Responsibility, Honesty and Integrity in Coaching
Honesty and integrity are potentially the most important qualities of a great coach. Trust is the foundation of a successful coaching relationship and holding that trust sacred is your number one priority as a coach. It only takes one moment to break trust and connection. The space coaches hold for a client is their space to settle into- in a judgement free zone that allows clients to let down their fears, defences and worries, and just be with you. The Coach’s responsibility is to hold that space sacred.
Responsibility Lies with the Coachee
Responsibility for progress lies with the client. Coaching is all about resourcefulness and self-direction. It’s what makes coaching different from other helping progressions. Coaching is about asking powerful questions rooted in curiosity that ultimately put the client at the centre of your attention. Our founder Nathalie Blais can often be heard saying, “The quality of your attention as a coach is directly correlated to the quality of a client’s thinking”. What she means is, people think more clearly when you hold space for them, without leading, imposing, assuming or interrupting. When offered the space, clients twirl ideas, shift perspectives and create new choices and possibilities for themselves. Responsibility for change lies with the client. The coach’s responsibility is to hold that space sacred!
Honesty in A Coaching Practice
Coaches trained by qualified ICF programs live by professional standards that go unmatched in the coaching industry. ICF qualified coaches are bound by Ethics, Core Values, and Guidelines for Professional Conduct that protect the client and uphold the profession. As an ICF Coach, you are the gold standard in an industry that is still officially unregulated like other helping professions. Coaching is a young profession that is evolving every year, growing in popularity and prestige as the years go by. Canada Coach Academy mentors world class coaches through our ICF approved programs and is committed to honouring the ICF Core Competencies and Professional Guidelines. There has never been a better time to become a coach! The industry is in its early stages and the world needs coaches more than ever.
Setting The Coaching Bar High
Integrity and responsibility in coaching go hand in hand and are essential concepts to consider and practice as a coach. This means learning to self-manage disruptive thoughts, feelings and beliefs that get in the way of listening. Our ICF Coach Training programs teach coaches strategies for self-management to allow the coach to honour the client’s experience without imposing personal values, opinions, or attitudes onto others. Coaches who can manage their personal biases are powerful. Self-management is the difference between a good and a GREAT coach!
Professional Integrity as a Coaching Professional
As a coach, you hold the privilege of helping others break through what holds them back from achieving their dreams. You hold the honour of creating a safe space for people to explore their inner landscape of thoughts, feeling and emotions, all the beacons of decision-making, and actions taken. We are often misled by our egos, believing humans are rational beings. In fact, the science says decisions are driven by our emotional landscape- not the rational parts of our brains.(1) Mark Brackett, author of Permission to Feel, describes research in which teachers were put into two separate groups- one group was exposed to happy, positive stories while the other group was exposed to negative, sad or angry stories. Then each group was given a stack of papers to grade. Consistently, the group of teachers that were exposed to the negative stories graded the same papers 2 marks below the group that was exposed to positive stories. Emotions affect our perception and influence how we relate to information and experiences.
Best Coaching Practices
In general, honesty, integrity, and responsibility are the foundation of a successful coaching practice. The best coaches are empathetic listeners, who learn to self-manage their own beliefs in favour of holding space for others to feel heard, seen and like they matter.
(1) Brackett, M. (2019). Permission to Feel. Quercus Publishing