Agile Coaching – Code of Ethics


Above all else, I enter each engagement with an overall view of doing no harm, and when I exit, leaving the team having a better way of working. It’s my Prime Directive.

As your coaching partner…

  • I will enter each coaching relationship with a focus on your teams readiness, open mindedness towards change, and a willingness to engage as leaders.
  • I will not sign a contract with you with revenue being my primary driver or cost being the your  primary driver. The focus should be on achieving Business Agility and Business Outcomes.
  • I enter with a goal of partnership, shared work, and shared outcomes. I will not engage with you in a client/service model or a contractual model as our primary working relationship.
  • I will hold your context, whether we include it under NDA or not, in the utmost confidence.
  • I will endeavour to be a truth-teller. Even when you struggle to handle the truth. Included with that will be occasionally telling you no, or I can’t do that, or in my experience you’r making a mistake, or you should get another coach. I owe you nothing less than honest engagement.
  • I will always enter your engagement via a Discovery iteration based on observation. That is, exploring your goals, your team, and your culture and then proposing a path of (agile teaching, facilitating, coaching and mentoring) that I believe will achieve your goals.
  • I will take some time, as part of my early engagement with you, to share my Code of Ethics and make it part of our coaching agreement and general operating understanding. It’s the foundation of any / all letters of expectation and statements of work.

I will endeavour to model the behaviours I expect from you, including:

  • Listening to Understand
  • Honest and Radical Candor
  • Transparency in Everything
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Walking my Talk
  • Leaving my Baggage at the Door
  • Respect for you History & Results
  • Respect for your Team
  • Respect for your Leaders
  • Focus on your Team First

As an Agile Coach…

  • As a coach, I will not coach in areas where I have no direct (only academic) experience. And I will disclose these gaps to my client.
  • As a coach, I will always endeavour to meet my clients “where they are”, as opposed to where I want them to be. That being said, I will push them hard.
  • As a coach, I will not only adopt a coaching stance with my clients, but I’ll teach, mentor, consult, and guide them as is appropriate for a partner. Point being—I won’t make them come up with everything on their own.
  • As a coach, I will not take over-ownership of the client’s actions, ownership, or ultimate results. Yes, we’re partners, but in the end, they have to be the owners of their actions and behaviours.
  • As a coach, I will endeavour to model the agile principles and my own coaching agreements/ethics in every client interaction. Showing them agile principles and behaviours by example.
  • As a coach, I will not become a party to evaluating the performance levels (or agile readiness / evolution) of the client’s employees, including the client themselves. No judgment.
  • As a coach, my coaching philosophy is to teach my clients to fish and to “put myself out of a job” as soon as possible. That being said, it takes time to “become agile”.
  • As a coach, I will pair-coach as often as possible because it increases the impact of my coaching and the value to the client. It also raises the skill, performance, and learning of the coaches.
  • As a coach, I will treat my coaching clients with respect, as I would expect to be treated, in all interactions. I will also call out inappropriate actions as I see them within the client environment.
  • As a coach, I will fully support deep diversity and inclusion in each clients ecosystem.
  • As a coach, I will approach all client interactions without past/historical judgment. Applying a mindset that they tried their best given the situation and historical context. Point being—we will learn from the past, but focus on the future.
I fully support each client and team member “Holding Me Accountable” to the agile coaching ethics, please Call Me On It, if you ever feel I am missing the mark in walking my own talk.


* Thank you to Bob Galen for permission to adopt and adapt his Agile Coaching – Code of Ethics