Designing an alliance

One of the tools that I learned about in The Coaching Stance class is how to design an alliance (based on CTI work) . At first I was think – no way – I am not asking any of my friends and co-workers to sign a “coaching contract”…and then as I listened and we practiced I began to learn that it is not about a piece of paper. It’s not even about a contract. It’s about the relationship.

This helped me to understand why in so many classes – at the start of the class the instructor often starts with ground rules…asking the participants to contribute ground rules. I am always thinking, let’s go! Just tell us the ground rules, no problem. We are wasting time 🙂 But now I see that the teacher is designing a kind of alliance too. By inviting us participants to contribute. It is even effective – because when someone adds to the list “full participation”  or “everyone participates” I am reminded to both step up my game and also to invite others to speak up through out the session (because I am a Myers Briggs extrovert… often talking – thinking outloud… like right now even as I write this post. And so many of my fellow learners are introverts….

Here are the basics to begin with:

Asking for permission to coach … (if new relationship or new approach describe the coaching that you are offering – there are many meanings and understandings of what coaching is…)

Then have a conversation about the culture/space/tone and about the co-responsibility –  “how will we work together when things get challenging, what will you want me to do?”

Another of the many questions to ask ” what else do you know about how you want to be coached?”

notes from The Coaching Stance class

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2 Responses to “Designing an alliance”

  1. Tracie Sloat Says:

    Hi Margaret,
    Thought you might be interested in this recent article in The New Yorker. Just tweeted the link:

    Another great article by Atul Gawande–Personal Best: Top athletes and singers have coaches. Should you? http://nyr.kr/q5iRjZ #coaching

    I enjoy learning about what you do. Hope you are well.
    -Tracie Sloat

  2. Lyssa Adkins Says:

    Glad to see the work we did in The Coaching Stance class move into your life. I just had such a “designing the alliance” conversation with a VP this week and now I have explicit permission to bring it to his attention when he does something that does not uphold the agile values. He came up with that one, not me – but it was the fact that I started the “weird” conversation that allowed it to come forth. Designed alliances are cool.

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