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Nigel Cumberland & David Sleightholm

EMCC International: is there an increased need for coaches and mentors to be aware of ethics?

Session on Thursday, Mar 02, 12:30
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Nigel Cumberland is founding Fellow of the Harvard Medical School affiliated Institute of Coaching, MA(Hons) Cambridge University, Certified Coach (Senior Practitioner level) with the EMCC. He is also the co-Founder of The Silk Road Partnership and is a well known senior leadership coach to a range of organisations which have included The World Bank Group, Standard Chartered Bank, Dell, the Al-Futtaim Group and the Dubai Government. He works across cultures evidenced by recent assignments in Nepal, Armenia, Bulgaria, India, Malaysia, the Philippines as well as across MENA. He is the author of a range of leadership and self-help books including the recently published 100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living (John Murray Learning, UK, 2016) and Secrets of Success at Work: 50 Techniques to Excel (Hodder & Stoughton, UK, 2014). He is active in the field of coaching and ethics through heading the EMCC International Ethics WorkGroup, leading the creation of a joint EMCC and Association for Coaching (UK) Global Code of Ethics for Coaches & Mentors as well as sitting on a UK Academic-Industry partnership called The Collaboration for the Future of Coaching (‘CFC’) which are finalising an Ethical Principles and Good Practice for Coaching Provision in Organisations.

David Sleightholm is EMCC International Vice-president Quality, with responsibility for Ethics, Regulation, Competences, CPD, Diversity and Supervision. Previously his portfolio included accreditations. He is professionally, interested in the development of coaching and mentoring. He holds the European Individual Accreditation (EIA) at Master Practitioner level and also the European Supervision Individual Award (ESIA). He teaches on EQA and ESQA accredited programmes. He is a highly experienced and qualified coach, working particularly with Executives for the last 15 years. Prior to that, he had over 20 years senior management experience, 12 at Deputy Chief Officer level, which included responsibility for Operations and also Finance, ICT, Facilities, Legal Services and HR. He lead and managed transformational organisational change. He was involved with extensive policy advice to government and also staff and union communication and negotiation. He specialises in working in companies who are on a journey from the public sector, and whose managers are themselves at various stages of their own personal journey. David gets enormous pleasure out of helping the individual reflect, take stock, deepen their awareness of their situation and its context, identify new possibilities, establish goals and make progress toward them. Often this may include learning new skills and contemplating new ways of seeing the work environment. He is respectful of the values and beliefs of the individual he works with. His focus is always on the mission of the organisation and how the individual can make the best contribution to it.


The creation and roll-out in February 2016 of the Global Code of Ethics for Coaches and Mentors, in collaboration with the Association for Coaching, recognises both the importance that the EMCC gives to ethics, expectations of ethical behaviour and also recognising that standards are universal as evidenced by our two associations being able to agree one shared code of ethics.

There is increased awareness within all sectors of life and in all kinds of organisations of all kinds of ethical issues and dilemmas. We see it in terms of rules being broken, in a lack of honesty and integrity, in some forms of cheating and in breaches of confidentiality and trust. This increased awareness may be due to a more global media in the internet age revealing level of poor ethical behavior. Alternatively it might reflect an increase in the volume of such incidents. We see it in sportsmen, politicians and business leaders having been found to have been unethical in some form.

This session will mainly take the form of a discussion, which will explore the following issues:

• In what ways and under what conditions do we as mentors and coaches risk acting unethically? What actual and potential ethical dilemmas have you encountered?
• Does our work involve us supporting and encouraging our clients to uphold the highest levels of integrity, ethical behaviour and living up to their organisations’ values, codes of conducts and expectations? Do we have a responsibility to champion ethical conduct in general?
• How do we hold ourselves to high standards? How far does the Global Code of Ethics help?

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