A safe coaching environment for LGBTQ+ coachees

A safe coaching environment for LGBTQ+ coachees

shadows on rainbow coloured cloth

5 October 2023

Siobhan Lynam, our Volunteer Deputy Director for  Diversity and Inclusion, comments on a current diversity and inclusion issue. Add your own comment to this on our LinkedIn post.

Mat Daniel’s recent article on how coaches can support gay men with gay aspects of their professional lives, is the first empirical study on this topic in the coaching space. What has taken us so long? Read Mat’s article here.

The LGBTQ+ population continue to face discrimination in several aspects of their lives, including employment. It is therefore likely that issues related to discrimination and gay identity may be relevant in coaching conversations.

Mat pointed out the importance of coaches creating opportunities for a coachee to discuss their sexuality. He discussed how coaches first need to establish a strong coaching relationship, and the need to reflect on their own prejudices and assumptions, including an examination of heteronormativity, and to be mindful of the challenges facing gay men.

He also suggests that coaches should actively demonstrate acceptance of the gay identity, and that this should be reflected in all aspects of the coaching interaction, including their online presence.

To adequately support our LGBTQ+ coachees, we need to reflect on our own role in allowing the continuity of discrimination and re-examine how we present ourselves and our coaching practice. Most importantly, we can ask ourselves if we are providing an environment in which our LGBTQ+ coachees feel safe to discuss all aspects of their identity.

Here are some questions for coaches and supervisors. Please share your own experiences on our LinkedIn post:

How can coaches’ sensitively provide opportunities for gay and other LGBTQ+ coachees to discuss their sexual and other identities?

How inclusive are our coaching websites and the online coaching space?

Image by Esee Hicolave on Unsplash