RIGHT Conduct

By Phil Valentine (with input from the entire CCAR staff)

As the Recovery Coach field gains momentum, it’s imperative that we recovery coaches conduct ourselves RIGHT. Many people are scrutinizing us, some with a high degree of skepticism. In our Professionalism training we ask participants…

“Who are recovery coaches accountable to?”

The list generated usually surprises the class. They find recovery coaches are accountable to recoverees, families, employers, funding sources, treatment providers, medical staff (especially in emergency departments), first responders, police, other community entities and the community at large. As people delve deeper, the accountability circle expands to include the media, the recovery coach profession, the recovery community, recovery in general and God.

Trainers let the “weight” of this discovery sink in. Then they offer some encouragement. Along with this burden, comes tremendous opportunity. This is a colossal chance to show that recovery coaching is a powerful, logical solution… when done RIGHT. In all our interactions, we must conduct ourselves RIGHT to elevate the recovery coach profession.

Respect. Be polite. Treat everyone with honor and admiration. Be curious. Use appropriate language. Pay attention to your appearance – is it respectful for the situation?

Integrity. Your integrity is directly related to your credibility and trustworthiness. Simply, let your yes mean yes and your no mean no. Another way to think of integrity is to consistently do the next right thing, even when no one is watching.

Gratitude. Gratitude is contagious. Recovery coaches who are genuinely content, peaceful and appreciative connect with people easily.

Honesty. One of the recovery coach roles is truth teller. We encourage coaches to be honest with compassion when interacting with recoverees. Tell your truth without blame or judgment. Honesty is also a prerequisite to the recovery coaching fundamental of discovering and managing our own stuff.

Transparency. Think of intimacy as “into me you see”. Transparency and intimacy are closely related. Transparency also requires a sizable dose of vulnerability. It’s a very engaging way to live. A person with transparency has nothing to hide, no hidden agenda. You can trust a transparent person.

I first talked about RIGHT when thinking about sustainability for CCAR. I used to say that if CCAR conducted itself with Honesty, Integrity and Transparency (HIT), then resources would follow, both financial and human. This has proven true.

Over the last few years, I added Respect and Gratitude. At our last full staff meeting during our discussion on leadership, we explored what it meant for us personally and for CCAR to do things RIGHT. People chimed in with responses that warmed my heart.

• It’s fundamental to coaching recovery in the emergency department.
• Serves as a springboard to personal growth.
• People are drawn to us and want what we have; it’s what got me started.
• The proof is in the pudding.
• This is foundational to recovery and to CCAR.

Three questions for you.

1. Are you, personally, living within these parameters?
2. Does the organization you work for conduct itself RIGHT?
3. What would happen if all Recovery Community Organizations (RCO) embraced this concept in all their affairs?

CCAR embraces RIGHT. I do my best to live RIGHT, but I’ll be the first to acknowledge my imperfections. For me, it’s still progress, not perfection.



8 thoughts on “RIGHT Conduct”

  1. WOW!, Right Click, you hit the nail RIGHT on the head with this one. When I conduct myself with respect, integrity, gratitude, honesty and transparency in all my affairs then I know I’m livin’ right. Awesome stuff! I love reading and responding to your posts. Yours in advocacy, Reiki Girl

  2. RIGHT on.
    Well-played, Phil. And kudos to the entire CCAR staff.
    Your latest missive is chock full of words to live—and coach—by.
    To your questions?
    1. Yes. And my world is a better place for it.
    2. Sometimes. ONLY sometimes. Which means not ALL the time. Consequently, I often wonder why I still work there.
    3. Then life would be a non-stop “sing around the campfire” world in which beautiful choruses of “Cumbaya” would rule the day and echo into each and every night.
    Sadly, this isn’t the case.
    As we grow the “brand” of Recovery Coaching as both a viable and commendable profession, it’s important we continue to evolve as coaches…both individually and as part of whatever RCO we call home.
    One way I get and stay RIGHT?
    By attending as many trainings as I can, and by subscribing to blogs and newsletters I can count on to keep me informed as to what is trending in the recovery industry….like this blog, for instance.
    (And if you haven’t tuned in to one of Art Woodard’s webinars yet, I suggest you “run don’t walk” to the next one.)
    And if that sounds like a RIGHT-eous plug for CCAR?
    I guess it is.
    Cheers, all….
    And happy National Recovery Month!!!

  3. Thanks, Phil and CCAR! Of course, certified peer recovery professionals – for example, Certified Addiction Recovery Coaches (CARC) and Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPA; the IC&RC peer recovery certification in New York State) – are also accountable under their mandatory professional ethics such as the NYCB Code of Ethical Conduct & Disciplinary Procedures. Such ethical codes promote the profession and its practitioners, while protecting the public from unscrupulous (or WRONG) practice. Failure to maintain these ethical standards will result in significant consequences, potentially including loss of the certification. For further information, please see the New York Certification Board website – http://www.asapnys.org/ny-certification-board/.

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