Home Concepts Ethics The Book Shelf: Values and Ethics in Coaching

The Book Shelf: Values and Ethics in Coaching

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Authors: Loanna Lordanou, Rachel Hawley, Christina Lordanou

Publisher:  Sage Publishing Ltd.  London, England 2017.

e-copy, 241 pp.

 Reviewed by Kathy Taberner

Coaching is a relatively young profession that anyone can be part of with little or no training.  For those of us who have a recognized coaching certification and accreditation from a known and respected professional organization, this can be frustrating and challenging.  I often wonder if everyone who calls themselves a coach is ethical at all times in their practice.   If not, these actions can reflect adversely on the entire profession. More, many coaches work in isolation.  How do we know if, in fact, our interactions and our relationships are ethical at all times?  What can we be doing to ensure we always walk the walk of an ethical practice?

A Definition of Ethics

These are some of the questions that drew me to this book.  The authors do an excellent job of asking us to become aware of our values, personal and professional, how we incorporate them into our lives, and how they can influence our coaching practice.  As coaches, we aspire to live our values at all times and support our clients in exploring theirs, creating a greater awareness so they can align their life actions and decisions with them.  The authors believe our values support our ethical practices and state:

Ethics, therefore, refer to a person’s decisions and actions, as dictated by their beliefs and values. Put more simply, ethics is the practice that determines what is good or bad, right or wrong (de Jong, 2010). In comparison to values, ethics do not merely relate to ‘our general notions of what is important, but to actual rules, codes, and principles of conduct’ (Beckett and Maynard, 2013: 20). In other words, ethics can be seen as the practical application of values.  In coaching, according to de Jong (2010), ethical practices determine the virtue of helping others, focusing on the needs and interests of the client, honouring trust and confidentiality, and promoting individual autonomy.”(p. 31)

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