Code of Ethics
Clarity, Care, and Respect
Caring for Myself
1. Self-Care. Take good care of myself so I show up clear and well-resourced to my clients. When I’m off-center, adjust to a slower and softer style of work. When I’m way off-center, be honest with clients and suggest that we reschedule the session.
2. Stay in Range. Tune in to cycles of expansion and contraction in my capacity, only saying “yes” to clients and projects I am adequately resourced and trained for. Having humility means having accuracy.
3. Ideal Clients. Only work with ideal clients. If my own values and vision for the world conflict with theirs, be curious and go deeper – if the conflict is real, respectfully do not enter into a coaching relationship.
4. Purpose. I will remember my life purpose – ”to be joyfully myself and love the world” and allow it to infuse all of my client interactions so they can receive the fullness of my joy and service!
Creating a Safe Container
5. Clean Containers. Client time is about them. Self-manage and share vulnerably only when it serves them and/or the relationship. Set up a separate conversation if there’s something I want to clear or share about me.
6. Confidentiality. Keep all sensitive client information and experiences confidential unless they’ve consented for these experiences to be shared.
7. Agreements. Co-create clear and explicit mutual agreements and expectations with clients before we do our work together, and continue to revisit these agreements periodically.
8. Delivery of Services. Honor my agreements around service delivery by fulfilling on our work as promised, re-negotiating them to create a win-win, or – as a last resort – cleaning up the damage of a promise I can’t keep.
9. Money Transparency. Be transparent around money and come to agreed-upon rates with my clients that both of us are a full “yes” to. I will recognize privilege differentials in the relationship and be aware of them in the money conversation.
10. Sexuality. Do not have sexual/romantic relationships with clients. Be clear at the outset what the nature of the relationship is. Once we decide to be coach/client, sexuality and romance are off the table until 6 months after our coaching relationship is complete.
11. Aware of Bias. Be aware and curious about differences in gender, race, age, sexual orientation, class, nationality, and other privilege factors affect my view of the client and our relationship in unconscious ways.
12. Learn About Privilege. Be in a continual learning process around how power and privilege dynamics play out in myself, my relationships, communities I’m connected to, and the transformational marketplace.
13. Own My Shadow. Get to know and even love the parts of myself that I tend to disown – anger, shame, pain, violence, etc. – and keep these parts by my side rather than repressing them, letting them drive, or projecting them onto others.
Coaching With Consent
14. Respect. Respect my clients and hold their struggles, dreams, beliefs, values, experiences, and lives as having equal validity to my own. Remember that my clients are creative, resourceful, and whole.
15. Rapport. Always take the time to cultivate rapport with clients before going into deep territory or making interventions. Always be calibrating rapport and slowing down when rapport gets thin.
16. Consent. Coach with consent. Allow my client to direct the outcomes of our work together and collaborate on our priorities and strategy. Err on the side of over-communication. When in doubt, ask permission before intervening. Regularly check in with clients about what they’re experiencing and whether the approach is working for them. Only proceed with a full yes. Heighten awareness of consent when we are verging on taboo, unexpected, or otherwise charged territory.
17. Allowing. Allow my clients to have full access to their “up” – joy, sex, money, freedom, mastery, bliss – and their “down” – mistakes, shame, fear, pain, despair – without getting in their way. Notice where my clients go beyond where I let myself go and any reactions I have to that, bookmarking these reactions to unpack later.
Hone My Instincts
18. Filter My Intuitions. Trust that the voices and sensations of my intuition have validity, without assuming that the content of my intuition is always literally accurate or has relevance to anyone else. Take the time to be with more significant intuitions and sort out what’s coming from love, what’s coming from fear, and what (if anything) to express to whom and when.
19. Speak My Truth. When a fierce truth is wanting to be expressed and has passed the “is this coming from love?” test, express it fully and as skillfully as possible, owning it as my truth not the truth. Be ready to be present for the impact.
20. Consciously Intervene. Acknowledging that as much harm can be done through inaction as through action, do a “heart calculation” and be willing to take a personal risk and intervene in difficult, harmful, or intractable situations with the intention of reducing human suffering.
21. Raising Tensions. Raise any tensions I experience in the coach/client relationship as soon as I’m aware of them and ask clients to do the same, rather than letting tensions fester or making unilateral decisions about the relationship.
22. Resolving Conflict. In the case of upset or conflict with a client, show up in a loving, generous, honest, and kind way and seek out facilitation if the conflict is not quickly resolved.
23. Amends Process. If I violate any of these agreements or the spirit of this Code of Ethics in any way, admit that to myself first, then share with a trusted friend/coach/advisor, and then decided what amends to make. Be in the fire of this process without being hard on myself, and orient towards care for those I may have harmed, as well as self-understanding, growth, and forgiveness.
Being in the Marketplace
24. Authentic Marketing. Do not market or sell in a way that incites scarcity or fear, creates a false sense of urgency or a “problem” that wasn’t already there, positions me as the only solution, or perpetuates oppressive or ugly cultural constructs.
25. One Community. Treat collaborators, competitors, community members, family, friends, others, and myself with the same respect and care as I treat my clients. There is no “in-group” and “out-group.” We are one global community. We are one.
26. Seek Feedback. Be open to and actively seek honest and raw feedback from clients and my community and receive it non-defensively, even when it stings. Respond to and integrate feedback as appropriate, noticing the places I tend to collapse or react, and coming back to presence.
27. An Evolving Code. Allow this Code of Ethics to evolve as my own heart grows in its wisdom and compassion and as client feedback shows me the way to a more beautiful and non-harming businesses.
Read the story behind my Code of Ethics here on my blog, and learn how to craft your own!
Creative Commons Attribution license – feel free to borrow and remix as much of it as you want to make your own.