Total Confidence

Confidential Information (DEF.)

Any information that, if shared publically or with unauthorized parties, will harm, or otherwise negatively impact, the relative and/or actual position of a person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other organization from which the information was obtained, unless the information is required by law to be disclosed. Confidential information includes privileged information, classified information, or specific information (e.g., trade secrets) of a type for which there is a clear and compelling need to withhold from disclosure.

I have an extreme commitment to client confidentiality that goes beyond a formal, written confidentiality agreement.

The success of The Partnership requires absolute trust and comfortableness.

My clients and other stakeholders must be able to share sensitive information with and each other without fear that this information will ever be shared inappropriately or without explicit expressed, written permission.

That is why I will NEVER have publically-available client lists, recommendations, and testimonies. Accountabilities

I will work within the clients’, partners’, and/or any other legally-binding confidential guidelines, agreements, and documents (e.g. client’s financial, legal, and/or business contracts).

Organizational information
In general, within the boundaries of the law, I will keep all information confidential unless it has already been made available to the public.

Exception to this guideline
I am required to disclose to the appropriate representatives of the client, her circles (e.g. professional associations, company, etc.), and possibly legal authorities, any information regarding illegal or unethical activities or circumstances that pose a threat to any individual, group, or organization.

Information about the client
As a general rule, I will not share with anyone, except the client herself, any details regarding that client unless members of the coaching partnership have agreed otherwise.

Exception to this guideline
I am usually obligated to provide the payer (institution or individual paying for our services) with a summary of my conclusions on the client’s current and potential ability to serve in her role and continue with coaching. I will first share this summary with the client and get her input when appropriate. Before coaching, we will mutually establish, in writing, a detailed agreement from all partners on what this summary will and will not include and how it will be shared. I also employ a similar process with corporate clients.

Feedback from others about the client
From time to time, I may receive unsolicited (unrequested) feedback, often anonymously, from members of the client’s systems (circles) or other people familiar with the client. I will promptly share this feedback with my clients verbatim or in summary form, identifying the source by category of person or specific name (if allowed and available). Members of the coaching partnership agree on the confidentiality of this information before it is collected. I will clearly express to the source the terms of confidentiality and work strictly within these terms.

Client and Other Partners Accountabilities

Other partners and stakeholders
Members of the client’s system (e.g. employer) who, as a result of the coaching partnership, learn confidential information about the client, must keep that information confidential unless it is illegal, unethical or otherwise agreed before coaching begins. If the confidential information is to be shared, the client should be informed before such disclosure.

Non-defensive, non-retaliatory response to feedback
I expect my clients to respond in non-defensive ways to all feedback from others, even unsolicited and/or anonymous, without second-guessing who might have said it or retaliating for any feedback that is difficult to accept. A non-defensive response maximizes the trust the client will share with others in the future and will encourage others to continue sharing feedback.

Electronic transmission of confidential information prohibited
All members of the partnership will ensure that no confidential information that is revealed will be shared electronically unless access to the information can be controlled.

Explicit, written confidentiality agreement
Before coaching begins, all partners will mutually agree and express in writing how the confidentiality of different types of information will be managed. They should agree on what will be disclosed (or not), with whom, by whom, when, in what form, and under what circumstances. This information might include:
  • Assessment results
  • Partnership goals
  • Job hunting and career aspirations
  • Feedback (including anonymous and unsolicited)
  • Performance appraisals
  • Interpersonal and/or institutional conflicts
  • Details of partnership discussions
  • Proprietary or organizationally sensitive information
  • Strategic and/or project development information
Employ external advice if required
If possible, the stakeholders should identify, provide, recommend, etc. an internal/external resource who can advise the coaching partners regarding questions of confidentiality and other sensitive topics, and who can help resolve these issues.