Ethical breaches in executive coaching

June 16, 2013:

Ethical breaches in executive coaching is often more difficult to sight than in a standard therapeutic relationship. Often times moving the therapeutic out of the office, which has a clearly defined set of ethical standards and practices, into the world of coaching can cause some confusion for the novice executive coaching. A change in the environment and level of therapeutic engagement takes a seasoned life coach and therapist to hold a strong ethical standard.

Maintaining this strong standard of conduct greatly reduces the possibility for ethical breaches in Executive coaching. For instance, when working with an executive in the field, limits of confidentiality are often tested. Only a seasoned coach who has experienced the difficulties surrounding specific situations can appropriately plan on proactively avoiding breaches.

For instance, the issue of introductions to the client’s colleagues or supervisor can effortlessly become a source of an ethical breach. While working with someone in the field, this situation is inevitably arise. Having a plan to identify the counselor as someone else seems clear, but if not discussed beforehand, a client can freeze and breach confidentiality due to lack of planning.

Another area where ethical breaches may occur is surrounding sensitive corporate information. A hard tenant of ethics in counseling is never engaging in dual relationships. If that counselor has invested in the company he is conducting executive coaching, he must either remove himself from the coaching or terminate the investment. If not, it can be seen as a dual relationship and not only has ethical considerations, but also legal. Clear and precise paperwork outlining these very specific ethics is key to avoiding ethical breaches in executive coaching.

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