How to start a coaching engagement (and where to go from that)

Evasive definitions, hippie style advice, sometimes that’s all you got when you ask about coaching, and the agile community is no exception.

When I started coaching myself I was dubious about all this fuzziness. My clients had honored me with a very powerful role, and they deserved to get the best of it. So I went to “serious” coaches for guidance, who I found adamant about the topic. “Coaching is a job with a structured approach, its specific rules and practices”. “No, your agile coaching does not escape these rules”.

Everyday since, I thank them for the simple yet structuring tools they gave me. Today I feel like a duty to share them again with others.

All it takes to start a powerful coaching engagement is to

  • set up your coaching frame properly and safely (for your client, for you)
  • follow a few do and don’t
  • be equipped with a few tools

The rest you’ll learn on the way, improving and developing your style, eventually joining a school or another. That’s another story. As for my session, I just want to help you start on the right way by giving you practical tools on how to start, and some guidance for following up.

Many of the examples I will use are of course Agile coaching examples (my major topic of coaching).

Bonus : come with your practical case, we'll work on it!

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Outline/structure of the Session

  • What is coaching
    • definition
    • Coaching vs expert or consultant
    • Where does the agile coach stand ?

Practice : do you know where you are ? do you know what you bought ?

  • Setting up your coaching frame
    • your first conversation : demand discovery
    • co-defining the engagement frame
    • using the coaching triangle

Practice : demand inquiry + writing a coaching engagement

  • Fulfilling your coaching engagement : 3 tools for a coaching MVP (or Minimal Viable Coaching) 
    • well I'm still sorting the list, but here's the candidates
    • systemic approach (and references)
    • shu ha ri and the coaching posture
    • self-awareness (and the pair coaching case)
    • socio-map
    • the coaching conversation aka powerful conversation
    • not getting caught : when the coachee attacks the frame (and you)
  • where to go next
    • boots ans references
    • schools ans certification
    • circle of practiioner

Practice : circle of practitioner 

Learning Outcome


Overall, a frame to start your coaching engagement knowing where you land your feet and feeling you have a safe guard

cf structure for detailed learnings

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Coaches, Clients of Agile Coaches

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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