ethical Conduct Review (ECR) process provides a forum where individuals can bring complaints about alleged breaches of the ICF Code of Ethics by ICF Members and ICF Credential-holders. The ECR process provides for review, investigation and response to alleged unethical practices or behavior deviating from the established ICF Code. It is intended to serve as a “model of excellence” for the fair review of complaints concerning the ethical conduct of ICF Members and ICF Credential-holders and be responsive to complaints concerning experiences believed to be breaches of the Code by ICF Members and ICF Credential-holders.

How do you recommend it be handled?

 

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The 5 P’s of Marketing for Coaches

So – you finished your coaching certification.  Now what?  It is time to develop your marketing strategy!  Follow the five Ps listed here. The 5 P’s of Marketing for Coaches

P #1: Product

Focus on Solutions, Ideas, and Insights which means promote the outcome instead of the training, assessments, or coaching.  The product changes for each client – focus on customized solutions.  Identify a customized solution by using your coaching – ask a lot of questions.  As appropriate, assessments are tools of the trade that many clients value (especially in the corporate space).  Each assessment is a different tool for making what you do easier and more scientifically sound.

P #2: Price

Remember to start with the solution because it is more important than the price.  The solution makes the investment worthwhile.  When you do get to price, give it based on the package as a whole.  For example, provide a package of assessments, training, and coaching and give one price for everything – the solution.  Work with the client to co-create a step-by-step outline or flowchart.  Doing this with them creates buy-in and agreement to the full solution.  Additionally, the flowchart helps the client understand what to expect.  If they want to negotiate, negotiate value.

P #3: Packaging

Solutions are your product; the packaging is YOU!  Learn from the pros:

  • Patricia Fripp says accentuate your appearance to enhance your brand identity.
  • Jeffrey Gitomer says have something “signature”.

Communicate your value and quality.  The look and feel of your website, training materials, and assessment reports inform the opinion of clients.  Focus on how they perceive it.  When you use assessments, white label everything.  (For example, the assessment dashboard you receive as a graduate of the Center for Coaching Certification means your name, logo, website, email, and phone are printed on the assessment reports.)

P #4: Promotion

Successful businesses have 50% of their resources (human and financial) invested in marketing and advertising.  Paid or push marketing includes display advertising.  Pull marketing includes SEO.  Free or low-cost marketing includes strategic alliances, social media, a blog, podcast, video, newsletter, emails, and networking.  For promotion, remember: Content Marketing is King!  That means provide great content to demonstrate your expertise and credibility.

#5: Person

Get to know your prospect and their environment.  The more the prospective client talks and the more laser targeted the solutions, the more they are invested.

As you learned in coach training, rapport is the number one indicator of success.  Develop rapport.

 

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About Assessment Coaching and Assessment Certification

According to the International Coach Federation, ICF, coaching is, “a strategic partnership in which the coach empowers the client to clarify goals, create action plans, move past obstacles, and achieve what the client chooses.”

Assessment Coaching is partnering with a coaching client to review their assessment, explore their thoughts, identify their key considerations, and create their strategies moving forward. About Assessment Coaching and Assessment Certification

Assessment Certification is being trained to analyze an assessment report and provide a client with the interpretation.

A few more pertinent definitions:

  • Assessments: A validated tool for identifying or measuring specific aspects.
  • Administering an Assessment: Creating and providing the link for a client to take the desired assessment.
  • Assessment Debriefing: The interpretation and review of assessment results by a certified facilitator.

The Steps for Assessment Coaching

  1. Preview how the report is organized – this is easily done with sample reports.  Often providing the client with a few snapshots of the sample report helps them understand what they will be looking at when they see their report.
  2. Provide the client their report when you are with them.
  3. Invite the client to share thoughts, ideas, and considerations as they review their report.
  4. Ask the client what they are learning about themselves.
  5. Ask the client what changes they want.
  6. Ask the client to define their strategies and plan actions.

Many decide on an Assessment Certification for the deeper knowledge, additional resources, to complete continuing education, earn credibility, or create additional opportunity.  The process is simple:

  1. Decide which assessment certification(s) is/are right for you and your clients.
  2. Access the wholesale pricing and pay through the free dashboard provided to you at the Center for Coaching Certification.
  3. Complete the self-paced training.

After becoming certified in an assessment, prepare for Assessment Debriefings with these steps:

  • Review the report and analyze the results.
  • Write notes on your analysis.
  • Explain the report and the meaning of the results to the client.
  • Schedule follow-up coaching (because without follow-up coaching assessments can have a negative impact).

Coach training and coaching certification are a great start.  Assessment Certification builds on effectiveness and creates opportunities for additional work.

 

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Pamper your inner self with a coaching session!

By Naomi Clark-Turner   https://www.linkedin.com/in/naomi-clark-turner-a592781/

Naomi Clark-Turner

Most of us understand the importance of regular physical check-ups and the health benefits: the annual wellness-visit to our doctors and the essential dental hygienist appointments.  Plus, later in life, the prescribed mammogram, prostate check, and colonoscopy.

There are other routine physical services most of us choose to build into our schedules, to keep ourselves looking and feeling good: haircuts, exercise classes, manicures, and pedicures to name a few.  Last, and not least, we may also indulgeourselves occasionally in a trip to a spa for a relaxing facial or massage.

How do people take care of their internal self?

How do you decide what you want from your life and whether you are happy with your progress?

What is your awareness of having a regular discussion with someone – a coach – as a tool to help you define your goals, focus on the future, and create a positive mindset?  When will you add coaching sessions to your list of regular check-ups?

Having a coach is a great way to solidify your plans and identify the next steps to get there.  A coaching session will help you both tune-up your personal development and define your life goals.  Coaching will 1) give you clarity on exactly what you want and 2) empower you feeling positive, confident, and engaged.

Like any other personal service or health intervention, some things for you to consider:

  • How long do you want your coaching relationship to last? Best practices is a minimum commitment to six sessions.
  • Will this be a regular check-up or a quick fix? Meaningful change is a process and takes time.
  • What do you want to achieve in your coaching sessions? Consider exploring opportunities, defining challenges, creating strategies, listing action steps, and reflecting on value.
  • How will you know if you get what you wanted out of it? Deciding on your measure of success helps you achieve what you want and you want to know you are getting value for money.

It is smart to treat yourself to a coaching session and round out your health and wellness regime!

A tip: find a coach who has completed their coaching certification and ask them about the process and scheduling, then ask about a free introductory session.

 

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C.O.A.C.H.I.N.G.

By Cathy Liska

Whether seeking to understand coaching, getting started as a coach, or further refining advanced coaching skills, acronyms are an easy way to remember important things.  

As a starting point for professional coaches, the ICF’s 11 Core Competencies of a Coach outline the skills and their PCC Markers are the specific behaviors that demonstrate the skills.  Putting this into an acronym makes it easier for coaches to remember and apply the essential elements of coaching sessions.

C.O.A.C.H.I.N.G. uses the obvious word describing the work and then each letter becomes a reminder of the specific behaviors in a natural progression through a coaching session.  When you read it, have the 11 Core Competencies and the PCC Markers handy!

Clearly define session focus, measures, and process.
Offer acknowledgement and space to express.
Act in response to the who, the what, and the insights.
Customize to client’s language, situation, and emotions.
Help expand thinking and exploration.
Invite reflection on learning and application.
Notice progress and support planning.
Give credit and get permission to close.

Each of the above reminders is tied to the behaviors (PCC Markers) for the Competency as noted here:
C = Establishing the Coaching Agreement
O = Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
A = Coaching Presence
C = Active Listening
H = Powerful Questioning
I = Direct Communication
N = Creating Awareness
G = Designing Actions, Planning and Goal Setting, Managing Progress and Accountability

What are your thoughts?

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