Occupational health and safety (OHS) in Coaching is a set of rules to observe in order to avoid the many hazards that this profession may involve. The issue of paramount importance in this context seems to be the following question: where dangers come from and how a Coach can prevent them?
Acting according to elementary rules of occupational health and safety helps coaches, especially those starting their professional career, to avoid many setbacks and disappointments. Compliance with OHS principles has positive influence on all elements of a coaching system i.e. The client and his or her coach, the sponsor and entire business setting.
Main aspects of occupational health and safety of coach’s work are:
1. Detailed Contract with the sponsor
Signing a precise Contract with the sponsor protects from misunderstandings and misinterpretations as well as accusations of the coach being ineffective.
2. Precise contract with The client
Establishing a clear and businesslike contract with the client, based on clear-cut expectations for the coach’s working style, facilitates future cooperation.
3. Clarifying the results of The coaching process to the client
Clarifying Goals/results of the entire coaching process with all actors of the coaching system i.e. the organisation (HR department and client’s boss) as well as the client makes it easier to follow the process by asking proper questions, introducing interventions and using coaching tools.
4. Clarifying measurement factors of attaining goals
Clarifying measurement factors of attaining Goals allows for the effective revision of goals attained by the client throughout the entire coaching process, as well as the effectiveness of coach’s work.
Confidentiality is one of basic principles of coach’s work. It is connected both with what is discussed during coaching sessions as well as writing various summaries and reports. It gives the sense of privacy and security, makes it possible for the client to become open, and increases future positive recommendations for the coach.
6. Good Interpersonal relationships
In the case relationship with the client deteriorates (due to indiscretion, too strong intervention or inappropriate question) the coach should openly discuss it with the client in order to improve the relationship in The future.
7. Coach’s emotional state
Coach should take care about his mental and emotional state before and during a coaching session. He should break away from everyday troubles and become open and refrain from evaluating in order to entirely focus on the client and his or her matters.
8. Excessive empathy (understood as syntony)
Being overempathic may disturb a coaching session. While being excessively empathic we tend to focus too much on our own emotional state thus becoming incapable of neutrally looking at Problem s from the outside. Full of strong emotions, e.g. compassion, we lack the ability to offer professional help.
9. Looking from meta position
According to Karpman’s drama triangle theory it is better to remain neutral during entire coaching process, both while settling a contract with the sponsor and during coaching sessions. Playing any role, be it the role of a rescuer, can bring the opposite effect than intended. Coach does not play such games. During the session he is in meta position, looking at the situation from the outside.
10. Caring about the proper surrounding
The place in which we conduct the session should be both friendly and safe as well as neutral, that is, it should not awaken unpleasant associations and encourage to play professional roles e.g. the role of a business manager. The best thing to do is to meet outside of our client’s workplace.
11. Compliance with the code of ethics
This is an extremely important issue as it allows you to keep clear and predictable rules of work. Coaches who do not belong to international coaching organizations may apply the Code of Ethics set by the Polish Chamber of Coaching.
12. Insuring your coaching activity
Consider buying an insurance policy for your activities as a coach. There are numerous insurance companies on the market offering insurance policies for people/companies providing various services, however there is no specific insurance dedicated to coaching.