ISNS Ethical Guidelines for Meta-Coaches PDF Print E-mail
We have adapted the following from the ethical standards used by the International Coach Federation (ICF). This is the Ethical Guidelines for the MCF (Meta-Coach Foundation).

Overall Vision:

As coaches, we believe in the dignity and integrity of every human being and we are committed to eliciting the inherent resourcefulness of every client. Through an interactive process, we aim for the development of strategies and solutions that the client designs and moves toward. As coaches we are respectful and protective of each client's vulnerability and constructively hold the client to a high standard of responsibility and accountability. As coaches we work to be objective and competent in our practices.

Coaching Relationship and Contract:

Every coaching relationship begins with the articulation of the terms of the coaching- client relationship in a clear, written communication or agreement. This will include the nature of the services, limitations, boundaries, the coach's perspectives, a statement of the client's rights, terms of the contract, times, frequency, methods of communication, and fee schedule.

Client Protection:

The client's well-being is the central focus of a coaching relationship and thereby obligates the coach to maintain a high level of integrity and trustworthiness throughout the contract. As coaches we are respect of the client's needs and requests, constructive in feedback, attentive to boundaries and limitations of each person, mindful of confidentiality issues and conflicts of interests, forthright and authentic in addressing any such issues as they emerge.

As coaches we will not take advantage of a client personally, socially, sexually, or financially. As coaches we will disclose any and all personal gain accrued by the client-coach relationship, including but not limited to, useful knowledge, personal growth, fees received for referrals or recommendations made to and/or pursued by the client. As coaches, we will not only communication, but will continuously demonstrate that the intended outcome of an exchange of information, discussion, referral, or recommendation is the client's growth and well-being, not the promotion of the coach's self-interest.


As coaches we will make every effort to honor the client's confidence. As coaches, we will advise the client of circumstances that might influence our objectivity or judgment, and any decision or factors relating to a decision to reveal the client's confidence is not privileged under law and could be subpoenaed via the coach.

To the extent that a coach is uncomfortable holding a client's confidence, the coach is advised to consult a mentor coach in an effort to jointly determine how best to handle the situation. In rare cases, if the confidential information is of an "outrageous," "illegal," or "dangerous to the client or others" nature, the coach is obligated to again consult a mentor coach or attorney to determine whether to notify authorities. The client is informed and agrees that any materials provided by the coach may not be resold, published, or used outside the coaching relationship with the explicit permission of the coach.
Client history: Sometimes a coaching client will go from coach to coach, caught up in the same pattern and always leaving when the coach gets too close to something. To prevent this and to create a higher level of accountability, we recommend that you include in your intake information, "Have you ever been coached before? By whom? Have you been coached by a Meta-Coach?" Then to ask for the right to speak to the previous coach about the client. In Virginia Satir's Family Therapy, the principle is, "A family is as sick as its secrets." So with individuals, groups, and people seeking self-actualization. Secrets undermine responsibility and accountability.

Conflicts of Interests:

Any conflict of interest is to be discussed and resolved with the client's best interest in mind. Whenever a conflict becomes apparent, the coach is ethically obligated to identify it and attempt to resolve it. If, during the coaching relationship, we as coaches cannot serve the client objectively, respectfully, or without internal or external conflict, we recognize our ethical obligation to terminate the coaching agreement. Such termination provides reasonable advance notice and a reasonable explanation of the conflict at the center of the decision.

Referrals and Terminations:

Whenever internal or external conditions arise that seem "uncoachable" or unworkable, as coaches we are ethically committed to reveal our own observations and opinion to our client. As coaches we will suggest a viable solution to the problem, making every effort to avoid injury to the dignity of the client. If the solution includes a referral to another coach, the referring coach is ethically committed to refer to three more suitable coaches. If the coach's suggested solution includes termination without referral, or postponement of the coaching contract until a more suitable time, as coaches we are ethically committed to a clear explanation of the rationale underlying the recommendation.

Ethical Violations:

If a coach knowingly, consistently, or outrageously breaches these ethical guidelines, the coach will be asked to work with a mentor coach and/or be expelled from the Neuro-Semantic association and society. A coach who receives a reprimand by the ISNS is encouraged to train with a mentor coach for a period of time until the essence of the complaint is corrected.

    L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
Neuro-Semantics Ltd., Executive Director
ISNS - International Society of Neuro-Semantics
P.O. Box 8
Clifton, Colorado, 81520 USA  -

  Email: meta
(970) 523-7877
(970) 523-5790 FAX
(877) 686-2867 toll free in the USA only
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