So what is PairCoaching all about? Is a question I get a lot.
A few years back, when my father and I did a retrospective on a leadership game we had done earlier that week, we noticed that some of the leaders we ask to lead in a certain way, had trouble doing it.
So we talked about how we could support them more.
(In one part of the game, the leader had to be command-and-control, in another part we needed a proces leader)
While talking about that, my father suggested to use a pair of leaders.
It seems very logical to do so, as we did our session also with two people.
(And I know he does all of his workshops with someone else.)
Somewhere in the conversation he dropped the term PairCoaching.
He wrote a nice article about it, that we distribute to the players of the game.
Since that moment I have been talking more and more about PairCoaching.
I think that the quality goes dramatically up when you have two people doing a job. For important jobs I think it is good to have a pair doing the work.
Pilots are always with two in a cockpit. Is it overhead? Sure it could be, I think all the passengers of the flight 61 (Brussels Newark of 19 june 2009), are really happy there was a co-pilot, when the main pilot had a heart attack.
In corporate life the default leadership style is one leader, that leads a team somewhere between 5 to 500 people.
In personal life the default leadership style is two leaders, that lead a family of 1 till 17 children.
Oh yes you can lead a family on your own. I have friends who are single parent, they do a great job, and they’ll tell you it’s tough alone.
I propose more people should try leading a team with 2 people.
In some sense people are already doing that in the agile world:
A scrum master and a PO have some kind of leadership role. Yes both roles are different, just like a mother role and a father role are different.
And sometimes a PO does more SM tasks, and a SM jumps in and helps on the PO taks. Like father and mothers switch roles also from time to time.
In a good running family, the mother and father consult each other on important decisions.
Another example I see in corporate life is at the top of companies:
you have a CEO and a president of the board.
Both roles are different, they share the responsibility for the company.
Update: A few weeks ago there was a session at an Agile Coach Camp about PairCoaching. Read the transcription here.