Core Skills – Ethics

From my many visits to High Schools I have seen that increasing numbers of teachers are being asked to coach. Some clearer definitions of the similarities and differences between the roles of teacher and coach are asked for.

In this first blog, I shall look at the similarities between coaching and teaching.

Definitions

The ICF description of coaching reads “Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Moving the focus to teachers of teenaged students at High Schools, the definition of coaching might read “Coaching is partnering with students in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the student to maximize their personal and academic potential.”

High School teachers are professionals. Can they also be expected to act as professional coaches? I think so. According to the ICF, a professional relationship exists when there is a contract that defines the responsibilities of each of the people involved. That seems to be enough to also describe a High School teacher as also professionals when they coach, although it does not define how to coach.

A description of what a coach does can be read in the document “ICF Professional Core Competencies”. This description is used as the foundation for certifying professional coaches, as well as the foundation for designing and accrediting coach training courses.

The ICF description of coaches’ conduct reads, “Professional coaches aspire to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively upon the coaching profession; they are respectful of different approaches to coaching; and recognize that they are also bound by applicable laws and regulations.”.

Something similar could be said to describe teachers too. “Professional teachers aspire to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively upon the teaching profession; they are respectful of different approaches to teaching; and recognize that they are also bound by applicable laws and regulations.”

As a member of the ICF, and as a certified coach, an ICF Professional Coach also agrees to practice the ICF Professional Core Competencies and pledges accountability to the ICF Code of Ethics. What might those docuements look like for High School teachers?

Here are two questions about the developing role of “teacher as coach”.

1) Informing yourself
What’s the benefit to you and your school of having clearly defined coaching Ethics and Standards?

What might the dangers be to you if you didn’t have clear definitions?

2) Informing others
Who needs to know that you have a Code of Ethics and Standards regarding Coaching at your School?

How are you going to communicate this fact?

The ICF Pledge of Ethics

“As an ICF Professional Coach, I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical and legal obligations to my coaching clients and sponsors, colleagues, and to the public at large. I pledge to comply with the ICF Code of Ethics, and to practice these standards with those whom I coach.”

“If I breach this Pledge of Ethics or any part of the ICF Code of Ethics, I agree that the ICF in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing. I further agree that my accountability to the ICF for any breach may include sanctions, such as loss of my ICF membership and/or my ICF Credentials.”

This is part of a series of 12 blogs about the ICF Core Coaching Skills