The ICF Code of Ethics states, “I will not knowingly take any personal, professional, or monetary advantage or benefit of the coach-client relationship, except by a form of compensation as in the agreement or contract.”
What if a client offers their coach tickets to a game or concert? Some coaches believe it is not taking advantage to accept a gift while other coaches will not accept anything. During the discussion in coaching certification class, one coach shared that refusing a gift may insult the client and harm the relationship. Others shared their opinion that gifts with a high dollar value may result in the coach feeling indebted or the client believing they deserve something in return for their generosity. Some coaches choose to have a dollar value limit to gifts they accept in the hopes of addressing all concerns.
What about referrals for business or offering services the coach learns are needed because of the coaching relationship? Is that taking advantage or is that simply good business? Or is it fully serving the client? The discussion on this topic includes reflecting on the motivating factors and how the additional business might influence the coaching relationship.
Additional points on money include that when bartering the coach must insure it does not impair the coaching relationship and that referral fees must be disclosed.
The transparency called for in a coaching relationship is evident.