The Coaches of Innovative Leadership International, LLC, are members of the International Coaches Federation (ICF) and therefore adhere to the ICF's Definitions and Ethical Guidelines for coaching.

ICF Coaching Definitions

ICF Ethical Guidelines
    Coaching Relationship and Contract
    Client Protection
    Conflicts of Interest
    Referrals and Terminations
    Ethical Violations

ICF Coaching Definitions:

  1. Coaches subscribe to common philosophies, and pursue common objectives.
  2. Coaching helps individuals and organizations to develop more rapidly and produce more satisfying results.
  3. Coaching focuses on the goals the client chooses.
  4. Coaching is tailored to the individual needs of the client.
  5. Coaching is interactive.
  6. Coaches, for the most part, elicit solutions and strategies from the client.
  7. Coaches provide a fresh perspective.
  8. Coaches help their clients to build on their natural strengths.
  9. Coaches believe that the client is creative and resourceful.
  10. Coaches believe the client is responsible for doing the work to achieve the results he or she wants.
  11. Coaches look at how all the parts of a person's life work together.
  12. The power of coaching comes from the strength of the bond between coach and client.

ICF Ethical Guidelines:

Preamble:  A coach believes in the dignity and integrity of every human being and is committed to eliciting the inherent capability and resourcefulness of every individual.  A coach pursues, through an interactive process, the development of client-designed strategies and solutions which move the client toward the rapid attainment of his goals.  A Coach is respectful and protective of the vulnerability of each client, while constructively holding the client to a high standard of self-responsibility and accountability.  The Coach maintains an objectivity and competence where he claims it and practices in the best interests of the client, the community, and society.

  1. Coaching Relationship and Contract
    At the beginning of any coaching relationship, ICF Coaches will articulate the terms of the Client/Coach relationship in a clear, written communication or agreement.  Such an agreement may be recordable by Web site, brochure, e-mail, or a signed paper agreement.  Terms of the Coach/Client agreement will include the qualifications of the Coach; the nature of the services available; limitations, boundaries, and perspectives of the Coach or the services offered; a Statement of Client's Rights; and terms of the contract, i.e. times, frequency, methods of communication, and fees for the Coaching service.
  2. Client Protection
    The Client's well-being is the central focus of a Coaching relationship and thereby obligates the Coach to maintain a high level of integrity and trust-worthiness throughout the contract.  Therefore, Coaches are respectful of the Client's needs and requests; constructive in their feedback; attentive to the boundaries and limitations of each party; mindful of confidentiality issues and conflicts of interest; forthright and authentic in addressing any such issues as they emerge.  The Coach will not, under any circumstances, take advantage of a Client personally, socially, sexually, or financially.  The Coach will disclose any and all personal gain accrued by the Client/Coach relationship, including but not limited to useful knowledge, personal growth, fees received for referrals or recommendations made to and/or pursued by the Client.  The Coach will not only communicate, but will continuously demonstrate that the intended outcome of an exchange of information, discussion, referral, or recommendation is the Client's growth and well-being, not the promotion of the Coach's self-interest.
  3. Confidentiality
    The Coach will make every effort to honor the Client's confidence, although the Coach cannot provide on "a prior" guarantee.  The Coach will advise the Client of circumstances which might influence the Coach's objectivity or judgment, and any decision, or factors relating to a decision to reveal the client's confidential information to a higher authority.  Clients will be apprised that their confidence is not privileged under law and could be subpoenaed via the Coach.  To the extent that a Coach is uncomfortable holding a Client's confidence, the Coach is advised to consult a mentor coach in an effort to jointly determine how best to handle the situation.  In rare cases, if the confidential information is of an "outrageous", "illegal", or "dangerous-to-the-client or others" nature, the Coach is obligated to consult a mentor coach, and/or an attorney, in order to determine whether to notify authorities, with or without the Client's consent.  The Client is apprised and agrees that any materials provided by the Coach may not be re-sold, published, or used outside the coaching relationship without the explicit permission of the Coach.
  4. Conflicts of Interest
    Any conflict of interest is to be discussed and resolved with the Client's best interest in mind.  Whenever a conflict becomes apparent, the Coach is ethically obligated to identify it and attempt to resolve it.  If, during the coaching relationship, the Coach cannot serve the Client objectively, respectfully, or without internal or external conflict, the Coach is ethically obligated to terminate the coaching agreement/contract.  Such a termination provides reasonable advance notice and a reasonable explanation of the conflict at the center of the termination decision.
  5. Referrals and Terminations
    Whenever internal or external conditions arise which seem "uncoachable" or unworkable, the Coach is ethically committed to reveal his observations and opinion to the Client.  The Coach will suggest a viable solution(s) to the problem, making every effort to avoid injury to the dignity of the Client.  If the solution includes a referral to another Coach, the referring Coach is ethically committed to refer to three (3) more suitable Coaches, one (1) of which may be the ICF Referral Service.  If the Coach's suggested solution includes termination without referral, or postponement of the coaching contract until a more suitable time, the Coach is ethically committed to a clear explanation of the rationale underlying the recommendation.
  6. Ethical Violations
    If a Coach knowingly, consistently, or outrageously breaches the Ethical Guidelines of the ICF, the Coach will be asked to work with a mentor Coach and/or be expelled from the ICF association.  A Coach who receives a reprimand by the ICF is encouraged to train with a mentor Coach for a period of months (length of time to be determined by ICF board) until the essence of the complaint is corrected.  Expulsion from ICF will mean that the Coach will no longer be authorized to claim or use membership in the ICF nor represent previous membership in the ICF as a competency claim.  A reprimand leading to expulsion of a Coach from the ICF constitutes a forfeiture of any pre-pad dues to the organization by the Coach being expelled.

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