In my past life, the notions of privacy, confidentiality and trust loomed large. Little did I know how central it would be to my life as a coach and trainer. One of the first things I tell a new or prospective client is that our conversations are confidential. I am bound by the codes of ethics to which I subscribe (the ILM, ICF and CIPD). Essentially, I won’t disclose what you tell me. To anyone. Unless I really have to.
The reason I make such a big deal of this fact is this: if you don’t know me from Adam, why on earth should you trust me with your authentic self? What possible reason would you have to come to me warts and all, metaphorically in your PJs with ‘death breath’. Knowing your coach has no agenda and no reason to discuss your greatest ambitions, deepest professional fears and most uncomfortable admissions is ultimately empowering. It’s here that the real work begins. If you can trust me with your ‘self’, your thought processes, your values and work-place behaviours, if you can feel free and comfortable enough to use the time we have together to reflect deeply on changes you want to make, however small, well, then, you are being brave.
And from courage and that position of trust can come many things. You might surprise yourself by just how far you can go once you are given the space to be honest.