Posted by Nathan Donaldson on 23 Nov, 2011
Having recently attended “The Coaching Stance” one of the concepts that has had a real impact for me is the idea of Designing the alliance. This comes from the co-active coaching world and is nicely described in Co-Active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives
Designing the alliance is the first step in any agile coaching relationship and is the key to empowering the coaching relationship. The alliance is designed together by the coach and coachee. Asking questions such as “How will we know if the coaching is working”, “What will make this relationship powerful” and “What can we count on from each other” set the stage for the relationship and make clear the expactions of coach and coachee.
Designing the alliance creates a shared understanding between the coach and the coachee of the boundaries, commitments, values and outcomes that each expect from the coaching relationship. This builds trust and empowers the coaching relationship.
The idea of Designing the alliance is very much in tune with the culture of Agile. The process of articulating expectations and prompting conversation is at the core of Agile and feels very familiar in this context. In a lot of ways I see this as analogous to the team charter. When creating a team charter the team articulates and discusses values, expectations and methodologies so that the team has a shared understanding of the culture they have created.
Like the team charter the alliance we design for coaching is a living agreement that will change and develop over time as necessary to reflect the changing goals, values and needs of the coach and coachee.
What is important to you when approaching an Agile coaching relationship?