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

Ethical Challenge: Benefitting from the Relationship

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.


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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