The PAGES – Newsletter
Are you feeling ‘blocked’ or just plain ‘stuck’ in the same loop? Have you considered that it is possible that the world is craving your innovation, a surge of creative application to the design of your future and the future of those whose lives and careers you touch? Let’s look at some basic processes for getting you into your flow, whether you are the CEO of a large organization or a stay at home Mom, innovation is required in all aspects of our lives as creative beings interacting with an infinitely creative universe.
So often we hear about the need to make decisions quickly, to harness the synchronicity of our universe by acting courageously and swiftly on opportunities that come our way. Much of that ability to do so is determined by your own awareness a) of opportunities and b) self. Being aware of your own passions, values and goals is an essential platform for emerging ‘right’ decisions in complex environments that throw multitudes of choices in your direction. Emotional intelligence is another core skill that can support you by preventing reactive responses in potentially explosive situations.
So what are your triggers? We often refer to triggers as blind spots, and I come across them daily in the clients that I work with and also myself, those dark corners of the psyche that have been systematically avoided. Usually it is some form of fear or anger that allows you to consistently overlook those dusty corners of the mind. The mind, a powerful tool, loves to convince itself of it’s own conviction especially after many years of practice that reinforces the avoidance. Try asking the ‘what if?’ questions and allowing your mind to work its way to the probably not-so-scary conclusions, this way you can befriend your fear and ultimately stop it from sabotaging your success.
That said it is also important to have methods of reaching your success in place once you have dusted out those corners and are giving yourself permission to be fully in the present. Watch this video for the next steps in writing the PAGES of your life and if you didn’t catch the first one, be sure to watch that too.
Ethics in Coaching- A journey of service
Since I have been participating in the COMENSA National Ethics Portfolio Committee, there have been many entertaining and sobering moments. As a committee of dedicated coaches, mentors and COMENSA Members, we are testing the boundaries of very grey areas to emerge a form of ethical evaluation that steers clear of ‘policing’ yet is effective in raising ethical awareness in the businesses of coaching and mentoring. We are also growing ‘teeth’ to ensure the ethical compliance of members. As such, a sense of humour is almost a prerequisite when dealing with what can, from the outset, appear to be a rather dry topic.
I think humour and ethics walk side by side, in their efforts to captivate the mind and navigate the delicate balance between freedom and restrictions, we tiptoe on the ‘sacred cows’ to shine the light on that subtle hue of ‘truth’ that sits camouflaged in the grey areas between right and wrong. After all, there are always three versions of the ‘truth’: yours, mine and the ‘truth’ and paradox is by no means an understatement when describing the challenges of engaging the real essence of ethics, a healthy sense of debate infuses each of our committee sessions.
I thought to share with the readers a little of our progress as a result of vigorously testing the ethical choice model we designed over two years ago. I would also like to encourage the COMENSA members to participate on a level that is meaningful by highlighting some easy methods of sharing the responsibility of ensuring our profession is governed by the highest standards and ethics, with an update of our research to inspire member responsibilities and some questions to ignite your ethical thinking.
My predecessor as the Ethics Portfolio Committee Chairman Matt Shelley, shared the ethical choice and awareness model in an article a few years ago and I have included it (below) for your ease of reference and would like to remind everyone that we are open to training members up in using it at request.
In response to dealing with some intense ethical complaints, the model proved to be robust and served up meal after meal of ‘palatable’ solutions. The processes are by no means without fire, but the Ayurveda’s would be proud of the balance in the tastes as a demonstration of food being medicine.
We did however notice that the procedures for managing ethical complaints, our ethics code and our constitution required slight adjustments to ensure we grew ‘teeth’ as an organisation striving towards adulthood that is sometimes required to discipline and govern. Now there’s two words that make us coaches cringe in their austerity and potential ‘infantilisation’ of members of an industry supposedly populated by self-actualized professionals claiming high standards of good moral judgments (discipline and governance). Then again I have often had to take myself on for my eccentric idealization, and this is by no means an exception.
The first step for dealing with any complaints as a committee is to ensure that complaints are lodged against valid members in the correctly defined fields. As a company, professional or trainer using the COMENSA logo, there are specifications that define them as members and it is unfortunate that often we cannot take action in defense of a complainant as the ‘defendant’ has either registered in the incorrect field, is no longer a valid member, or has made the complainants sign contracts that negate their obligations to abide by the COMENSA’s code of ethics.
This oversight or abuse of the logo can also have adverse implications for the ‘member’ using the logo incorrectly, in that we as your ethics committee cannot act on your behalf either. An essential part for any member to play a small role in establishing COMENSA’s credibility is by alerting us to any misuse of the COMENSA logo on websites or elsewhere. As a body we have no jurisdiction over people or companies who are not in good standing.
I am appealing to all members to keep this in mind, because whist we do our very best to keep our eyes and ears on members and their ethical behaviour, we do rely heavily on you and the business of coaching to alert us to any and all indiscretions in relation to the code of ethics. As members, remember that you keep it alive and the business of coaching is in your hands.
I also appeal to you to become acquainted with the Ethics code and invite you to apply your mind to answering some of our ethical awareness questions like:
1) If a coach acts unethically in your view do you.
- Complain about them to your colleagues?
- Mention their dubious ethics to the company they work for?
- Take it up with the coach and if there is no resolution bring the incident/s to the attention of the COMENSA Portfolio Committee?
2) Can I tell people who I’m coaching?
- No, never
- Yes, of course – Coaching is different to therapy and people should be proud
- It depends on the contract I have with my client
3) If a client came to you for coaching, demonstrating ‘psychotic’ behaviour, do you:
- Immediately refer the client to a psychologist?
- Assess the circumstances and contributing factors to the identified behaviour and then make a reference?
- Offer coaching within the parameters of your capabilities with the condition that therapy is attended simultaneously?
- Coach the client?
- Take your concerns to your supervisor and then make a call?
Oh yes and thank you to all who responded to our request for assistance and participation in the Ethics Portfolio Committee, I was astounded by the abundance of support and look forward to meeting the new faces. Serving on the Committee is a great opportunity to learn and participate meaningfully so I encourage everyone to consider volunteering at some stage of your professional careers.
Thanks for the abundance and the opportunity to serve.
-Chair Person for the COMENSA National Ethics Portfolio Committee
-Executive and Leadership Coach