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

Ethical Challenge: An Accusation

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:

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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