As a licensed psychologist, I adhere to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principals of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Revised 2010).
Beyond the licensing requirements, my ethical commitments are what create the foundation of trust critical for successful coaching engagements. My clients are entitled to:
• Clarity regarding ‘who is the client.’ In complex coaching environments, it is critical that we distinguish from the outset the coaching relationship with the coachee and the responsibility we have to the sponsor. We gain early agreement about what information will/will not be shared between and among us.
• Protection of client confidentiality. Coaching clients must trust both the coaching process and the coach. Part of my duty is to protect coachee information both internally as well as externally. This means setting clear boundaries as highlighted above, but also ensuring documentation is secure, appropriately marked confidential, and that limitations to privacy are understood (e.g., cellphone use is not a secure form of communication).
• A knowledgeable and objective provider. Coaching clients deserve to work with a coach who maintains expertise in coaching techniques and services, and who maintains their objectivity. I am committed to maintaining expertise through annual coaching training programs as well as staying abreast of developments in the coaching literature. I maintain objectivity through ongoing peer and senior coach mentoring, where I am provided feedback and insight about my work.
• Results. Coaching is a resource-intensive process, financially and personally. I commit to my clients (both coachee and sponsor) that our efforts will yield meaningful results to the business. Specific results or metrics are determined at the outset of coaching, and are tracked throughout the engagement.
• A satisfaction guarantee. Coaching clients should be fully satisfied with the coaching work. If the coachee or sponsor is dissatisfied, I will work free of charge to make it right. Alternatively, if gains are not being achieved and a there is a questionable lack of motivation for change on the part of the coachee, we may choose to end the engagement early.