Personal Conduct – 1: Accountability

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Personal Conduct – simply relates to every individual who calls themselves a Coach, a Mentor, and to every person who owns or works within a coaching/mentoring organisation.  When the IRCM CIC refers to Personal Conduct in the Codes of Conduct it is referring to the standards and ethics that each person incorporates into their personal and professional life in relation to how they deal with the situations and the people who cross their path.

Although there are a number of sub-headings within the Codes of Conduct for Personal Conduct, in this article we will discuss Accountability.

Accountability comes from each person’s Communication and their Actions.

Standards and Ethics

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The word communication stems back to 1375-1425 from the Latin word ‘commūnicātiōn’ and means ‘to share’. Simply defined it is the sharing of information between two or more different individuals and includes all forms of sharing: the sharing of ideas, concepts, imaginations, actions, behaviours and written content. It is simply defined as the transfer of communication from the ‘sender’ (the person sharing the communication) to one or more ‘receivers’ (the person or people receiving the communication).  Communication can be conducted in different ways:

  • Spoken or Verbal Communication
    Spoken or Verbal Communication is the selection of words used by the ‘sender’ to transfer the information they select to share, and the way in which the ‘receiver’ hears, understands and interprets the words.  This includes all ways in which spoken or verbal communication is held: face-to-face, telephone, messages, radio, or television.
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  • Non-verbal Communication
    In his research in the 1960s, Dr. Mehrabian concluded that communication is:

    • 7% verbal (the actual words used)
    • 38% tone and pitch of the senders’ voice, and
    • 55% visual (facial expressions, gestures displayed through body language, and the physical distance between the sender and the receiver).

      These non-verbal signals can give clues, additional information and meaning over and above the spoken (verbal) words.
      For example, if someone is smiling as they say the words they are communicating; are they really smiling?  The 93% of non-verbal communication will provide the true meaning of the words spoken.

  • Written Communication
    Without realising it, writing skills have become an important part of today’s communication.  Writing relates to letters, memos, emails, all forms of social media, magazines, books, blogs, text messages, and all forms of communication in today’s world.  Writing allows each sender to communicate their message; and the message can be to a single receiver but more often it is to a large audience.
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    Although it is assumed that writing the message will provide clarity and is easier to address a far larger audience than through individual/group face-to-face or telephone or online conference conversations; the interpretation of the message is in the hands of the receiver.  Each person receiving the communication will interpret the words using their own internal vision of the world.
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    Written communication does not allow for the additional information that is shared through non-verbal communication.
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    Written communication can also be spoken communication.  One of the challenges of today’s technology is that the sender can ‘speak’ their written communication.  Unless they have a personal process that ensures the text, whether an email, social media, blog, memo, or another form of written communication is accurate; the message sent may not be interpreted by the receiver in the way in which the sender means.
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  • Visualisation Communication
    Visual communication has become a powerful communication tool through the use of images, graphs, charts, maps, logos, video and all forms of other visualisations.
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    When you look at social media today, often the ‘posts’ more frequently read are those with a compelling image.  In the same was as written communication, the image selected will be interpreted by the receiver using their own internal vision of the world.

THE BIGGEST COMMUNICATION PROBLEM IS ...

... WE DO NOT LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND.

WE LISTEN TO REPLY.

Stephen Covey

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THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN COMMUNICATION IS ...

... TO HEAR WHAT ISN'T BEING SAID.

Peter Drucker

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COMMUNICATION - THE HUMAN CONNECTION -

IS THE KEY TO

PERSONAL AND CAREER SUCCESS.

Paul J. Meyer

While communication is a simple process of sharing information, the complexities of the various methods of sharing the information, is what makes the process more difficult.

ACCOUNTABILITY IS THE GLUE ...

THAT BONDS COMMITMENT TO RESULTS.

Will Craig
Living the Hero’s Journey

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Communication

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WHEN YOU BLAME OTHERS.

YOU GIVE UP YOUR POWER TO CHANGE.

Dr Robert Anthony

Simply put, accountability is the obligation of each person to accept responsibility or to account for their actions or their communication as a Coach, a Mentor, or an individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation.

While communication is a large part of the Coaching and Mentoring industry, it is recognised by the IRCM CIC that each Coach, Mentor, or individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation is accountable for their actions.  With the simplicity of communication today it is very easy for the sender to share information in a way that is not professional.  For example, when the sender is frustrated, angry, upset, or overwhelmed they have the opportunity to do one of two things:

  1. the sender can send out the shared communication expressing their information in a way that is not professional, derogatory, or inaccurate, or.
  2. the sender can express their shared information but not send it out immediately.  Take a step back from what they have said and/or done and return to the communication sometime later, review what they wrote and take the opportunity to re-write it.

In this example, there is both the communication and the action.

The accountability clause under Personal Conduct in the Coaching and Mentoring Code of Industry Standards and Ethics simple states that it is the obligation of each person to accept the responsibility or to account for their actions as a Coach, a Mentor, or an individual working within the coaching and mentoring industry.

This accountability does not only relate to the sender, but also to the receiver.

  • How can the sender ensure that what they share through actions and/or communication is done in a professional manner?
  • How does the receiver see themselves when they are reading or listening to the shared information?
  • How can the receiver move into the position of the sender, and respond in a manner that is professional?

However the sender and the receiver behaves through actions or communication, it is their personal responsibility to accept accountability for the way in which they behave.

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Currently, all information provided by and correspondence with the IRCM CIC is in English.