Episode 40 - Is Coaching Confidential?
In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about coaching and confidentiality.
Find the Full Notes to this episode at RecoveringCorpoholics.com/40.
Did you ever want to work with a coach but then think, I don’t want my business getting out there?! This is especially true if your employer is paying for the coaching.
Since coaches are not bound by a medical board and that anyone can claim to be a coach these days (AKA why it’s so important to work with qualified coaches these days!), it can be hard to let your guard down and trust that what you say will be confidential.
But I am here to tell you that is just not the case.
I want to assure you that when you work with a professional coach, especially a coach who is accredited through the ICF or the CCE, whatever you say is 100% confidential.
It is actually our duty as a coach to not disclose any confidential information you tell us during the course of our sessions, unless we have your permission.
There is only one circumstance where confidential information may be shared without your permission is if you were to say something that puts your life at risk.
Now there are other times where confidential information may be shared, however, we must have your permission to do so. For example, if you are sitting for your ICF coaching credentials, sometimes you are required to submit a coaching session recording.
This shows to the coaching accreditation board that you have the skills to coach.
But a coach would never record you without your permission! Otherwise, they violate the coaching code of ethics.
I would ask in advance if it would be OK to record a future session. And if you are comfortable doing so, I would state at the beginning of the recording the date, the purpose and who it will be shared with (a coaching board that will keep the recording confidential).
This is just one example but I want to assure you that you are in the driver's seat with your information. You can say no to anything!
That is why it is so important to discuss this prior to starting your coaching relationship.
When you begin your relationship with a coach, confidentiality is a topic that will always be brought up by your coach and discussed… if you are a good coach that is, again that’s why it is so important to work with a trained and certified coach.
Discuss this with your coach. Look at your contract (and there should always be a contract) and see what it states.
Maybe the contract states information may be shared for training purposes only, maybe it states that only your name will be shared for hourly tracking purposes (that is for credentialing), but, whatever the case may be, just ensure you know!
This is especially important when working with a coach hired by your employer. Just know what information can be shared.
And when you are unclear about anything, don’t like what you see and / or If you don’t see anything on confidentiality on the contract (which is a red flag in my opinion), ask your questions, have it added! Do whatever you need to do to make yourself comfortable.
Go to RecoveringCorpoholics.com/40 to see some standard contract language you can ask your coach to add.
Coaches are professionals and our only goal is to help you achieve your goals. I do this work full time and take my job very seriously and I would never compromise my relationships with my clients. And every other professional coach should think the same.
Your information belongs to you and you alone and I will always protect that.
If you have any questions on confidentiality, feel free to reach out to me anytime.
That’s all I have for this week.
Stay Inspired and Live Powerfully,
Example Contract Language
Release of Information: (Optional, based upon specific situation)
1) The Coach engages in training and continuing education pursuing and/or maintaining ICF (International Coach Federation) Credentials. That process requires the names and contact information of all Clients for possible verification by the ICF. By signing this agreement, you agree to have only your name, contact information and start and end dates of coaching shared with ICF staff members and/or other parties involved in this process for the sole and necessary purpose of verifying the coaching relationship, no personal notes will be shared.
Client Agrees __________________ Client Refuses _________________
Confidential Information. Consultant agrees that any information received by the Consultant during any furtherance of the Consultant's obligations in accordance with this contract, which concerns the personal, financial, or other affairs of the Client will be treated by the Consultant in full confidence and will not be revealed to any other persons, firms or organizations.
We do sometimes share anonymous or hypothetical situations and case studies. We do not share specific identifying information of any of our clients or their projects, with one exception: your coach may discuss your specific circumstances with their coach-trainer/mentor. In these events, the information shared is for the express purpose of being able to serve you better, and their coach-trainer is also bound by this promise of confidentiality.
We may provide your information (name, phone number and email address) as a client to the International Coach Federation (ICF), a professional association and accrediting body for coaches. This information is given for credentialing purposes only and will be held confidential by the ICF.
We may occasionally record one of your coaching calls for internal training or certification purposes. Any and all call recordings will only be made with your express permission in advance, and there is no implicit agreement for any individual call to be recorded without permission by either party.
All information is strictly confidential, except in those rare situations where the Client’s records might be subpoenaed by a court of law or where such confidentiality would violate the law. If your Coach is ordered by a court to provide information or to testify, they will do so to the extent the law requires.
We take health and well-being seriously. If you make threats of harming yourself or others, or report child abuse, elder abuse, etc., we are obligated to intervene or to report this.
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