Ethical Coaching

Coaching is growing field of development for almost any area in a person’s life. Personal coaches help with anything from finances, relationships, life decisions, career choices, personal organization, and even parenting (King and Eaton, 1999, p. 145). Coaching is becoming a mainstay in the psyche of American professionals (King and Eaton, 1999, p. 145).

The process of coaching has differentiated itself from counseling and mentoring by taking place in work environments rather than simulation experiences, turning the focus on the learner learning rather than the coach teaching (Phillips, 1995, p. 5). Coaching is an open-ended process which analyses the present situation, defines the performance goal, elicits personal and extrapersonal resources, and implements a plan for achieving the goal (King and Eaton, 1999, p. 145).

Ethics is an area where leaders could benefit from entering into a coaching process with an ethical coach. Every individual is a moral being engaging in patterns of behavior that contain a moral dimension (Fedler, 2006), and on a global scale there is major fallout from a series of unethical decisions and poor judgments from organizations and their leadership (Rossy, 2011, p. 35). Leaders who recognize and prevent potential ethical lapses more effectively will be positioned to avoid costly repercussions (Rossy, 2011, p. 35).

One of the coaching process that could be beneficial for leaders to engage in is learning how each person is responsible for their own contribution to the organization (King and Eaton, 1999, p. 146). Each leader’s personal and professional decisions, at the smallest level, can impact the success and reputation of the organization. With coaching, leaders can learn how to look at decision making through an ethical lens that will positively impact the organization as well as the leader’s personal life. Proverbs warns, “It is an abomination for [leaders] to commit wicked acts, for a throne is established on righteousness.” (Pr. 16:12)


Fedler, K. D. (2006). Exploring Christian Ethics: Biblical Foundations for Morality. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press.

King, P., & Eaton, J. (1999). Coaching for results. Industrial and Commercial Training, 31(4), 145–151.

Phillips, R. (1995). Coaching for higher performance. Executive Development, 8(7), 5–7. Rossy, G. L. (2011). Five questions for addressing ethical dilemmas. Strategy & Leadership, 39(6), 35–42.

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