Coaching for a More Ethical World- Part II

Oct 7, 2021

Part II of an article, based on the amalgamation of learner notes, from the  Awake Aware Arise session on Coaching for an Ethical World  by David Clutterbuck

Awake Aware Arise was a virtual conference lead by Coacharya for leaders, coaches, and those who want to make a change – to truly Awake to the suffering in the world around them, become Aware of their responsibilities, and Arise together to act and be counted.

Understanding Ethical Coaching:

Ethical coaching is confidential learning between peers. It aims to help the mentee/coachee: resolve ethical dilemmas, develop the ability to work with ethical dilemmas, influence an ethical culture in organizations, help become more authentic and value-driven leaders.

Ethical coaching aims to help have ethical leaders at the top and pave the way for more ethical behavior throughout the organization.

Ethical Coaching Key ProcessesHow do we prepare the client for ethical coaching?

Client needs:

  • To be ready with data to make the coach understand the context and implications of the issue
  • To reflect on their values
  • To know how to be in the frame of mind where they can have an open and creative discussion with the coach


So, it is important for a coach to make the client step back—make them stop thinking emotionally, and instead, start thinking rationally.

Now, as a coach we need to agree with the coachee on few things, i.e., what to expect from them:

  • Honesty in presenting the dilemma.
  • Willingness to be challenged and to challenge their own assumptions.
  • They need to have the courage to act according to their own values.
  • Taking time to reflect—the coach needs to understand that it takes time to reflect.
  • The client needs to have the courage to address the systemic barriers to ethicality.


The Framework of the Ethical Dialogue:

Framework of Ethical Dialogue
Framework of Ethical Dialogue


The process of having people speak up and out is often easier said than done. While it may not work well with one individual; with a group of people who have the same feeling, it most probably will. When one believes that their actions matter and care deeply they will consider speaking up. It is the coach who needs to speak to the individual and find a mechanism for them to speak out.

Decision-making stylesHow do we stay authentic and ethical in politicized environments:

We can explain politics as the power to influence or the art of expediency.

The responsibility of a coach is to help clients distinguish between applying values for short-term gains and applying values for long-term gains.

The coach is responsible for helping the client to be aware of the ethical dimensions of the decisions they make and the moral outcomes of the same rather than telling them what decisions they should take.

The difficulty in being ethical while making decisions as a leader must be noted. Before coaching, coaches should ask themselves the following questions as they will help a leader to reconnect with their authentic self:

  • How can I describe my personal values and how do they contribute to my identity as a coach?

  • What is happening within me and around me when I live up to those values to my fullest and when I don’t do so?

  • Is my authenticity of a high caliber?

Here are some extra tips to develop one’s authenticity, as well:

  • By knowing yourself  – knowing your values, strengths, weaknesses, and your evolving story.

  • Being yourself.

  • Honesty in self-management – self-reflection of one’s own values, knowing others’ perspectives, a need to know the moral balancing of yourself, and to be forgiving to yourself as none of us are perfect.

Enjoy coaching for a more ethical world the Clutterbuck way!


PART I of ‘Coaching for a More Ethical World’ 

Mala Mathew
Mala Mathew


Mala Annamma Mathew is an educator specializing in media and digital literacy for young students. Currently, she is pursuing her second master’s degree in Digital Media: Education, at University College London, the number one (according to Top University Ranking) university for education-related degrees in the world. She has over 8 years of experience in education and is also an examiner for the International Baccalaureate.

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