This is because a code of ethics can provide a set of guidelines with which coaches and clients can measure a coach's performance and evaluate their practice for continuous development and improvement. When the coach is a member of a professional organization, they often have access to additional support and resources on the ethics of coaching, such as courses, FAQs, communities of practice, and a contact email address. This report is a useful tool for coaches, as it sets the framework to support the ethical development of leaders who receive training. Coaches must meet rigorous standards for training, learning and demonstrating knowledge in training, evaluating training abilities, passing national tests and complying with the standards established in the Coaching Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards.
It is up to those who are certified as coaches to demonstrate the commitment and integrity of what a coach should be by following and adhering to the Coaching Code of Ethics. The Ethics Resource Center (ERC) executive leadership research report states that it is very important for coaches to understand the ethical standards that leaders must meet, since much of the training is aimed at leaders. Realistically speaking, a coach must know the three approaches to ethics, since this analysis of barriers and the acceptance of limits are part of the self-awareness, sensitivity and empathy that the coach must develop, especially when dealing with clients. Clients should be aware of what it means to be certified as a coach and that a certified coach must follow the Coaching Code of Ethics.
Each of them is also an expression of progress towards greater maturity as a coach, which is the quintessence of the mastery in training not only of technical mastery, but, above all, of ethics, which results from the integrity and authenticity of the coach in daily practice. What the ICF Code of Ethics does is create the professional environment for what coaching is and the limits within which a coach must perform. But, above all this, we must understand and appreciate that having a code of ethical values is a “quality” or an asset that is very desirable and valuable in the “experience” of a coach, an acquisition that can raise and improve the mentality and behavior of the coach professionally and personally. Ethics, guidelines, policies, and procedures are the foundation of the coaching process, leading all coaches to a clear understanding of the coaching process.
Tatiana Krawczyńska-Zaucha, PhD, PCC, is a global executive and leadership coach, mentor, business trainer, and renowned academic professor of management, leadership and business ethics. In this way, ethics become a necessary and “heavy” part of the daily reality of the practice of coaching, since each coach “must” do it or “must do it””.