The ICF Code of Ethics is Your Fundamental Coaching Tool: Are you up to date?

One of the most fundamental tools available to coaches is the ICF Code of Ethics.  The ICF, through a collaborative process, has developed the Code of Ethical Standards to help elicit the best in each and every coach.  Understanding and applying the Code of Ethics to your coaching practice will elevate your professionalism and translate into enabling deep trust between you and your clients.

The importance of ethical standards and practice has led the ICF to undergo a process of regular revision to ensure the ICF Code of Ethics continues to support coaches in being their best, while establishing trust across our stakeholders.

The most recent update went into effect January 1, 2020.  This article provides some highlights and links to where coaches can find the complete Code of Ethics and the associated resources.

The Update Process:

The revised Code is the embodiment of many hours of work, incredible dedication and a tremendous attention to detail. The ICF Code of Ethics is reviewed every three years. The most recent update began in 2018 and involved a large Code Review Team with individuals from 16 countries.  The ICF Board of Directors approved the revised Code and it went into effect January 1, 2020.

The Changes:

While there continues to be 28 standards, the language has been clarified in many of them and the standards have been regrouped into four new categories:

Section I: Responsibility to Clients

Section II: Responsibility to Practice and Performance

Section III: Responsibility to Professionalism

Section IV: Responsibility to Society

On first reading the updated Ethical Standards may seem similar to the previous, however, there are changes throughout and it is important for coaches to read through all the standards to ensure we are in compliance and being our best in our profession.  Therefore, I am not going to outline the changes I found in my comparison, but invite my colleagues to visit the updated Code of Ethics and re-familiarize yourselves with these important tools of our profession.

The Supporting Resources:

I am delighted to see that the ICF has provided more resources to support coaches in interpreting the Ethical Standards, understanding the complaints process, and accessing a community of practice.  These resources all support coaches in putting our Ethical Standards into practice in our daily interactions, marketing and coaching.

1. Understanding how to Interpret Each Ethical Standard:

This link to the Interpretive Statements is very useful as it provides an expanded explanation of how to interpret each of the ethical standards: https://coachfederation.org/interpretive-statements  

2. Ethics Water Cooler Conversations:

Join in the one-hour Zoom conversations which take place the second Wednesday of each month (English) at 11am Eastern/8am Western (Canada and US).

Register here for upcoming Water Cooler Conversations.

3. ICF Ethics CCE Course:

This is useful for coaches renewing or applying for their ICF Credential, but also useful as a refresher.  The ICF Global Ethics Community of Practice will update the video to align with the updated 2020 Code of Ethics. In the meantime, this link is still useful for CCEUsAs soon as the ICF Global Ethics Committee makes the update available we will update this link here. 

Three Reasons for Coaches to use Assessments to Forward Your Client’s Action

By Delaney Tosh

There are thousands of assessments on the market that coaches could consider using in their coaching business.  Part of a coach’s role is to determine, in conjunction with the client, if an assessment would be useful and to determine best fit for their client in helping that client gain awareness and forward their learning and growth.

What are the reasons a coach would consider using an assessment and how would it benefit the client?

A starting point and a structure for the coaching

An assessment helps identify the current state – it establishes a baseline. The coaching relationship is a journey and the client in on a journey of learning, self-discovery and growth. An assessment can identify some starting points and provide the coach with something to structure the coaching conversation towards learning and action. With the coach, the client can establish a road map for their growth and for setting actions.

Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

Clients come to coaching with some goals and a desire to make changes that will support them in achieving those goals. An assessment can provide information that supports the client in examining how she operates. It is an opportunity for self-reflection and the window to self-awareness.

Central to growth and change is the ability to see how you operate in the world and in relationship with others, and the ability to see yourself as others experience you. This is the key to developing emotional intelligence.

Measuring success

Using an assessment to identify the current state provides a baseline from which to measure growth. The client has an objective set of data that can show where attention and actions are needed and then where growth has occurred,and where further attention is needed, especially if the coach uses an assessment to re-assess after the coaching relationship has progressed over a period of time.

Once a coach has determined that using an assessment will be of benefit for the client, the next question the coach would consider is:

  • Which is the best assessment for the client?

A few examples of assessments:

Myers Briggs (MBTI)
DiSC Profile
Barrett Personal Values Assessment (PVA) – It’s free
Barrett Leadership Values Development Report
EQ in Action
Strengths Deployment Inventory
Leadership Practices Inventory (360)
StandOut Assessment
Strong Interest Inventory
Barrett Cultural Transformation Tools (CTT)
The Leadership Circle

And there are hundreds more!  You need to explore with your client what will be most meaningful for them and which type of assessment will help deliver that meaning. Some assessments require the participation of colleagues and superiors, while some are self-assessments, so the logistics require discussion with your client. Another factor to consider is budget.

Finally, the coach would ask:

  • What is the best way to use an assessment throughout the coaching relationship?

The answer really depends on the type of coaching you do and the needs and goals of your client, as well as whether or not the coaching is sponsored by the client’s employer.  An important thing to consider is that an assessment only becomes useful towards growth and change when it is used throughout the coaching process as a dynamic tool.


For answers to these questions, tune in to VI Coaches’ upcoming webinar on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 when Yvonne Mann will lead a discussion on choosing assessments and how to use assessments to lead your client to action. Click here for details and registration.

Image_Wheel_of_Life_with_Instructions

Coaching Tools: 10 Fresh Ways To Use The Wheel of Life in Your Coaching Practice

Image_Wheel_of_Life_with_Instructions

Click image for larger view

 

By Emma-Louise Elsey

Sometimes I think we coaches get so used to seeing “The Wheel of Life” that we forget it’s still new for most of our clients. Not only that, but the “Wheel of Life” may just be the most powerful and flexible coaching exercise in our coaching toolbox! So, as it’s one of my favourite tools I’m excited to share some new ideas below for how you can use “The Wheel of Life” in your coaching practices.

Here are 10 Fresh Ways for Using the Wheel of Life in Your Coaching Practice:

  1. The Wheel of Progress. When used on a regular basis The Wheel of Life is a great tool to measure progress. Use it monthly or quarterly with your clients, as both a check-in to see how they’re currently doing AND as a way for them to see how they’ve improved and grown. Improved scores demonstrate concrete value from coaching and create tangible progression. It’s like looking back over an old journal and seeing how far you’ve come!
  2. The Wheel of Stress (or Wheel of Frustration). Start with a blank wheel and ask your clients to list the top 8 areas that stress or frustrate them most. Then ask them to score each area out of 10 as to how much each area adds to the stress in their life. Then review and coach them around the scores. Tip: Ask, which area frustrates or stresses them out the most? Are there any surprises? How could they lower their scores? What actions could they take to lower their frustration or stress?
  3. The Wheel of Happiness, Fun or even Joy! Does your client need help to create more happiness, fun or joy in their life? Well, ask them to identify 8 areas or things that are fun or make them excited or happy. There are different ways to score this – you could ask them to score how satisfied they are with each area, or how MUCH each area excites them, or how much they WANT to ‘do’ or feel drawn to each area. Then ask your client for an action or commitment for each segment. Tip: Ask how could they bring more of each area into their lives? Help them find multiple wins – where one action raises their score across a number of areas.
  4. Going Deeper. Use the wheel to drill down into a single wheel segment and help your clients understand their lives and issues more deeply. Take one of the segments and then using a blank wheel ask them to write out a further 8 areas that make up that segment for them. Eg. a ‘Finance’ wheel could include saving for a house, budgeting, focusing on buying needs and not wants, saving for a rainy day, paying off debts, getting a pay-rise etc. Tip: This is great homework – to identify areas to bring to the session and work on.
  5. The “Skills and Knowledge Gap” Wheel. What are the Top 8 skills and knowledge gaps your client has that get in the way of that job, promotion or new career? Ask your client to identify their gaps and then score out of 10 where they are on the road to filling this gap. Then identify action steps for each ‘gap’. Tip: It helps to clarify whether each gap is a skill or knowledge gap. AND it’s also important to do a ‘sanity check’ that the gap is 1) fillable and 2) that it’s a skill they are able or want to fill!
  6. The Wheel of Compassion. There aren’t many of us who couldn’t do with more self-compassion. Ask your client to list 8 areas where they could be more kind or compassionate with themselves. Get them to score HOW compassionate they are currently – and to identify an action for the top 3 areas that need kindness or compassion most. Tip: Try this one on yourself – you may be surprised – where do YOU need to be kinder with yourself?
  7. Set MORE Meaningful Goals. The Wheel of Life is a great way to help a client who is struggling to identify goals. Low scores point to areas where a goal could be identified to raise their score. And high scores suggest areas where a goal could really give your clients a boost. When we work on where we’re already doing well – this spins off into other areas in our lives and lifts them too. Tip: This is a great exercise for business and career/executive coaches to ease clients into thinking about their personal lives – which of course will benefit their careers and businesses in the long run.
  8. The Wheel of Priorities. Ask your client to label their Top 8 priorities – across work, home, relationships – basically their priorities in life overall. Next ask them to review their wheel and identify their Top 3 priorities. Then, get them to score their satisfaction out of 10 for all the areas. You can use this approach to look at a specific area of life like their career or finances, or you could even use this exercise to prioritise their goals! Tip: Ask them how does their score for the Top 3 priorities compare to the lower priorities? Do they have their priorities ‘straight’ or do they need to shift their focus? What actions could they take?
  9. The Wheel of Sales (or Wheel of Marketing). A wheel can also be used to help identify actions rather than identify and score ‘areas’ to work on. So, take a blank wheel and ask your clients to identify sales or marketing actions to complete in the next month (or key actions to complete in the coming year). Tip: You could also pre-fill some of the wheel for them so a Marketing Wheel might include social media, networking, advertising, workshops, a newsletter and a Sales Wheel might include clarifying a sales process or funnel, writing a script for complimentary sessions, calling enquiries back, learning more about Sales. You might even like to try this one for your coaching practice…
  10. General Action Planning. The visual wheel format is also great to make action planning more fun and a great way to BREAK DOWN bigger actions into smaller more manageable chunks. So, using a blank wheel, write the goal or required outcome at the top of the page. Then ask your client to write out the next 8 actions or chunks of work that make up their goal. Tip: If you get them to put a date against each action – they can then use the segments to shade and record the % complete for each area!

Final Tip:

And whatever you’ve used the wheel for I like to ask this question when complete, “So, if this wheel represented your life/relationship/career/marketing strategy, is it a bumpy ride?”

I hope this has given you some new ideas for using The Wheel of Life in your coaching practice. Why not give one a try – it’s wheely good!

And remember – we’d also love to hear how you use The Wheel of Life – just add a comment below.


Contributing Member: Emma-Louise Elsey
Emma-Louise is a professional life coach and founder of The Coaching Tools Company.com. Sign-up at www.thecoachingtoolscompany.com to receive 549 Powerful Coaching Questions FREE by email.

 

 

 

**Please credit the author with any use of or excerpt from this article in any form.


 

Kindness in Your Coaching: The Art of Being in Service for Your Clients

February is the ICF-VI Coaches Chapter’s Kindness Month, arising out of the ICW 2012 Theme, ‘Heart of Coaching’ and due to February being heart month. As your Chapter prepares for our day of kindness this February, we found ourselves asking the question:

What is it to bring kindness into the practice of coaching?

At the heart of this question is the concept of coming from a place of service for our clients. Being kind to your clients can mean a number of things relating to how you self-manage and support yourself in maintaining your attitude of service.

How do you support clients to be kind to themselves when you hear them beating themselves up?

Being kind doesn’t mean letting them off the hook, it means holding them as fully capable to make the changes they desire.

As we (the authors) were discussing this blog’s theme we had a quick discussion on how keeping our coaching skills sharp can add to our ability to elevate our client’s experience with kindness. None of us wish to admit our skills may get a bit loose now and then, but it is certainly something to continually draw our awareness back to in service of being truly masterful coaches for our clients.

What could this look like?

Professional development – Ensuring you are keeping your craft fine-tuned and that you are challenging yourself to stretch as a professional coach.

Accountability – This could mean two things. It refers to really holding your clients accountable to their goals, their vision, their values. It also means holding yourself accountable to really being with your client and challenging yourself to have all your skills, all the core competencies, at work in your coaching.

Curiosity – Do you listen to what is being said and what is not being said and support your client in exploring their story, the judgments, distinctions, assumptions, etc., that they may be making? Do you dig in and help your client dig down into the underlying motivations or beliefs your client may be holding onto and do you do this without judgment?

Championing – How you encourage exploration of new behaviours and actions that forward your client’s learning.

Acknowledging – Who they are being, who they are becoming, pointing out their magnificence as they are stretching towards their fullest potential.

Ethics – There are so many small and big ways to let this slip. Here are a few examples:

  • The coach who encourages a client to sign up for coach training…at the same program that coach is an affiliate of and receives a kick-back from.
  • Coaching multiple members of the same work team.
  • Continuing to coach a client you have lost interest in.
  • Telling your client what to do.
  • Advertising yourself as an ICF credentialed coach when you have let your membership lapse.

When was the last time you read the ICF Code of Ethics?

These are just a few of the ways we can be of service to our clients.

  • What does being of service to your clients mean to you?
  • What have you noticed when you bring these to your attention and into your practice of coaching?
  • What do you notice when you don’t; when your skills get a little loose?

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

~Lao Tzu

This resource article was co-written by the VI-Coaches communications committee.

**Please credit VI Coaches with any use of or excerpt from this article in any form.

 

 

 


 

Share Your “Go-To” Workshop Activities – Here Are Two to Get You Started

 

Submitted by Delaney Tosh & Tracy McMicking

At our Coaches Café events this year, we have featured either activities to stimulate thoughtful conversation or presented tools for your coaching toolkits. The value of this is clear to us by the continuing conversations and by the requests we receive to share more workshop activity and coaching tool ideas.

So, here is a resource article that we invite you to participate in. To kick-start this dialogue, we feature two activities that could be used in group workshop settings. Please join the dialogue on this blog using the comments section and share your “go-to” workshop activities that have served you well.

Going forward we will feature your shared workshop activities ideas in upcoming eNews editions and we’ll gather the comments together into one big resource to make available to our members on our website as a download.

Team Building Activity: Your Land – Guided Visualization Exercise

Objective: To have each member of the team form a visualization of their land for the purpose of understanding themselves, their values and their challenges on a deeper level. Each member shares what their land is like and what they learned so that others can gain a greater understanding of them and begin to create common ground.

Participants will need paper and pen to make notes during short breaks during the visualization so they can capture important aspects of their land for later.

The facilitator guides the group to close their eyes and begin to visualize arriving at their land.

Guide the individuals to notice the following: how they arrive (by what mode of transport), how they are greeted or not, what the smell is like, the geography and terrain, what the temperature and weather is like.

Have them make their way from their point of arrival to the central town or city and notice what it is like, taking in the atmosphere, how people are moving around, what the pace is like. Ask them to begin to notice how people are getting along and what the politics are, the policies and the principles that guide the way their land functions.

They walk around their land visiting a variety of areas, like their home, the streets or trails and a market place noticing what it is like, why they like it and why it works so well.

Take a short break after visiting each area for the purpose of making notes.

They also imagine that there is an area in their land that they don’t want to visit and they describe what it is like and why they don’t want to go there.

Then have each member of the group share briefly what their land was like, what stood out for them and what insights the exercise revealed about what is important for them in a well functioning environment.

After each member shared what they wanted to about their land each other member of the team offered what they learned about that person in a positive way and the new insights they had about the person’s ability to contribute.

The facilitator can then open a discussion of what positive outcomes were gained that supports them becoming a more cohesive team.

Workshop or Team Building Activity: “What I Like About Your Idea is…AND…”

Technically this is an ideation exercise – for helping groups create creative ideas. However, it is great for helping teams learn to plan more co–creatively and helps train team members how to avoid the ‘shutting down’ behaviours that can make meetings or planning frustrating. I received the idea for this activity from Vince Gowmon of Remembering to Play and have modified it and been using it very successfully since.

You can also use this exercise as a fun workshop opener. It provides a fun way to stimulate creative thinking. In this case you would tailor the de-brief questions towards the purpose of your workshop.

Recommended Group Size: Best with groups under 20 people. However, you could split up larger groups into smaller groups.
Total run time: 10 to 20 minutes depending on size of team and whether you proceed with part 2.

Objective & Instructions:

Put the phrase up for all to see: “What I Like About Your Idea is…AND…”

Provide group with something to plan, something neutral and fun – such as a circus, or a new way of presenting the Academy Awards event.

The goal is to ideate only — not to resolve or plan logistics.

How to Begin:
First person shares an idea. For example, “so, we’re going to host a circus, here is an idea – we could have it at the beach”.
Second person says, “What I like about your idea is…(and say something you like)…AND…(give your idea)”.
Third person continues, “what I like about your idea is…AND…”
Note: it can be suggested that ideas build off of the previous ideas, but it is not wholly necessary.

It is important not to evaluate the idea – just present what you like about it …AND…then add an idea to the previous person’s idea.

Let the activity go around the team enough times so that each person has at least four opportunities to participate – about 5 minutes.

Debrief:

  • What did you notice as you did this activity?
  • When did the team loosen up and come alive?
  • What was the sense of connection? When was this most noticeable?
  • What did you notice when an idea didn’t resonate? What was that like for you?
  • How did you keep the flow of the connection going when you didn’t resonate with an idea? How did that impact the activity overall, impact the team?
  • What skills did you have to call on?
  • What was it like to always look for something positive to acknowledge?
  • When was it hard to be creative? When easy?
  • What kind of adjustments did you personally need to make for the group to be successful with the activity?

Key learning points:

  1. Awareness – of others and of what is possible when you are truly building your awareness of the other and the shared purpose.
  2. Connection
  3. Learning what moves the play forward – this is a new tool to use in team meetings and planning sessions.
  4. Listening – you can’t share what you like about an idea if you are not listening; you can’t look for shared interest towards shaping a common goal when you are not listening.

Part 2:

You either stop here having captured and summarized the key learning points, or you can run through this exercise again, but this time in the context of their work, using a real work example.

Debrief:

  • What did you notice?
  • What was different this time?
  • What were you trusting from the group? From yourself?
  • Where do you notice you stop listening?
  • What do you think is possible if, as a team, you bring the energy and skills you used in this activity into your day to day planning? How would coming to the plan be different?

Key Point to sum up: The purpose of this exercise is to bring your own awareness to how/when you support the connection and energy and flow of the team and how/when you shut it down.

 

Now, using the comments section…please share with us your favourite workshop activities and when and how you use them. Or, share with us other ways you might use the two activities above.