In order for the relationship between coach and executive to be effective, the executive must be able to openly discuss personal feelings and concerns regarding their jobs, their leaders and colleagues, the organization and its strategy and many other issues. Without confidentiality, which is a necessary precursor to trust-building, the coach will be unable to understand the executive's challenges with sufficient complexity. Therefore, it is paramount that clear ground rules regarding confidentiality are agreed upon between the executive, coach, leader and HR during the contracting process.
While the content of the coaching conversations should remain confidential between the coach and executive, we do recommend that summary-level progress reports from both the coach and executive, focused on progress or obstacles toward developmental objectives, commitments and results, be shared with other stakeholders in the process. Additionally, any discussions of illegal, criminal or unethical behavior should not be subject to the confidentiality agreement.