3 Ethical Dilemmas for Coaches – Part 1 of 3

Can you coach a friend? Why or why not?

For some coaches the answer is yes, others say no, many say it depends.

Do other professionals serve friends? Doctors, Dentists, Attorneys, Accountants, Financial Planners, Image Consultants, Interior Decorators, and Professional Organizers provide services to friends.

How do you make the decision? In this first of a three part series, consider a possible scenario.

You are friends with a couple that is going through a divorce. Is it possible for you to effectively coach one or the other or even both? Many would advocate a cautious approach with careful consideration to decide.

Step 1 – Ask yourself: Do I have strong personal opinions about what is happening? Do I feel there are right and wrong sides to the situation? Am I confident that I know the right thing to do?

If your answer is no to all of these questions, evaluate the possibilities in terms of whether the potential client or clients would benefit from having you as their coach versus having you refer them to someone they do not know. Take the next step and write out the pros and cons of your answers. Read your Code of Ethics to evaluate whether the potential coaching relationship is in keeping with your standards of conduct.

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, it may be that you are too closely connected to effectively coach.

Step 2 – Ask yourself: Do either of the couple think I am more their friend? Would one be bothered if I worked with the other? If I coached both, would they see me more as a mediator?

If you answer no to all of these questions, write out the reasons for considering coaching in this scenario, the reasons against, and compare these notes to your purpose or mission as a coach and to the parameters of a coaching relationship.

If you answer yes to any of these questions, it may be that you would add to the conflict more than empower the individuals to explore their possibilities and move forward.

What is your opinion of this situation?

You may also like...