Code of Ethical Conduct for Agile Coaching

DRAFT January 2021

Preamble

People serving in an agile coaching role are expected to act ethically, but what does that mean in practice?

The intent of this Code of Ethical Conduct for Agile Coaching (Code) is to provide guidance for people undertaking agile coaching activities, working with individuals, teams and organisations (irrespective of their role or job title) to guide the types of behaviours, advice, and approaches expected of them.

Agile coaching is an evolving profession encompassing many disciplines including individual, team and systemic coaching, facilitating, teaching and mentoring, all applied with an open and deliberate bias towards using agile approaches to help address the client’s needs.

The intention of this Code is to provide an evolving single source of ethical guidance for agile coaching across the broad range of constituent disciplines.

This Code is not a legally binding contract that mandates what a person can and cannot do.

The complexity of agile coaching means that you will inevitably encounter difficult situations.This Code is intended to assist you by directing you to the variety of ethical factors that may need to be taken into consideration

Anyone who embraces the Code strives to act ethically, even when doing so involves making difficult decisions. They act courageously, even if there is a personal negative impact. This Code will help support you when these difficult decisions need to be made and you can provide it in support of your decisions to your clients. It supports you to communicate about your actions.

The signatories of this Code are multicultural, multigenerational, and affiliated with many different groups. We believe that the power of this movement is amplified when we set aside differences and lift each other up in pursuit of a better way. We commit to supporting each other in difficult decisions and courageous conversations.

This Code is supported by additional explanations in the Ethics Scenarios document, available on the Agile Alliance Agile Coaching Ethics initiative website.

As an ethical agile coach I commit myself to the following:

Confidentiality and information security

  1. I will protect information shared with me and won’t disclose it without agreement or legal reason.

Acting within your ability

  1. I will be open and transparent about my skills and experience and I won’t claim to have abilities or knowledge that I do not have.
  2. I will be honest with the client if I believe they need another form of professional help.

Introspection and continuing professional development

  1. I will engage in introspection and I will engage with a peer group or mentor to explore ethical and other challenges in my agile coaching work.
  2. I will seek to improve my self-awareness and effectiveness through professional development.

Conflicts of interest

  1. I will be transparent about any potential conflicts of interest with all who might be affected and I won’t act with dishonor.
  2. I will withdraw from the relationship if a conflict cannot be adequately managed.

Social responsibility, includes diversity and inclusion

  1. I will seek opportunities to bring different voices to the conversation and I won’t condone, allow or perpetuate discrimination in any form.
  2. By my action and inaction, I will strive to leave society better than I found it.

Ensuring the relationship is valuable for both coach and the client 

  1. I will ensure that the relationship remains valuable and I won’t extend it unnecessarily.
  2. I will be honest about any perception of declining value.

Agreeing on boundaries

  1. I will ensure we have an agreed scope.
  2. I will work with the client to understand their needs rather than impose my own solution.
  3. I will not collude with an organisation that is pursuing purposes at odds with the Agile Manifesto’s Values and Principles.

Abuse of power

  1. I will not abuse my power to influence others for personal gain.

Responsibility to the profession

  1. I will uphold the reputation of the agile coaching profession.
  2. I won’t condone and will challenge unethical behaviour in others in the profession.
  3. I will attribute other’s ideas appropriately and avoid the appearance they are mine.

Agile Coaching Ethics Scenarios

DRAFT January 2021

Preamble

This document provides additional context to the ideas in the Code of Ethical Conduct for Agile Coaching (Code).

The purpose of the ethics scenarios is to help readers identify the types of dilemmas they may face and to give them examples of appropriate and inappropriate ethical behaviour in different contexts. The scenarios are intended to provide guidance for people undertaking

agile coaching activities, working with individuals, teams and organisations to guide the types of behaviours, advice, and approaches expected of them.

These scenarios are applicable to those who are internal agile coaches, external agile coaches and those practicing agile coaching as part of another role (for example a manager in an organisation who is expected to also be an agile coach, likewise someone in the role of Scrum Master is often taking on some or all aspects of agile coaching). These scenarios are intended to provide examples of appropriate and inappropriate ethical behaviour to help guide your thinking when faced with dilemmas such as those shown here.

This is far from a comprehensive list of the types of challenges people undertaking agile coaching will face and the scenarios are being updated as we receive feedback from the community. Please feel free to share your own stories and examples by sending an email to AgileCoachingEthics@agilealliance.org

Scenarios

Confidentiality and information security

  1. I will protect information shared with me and won’t disclose it without agreement or legal reason.

Example appropriate:

You are asked to help evaluate the agile health of several areas of a business. Before each interview you establish a level of confidentiality that you will anonymize results. As the assessment is conducted the CxO requests a report which includes the results per person. You provide anonymized data so as to protect the identity of the individuals being interviewed.

Why appropriate? The information passed on is what was agreed upon upfront.

Example inappropriate:

You are asked to report on the habits of individuals in a team you have been coaching which has not been performing well. You agree to provide the information without the team’s permission.

Why inappropriate? You are sharing information without the coachee’s knowledge.

Example gray area:

You have been coaching an individual for some length of time. You have had several coaching conversations with them. A corporate security professional approaches you about a corporate policy that was violated by your coachee. You recall a specific conversation where your coachee mentioned actions about this potential; you don’t fully know the policy. You have no mention in your contract about enforcing the corporate policy. Upon reflection, you do share the information about the conflict with the security professional.

Why gray? You have an obligation to protect all information shared by the coachee and should only disclose information defined through the contract or if legally obliged to do so. Since you have no mention of enforcing or reporting corporate policy violations in your contract, you need to carefully consider the ethical impact of your actions before sharing any information.

Some actions you could take to help make the decision:

  • Consider the legalities of the issue, which may include seeking legal council ● Inform the coachee and get their permission to share the information without pressuring them to do so
  • Consider the context of your own contracted role with the organisation and other obligations that this brings (e.g. if you are a manager employed by the company or an externally contracted party)
  • Consider asking for peer advice

Acting within your ability

  1. I will be open and transparent about my skills and experience and I won’t claim to have abilities or knowledge that I do not have.
  2. I will be honest with the client if I believe they need another form of professional help.

Example appropriate:

You learn that your client has a need for some use of a tool with which you have no practical experience. You make this fact known and ask if they would like to enter a partnership where you are both learning how to use the technique together. They agree to jointly explore the use of this technique.

Example appropriate:

Given the same situation you ask if they would prefer another coach come in and help them, of which you can help arrange. They agree that you can bring this other coach into the relationship.

Why appropriate? You ensured the client knew you had no practical experience and they still agreed to work with you.

In the second example, they agreed that you could bring in additional support.

Example appropriate:

While being interviewed to start a position, the hiring sponsor asks how your current organization, their competitor, approaches their agile transformations and their results. They also indicate that they want you to take an identical approach once onboard as they presently have a better market position. You mention that these are considered corporate confidential and you can’t reveal the strategy used. The manager continues to pressure for an answer and finally says that is the primary reason they are willing to hire you. You choose to terminate the interview.

Why appropriate? Choosing to not reveal one client’s proprietary information to another would create a breach of confidentiality.

Example inappropriate:

A potential client requires someone with extensive practical experience in a specific topic. You oversell your theoretical knowledge as practical experience in order to get the assignment.

Why inappropriate? You have claimed to have abilities that you do not have.

Example inappropriate:

In order to help a team to gain a better understanding of dynamics during a retrospective you leverage tools and techniques from other fields that you have been exposed to but have no professional qualification, to encourage team members to expose their unlying fears and needs. You offer vague assurances that you understand what you are doing.

Why inappropriate? Leveraging tools and techniques that you are not professionally qualified to use can do more harm than good. Assurances without professional qualification is a misrepresentation.

Introspection and continuing professional development

  1. I will engage in introspection and I will engage with a peer group or mentor to explore ethical and other challenges in my agile coaching work.
  2. I will seek to improve my self-awareness and effectiveness through professional development.

Example appropriate:

You meet once a month in groups of three within your organization to discuss any ethical challenges that you are experiencing, and to support each other through other challenges in your coaching work. The discussions during this peer-group reflection are kept confidential. All those being coached are aware that these peer reflection meetings take place.

Why appropriate? The meetings provide a safe container for you to explore challenges with colleagues who share adherence to this Code and can maintain client confidentiality.

Example appropriate (mentor):

You have been finding internal peer support sessions valuable. However a more sensitive challenge has recently highlighted itself. You decide to take this challenge to your external mentor in order to check you are remaining ethical and come up with some fresh ideas on how to approach the situation.

Why appropriate? Internal peer review sessions are valuable due to the extra organisational context they provide. However sometimes this can cause a biased view (fishbowl effect) on how to approach the situation or you might not feel safe to speak about certain topics. An external mentor can bring some fresh perspectives to the challenge.

Example inappropriate (mentoring/peer-support):

You are concerned about the mental health of a team member, and are unsure about whether and how to (a) tailor your coaching to keep the team safe, and (b) approach the team member or someone else in the organisation about your concerns. You don’t have access to a peer-support group or mentor.

Why inappropriate? You have a challenging ethical dilemma, but lack the skills and experience to resolve it yourself. Because you do not have access to a peer-support group or mentor, you have no way to access advice and support without breaching confidentiality.

Example appropriate (continuous professional development):

You attend a mixture of conferences, workshops and training each year. You share your experience and learnings during peer reflection.

Why appropriate? Although experienced, the coach recognises the importance of keeping their skills and knowledge up to date, and of broadening their understanding of related fields.

Example inappropriate (continuous professional development):

You have been working with teams for many years and are considered to be a leader in the field. You occasionally speak at conferences and run training sessions for less experienced coaches, but don’t see any value in attending workshops or training yourself.

Why inappropriate? Agile coaching is an evolving profession and coaches have an ethical duty to ensure they are offering up to date ideas and approaches, especially when training or mentoring others.

Example inappropriate (community support):

You are invited to share knowledge at an agile event. You decline because you state that all the participants are unworthy of your learning because they are either too junior or they won’t understand.

Why inappropriate? There is an expectation that agile coaches learn from others and further the community as a whole.

Example transition from gray to inappropriate:

You specifically curate a peer group to have similar ideas and biases. Over time you recognize that your position in the peer group delivers personal and market power (such as the ability to lock in a customer for their services) but continue to use the group as your only support.

Why inappropriate (ish)? Gray area when the person is unaware of the personal gain from the group. As they recognize the group is no longer offering peer support and is now for personal gain it becomes inappropriate. They should have taken steps to alter the group to provide the original purpose, perhaps by adding some diversity or alternatively find a new way to receive peer support.

Conflicts of interest

  1. I will be transparent about any potential conflicts of interest with all who might be affected and I won’t act with dishonor.
  2. I will withdraw from the relationship if a conflict cannot be adequately managed.

Example appropriate:

You own stake in a product. As you work with a team, you discover your product can meet their needs. You make it clear that you have a stake in the product, and remove yourself from the decision making process of selecting that product.

Why appropriate? You make the conflict clear and do not influence the decision making process.

Example appropriate:

While coaching within your organization, you develop a friendship with a leader working for one of your vendor partners. They ask you to be their personal leadership coach. After checking your employment contract and non-compete clause, you confirm you’re able to offer services that are not related to agile or your company’s direct line of business. You talk to your supervisor to let them know of your intent and confirm you understanding of the contract. They are supportive of your decision. As a result, you establish a professional coaching relationship with this person.

Why appropriate? You take the time to confirm you are not violating your employment agreement and ensure there is transparency with your direct leadership before taking the person on as a client.

Example appropriate:

When coaching your coachee tells you information about budget and rates that could influence your future bidding. You make sure they understand you now know something that will influence your contract negotiations in the future that might be a conflict of interest and ask if they want you to continue bidding. .

Why appropriate? You are transparent with your coachee about the potential conflict of interest that may result

Example inappropriate:

Your client is asking for an evaluation of an external product. You do not disclose your stake in one of the product competitors, and influence the decision making process to choose the product you own.

Why inappropriate? You are influencing the decision in your own interest and not disclosing the conflict.

Example inappropriate:

As an agile coach you do not disclose your relationship as a technical sales representative for a tool and push your coachee to use or buy the tool.

Why inappropriate? You are creating financial benefit for yourself/your organization without disclosing affiliation with the client.

Example inappropriate:

You are actively working on renewing a coaching contract and know the person that will decide on whether to renew your contract really wants to go to a finals game for their favorite sports team. You buy tickets and invite them to attend.

Why inappropriate? You are attempting to influence the decision making process by establishing reciprocity.

Example gray:

You are coaching a hiring manager at a client organization. After a coaching session, the client asks if you know of any other coaches that are available and you put in a good word for your colleagues.

Why gray? Without knowing if you are familiar with the quality of these people or if you are incentivised to place your colleagues with this client makes it a grey area.

Example gray:

You are contracted by a large consulting firm to provide agile coaching services for a client. They have informed you that at the end of the month your contract will be terminated, citing your high cost. Before your last day, you let the client know that you will be available as an independent should they want to use your services in the future. You don’t provide the reason or do any further solicitation.

Why gray? As you are leveraging a relationship that was provided by the consulting company that hired you, without knowing the context of how or when the conversation occurred or factors in relation to your employment status, this makes this a grey area as to whether or not you are breaching any local laws or employment agreements.

Social responsibility, includes diversity and inclusion

  1. I will seek opportunities to bring different voices to the conversation and I won’t condone, allow or perpetuate discrimination in any form.
  2. By my action and inaction, I will strive to leave society better than I found it.

Example Appropriate:

While working with a team you coach, you observe an interaction when one team member inquires about another team members political beliefs. You can tell the person was polite and engaged in the conversation, but was ultimately uncomfortable discussing the topic in the workplace. Later, you find time with the team member, and ask about the interaction. You remind them that the team’s working agreement calls for respect and safety. Through the conversation the team member realizes the fear the question may have raised and agrees it will be a good topic for the next retrospective. You also find the team member who was uncomfortable and chat with them as well. During the team’s next retrospective you offer a specific question about how the team is doing with this topic in order to create space for people to share.

Why appropriate? The coach’s behavior does not call out individuals in front of the team and stays within the agreed upon boundaries of the team’s working agreement which empowers the team to explore and address the issue.

Example appropriate:

After several years of testing and implementing a transformation plan in one part of the world, you attempted to roll out the same transformation plan in a different region. You quickly discover that the plan that has worked before isn’t working. You sit down with the team and ask them what they think could be impacting the rollout. They identify some cultural challenges and you work with them to adapt the plan based on local norms. Going forward,you no longer assume the plan will work in every locale, and instead have a conversation first and customize the plan to the specific needs of the group.

Why appropriate? Initially the coach led with the assumption that what works for one group will work for all others. By taking the time to be curious, listen and learn, the coach was able to overcome cultural bias and offer a way forward that was specific to the people they are serving.

Example appropriate:

You are coaching a team that has a new team member on it. The new person is the first person of color to be on the team since it got started 18 months ago. After about a week you notice a pattern of this person often being interrupted. Also, many of their ideas are co-opted by the team lead, so they are not getting proper credit for their contributions. As a coach, you bring up the situation with the team lead one-on-one. They are surprised and agree to examine their behavior and change it. After several weeks, the team lead decides to also bring it up during a retrospective and the whole team has a strong conversation about treating each other more respectfully and they update their working agreement.

Why appropriate? Unconsciously disrespectful behaviour is identified and addressed

Example appropriate:

A team member you are coaching uses language or tone that you perceive as offensive. On your next 1:1 with the team member you share your perception and agree a plan to move forward.

Why appropriate? What is offensive to one person might be acceptable to another person. As a coach, it is our responsibility to raise awareness about how language is perceived and potential subconscious bias at play. It is our duty to work together to create a more inclusive work environment.

Example appropriate:

You are a member of an agile community, several participants disagree with another group members’ so called antiquated approach to the problem. You initially agree with the wider group’s thoughts but you remain neutral and help the group reflect on the conversation and any impact it might have had along with some deeper learnings from both approaches.

Why appropriate? You help the community to notice its views and to learn from a wider knowledge base without making anyone wrong.

Example inappropriate:

While coaching a team, you introduce the idea that every sprint planning session begins with a religious devotional to help the team center before starting their work. The team feels they can’t express discomfort with the idea and goes along. The practice makes several people who do not share the same religious conviction uncomfortable who won’t bring it up because they do not feel safe.

Why inappropriate? Imposing your beliefs on others violates the free choice of those that do not share the same belief structure. This type of action can also create barriers between people that inhibits communication.

Example inappropriate:

During training with a team, a male member of the group consistently gives nicknames to the women in the group such as “Little Lady”, “Mama Bear”, or “Doll”. You say nothing and let the behavior continue to keep the peace.

Why inappropriate? Unchallenged bad behavior will be reinforced and continue which hurts the team.

Example inappropriate:

You are facilitating a session with a group that has varied levels of experience, you knowingly give preference to those with deeper proficiency by creating more space for their voices and exploration of the topics they are interested in whilst discarding marginal voices.

Why inappropriate? You are knowingly showing bias towards those sharing their experience and level of knowledge and excluding other voices that are you are supposed to be serving.

Example gray:

You are helping to hire for a role on your team for a client and notice one vendor only sends resumes for women. Curious, you ask about this. The vendor says the role you are hiring for is typically part-time and the best candidates for the job were women. Initially, you are offended but instead of saying so, you seek to learn more.

Why gray? As a coach our role is to call out inconsistent behaviours, therefore appropriate action would be to follow up with the vendor 1:1 and ensure that subconscious bias has not been applied in the job advertisement language, the way candidates were selected or the way interviews were conducted. If subconscious bias can be identified, then this scenario is a discrimination and it is breaking the law in most countries.

Ensuring the relationship is valuable for both coach and the client

  1. I will ensure that the relationship remains valuable and I won’t extend it unnecessarily.
  2. I will be honest about any perception of declining value.

Example appropriate:

You realize that a coaching engagement is no longer adding value. You openly discuss the issue with the sponsor and team and agree to adjust the coaching agreement so that it delivers value to all parties.

Why appropriate? The agile coach has informed the organization of diminishing value and has facilitated an open discussion. If an agreement could not be made then you would need to consider an internal role change or leave the organization.

Example appropriate:

The team you have been working with has reached their agreed outcomes. You signal this achievement to the sponsors and team.

Why appropriate? It is the duty of the agile coach to indicate that the agreed goals have been met and only extend if there are new agreed goals to be reached.

Example inappropriate:

Three months into an engagement, you realize that the team is not getting the support from leadership that was promised. You suspect the team will be unable to meet their goals without this support. You do not raise this with the team or management, in order to hold onto your job.

Why inappropriate? It is the agile coaches duty to inform the organization of any reduced value and where appropriate discuss different ways value may be added.

Example inappropriate:

You are tasked to coach and support a team implementing an agile lifecycle management tool. You have deep technical expertise with the tool. As a part of the coaching agreement you are to help the team learn and grow their technical expertise while mentoring and coaching. You see an opportunity to extend the work by making the team dependent on your technical expertise. To achieve your goal, you purposely don’t empower the team.

Why inappropriate? You create a dependency so the team can’t become self-sufficient and autonomous. If there is a genuine need for a technical expert in the team then you could apply for that and relinquish the coaching role.

Example inappropriate:

Your coaching agreement is to coach a team to de-escalate contention between members of a team. However, the sponsor of the engagement has asked you to secretly gather information to help them build a case for terminating a specific team member.

Why inappropriate? You are actively concealing your real role in the organization and reporting on team progress and work, without the team’s knowledge.

Example gray:

You are not sure the role you are performing can deliver the value agreed upon in the coaching agreement as the group is rapidly evolving due to several acquisitions. The amount of change based on the changing roles and turnover as new people are added and others redeployed makes it seemingly impossible to get the team or management attention needed. You decide to spend a few more months to determine if the environment will settle down to a point where you can deliver on the coaching agreement.

Why gray? Delaying having the tough conversation after discovering that you not delivering as much value as possible makes this a grey area

Agreeing on boundaries

  1. I will ensure we have an agreed scope.
  2. I will work with the client to understand their needs rather than impose my own solution.
  3. I will not collude with an organisation that is pursuing purposes at odds with the Agile Manifesto’s Values and Principles.

Example appropriate:

A coaching agreement is found to be overly broad in relation to the role of the coach and it’s not clear who the coach should work with or what the objectives of the work are. The issue is discussed with the client for resolution and the parties agree to review and amend it.

Why appropriate? The coach is working with the client to ensure an understanding and agreement on what will be done.

Example appropriate:

You are an agile coach working with an organisation. Leadership has identified the need to reduce headcount significantly in order to ensure the ongoing survival or the business. They announce an agile adoption during which all roles will be re-assessed. They do not make it clear that the headcount reduction will be a part of this. Based on the agile values of respect and safety. You challenge this and convince the leaders to clarify and communicate the context for both the headcount reduction and the agile adoption as part of the overall communication.

Why appropriate? The coach is trying to ensure transparency so that individuals can understand their options.

Example appropriate:

Your client where you work as an agile coach has unrealistic expectations regarding your availability and working hours. You notice this and propose to clarify working hours/work schedule in your contract/working agreement.

Why appropriate? In a coaching contract, it is advised that both parties clearly state, agree and abide by each other’s boundaries.

Example inappropriate:

A coach trying to build their business by bringing other coaches into an existing agreement that were not under the organization to which they were hired where there is not a real need. In this case, they are inappropriately leveraging an approach for monetary and power/influence gain through organizational politics as opposed to seeking permission from the affected organization.

Why inappropriate? The coach is trying to leverage their position of power to maximize their billing.

Example inappropriate:

As a coach working on a contract for another organization or company, you are taking time during agreed working hours to respond to a request for proposal for another company instead of devoting your time to the organization that is paying you.

Why inappropriate? The coach is being paid by a client to perform work for them during a specific work schedule and the coach is performing work during this timeframe that has nothing to do with their existing contract.

Example inappropriate:

As an agile coach/consultant you artificially extend the need for coaching your client intentionally or unintentionally, due to lack of clear end dates and/or a lack of agreed measures of success in your coaching contract. The lack of boundaries therefore may create a long continuing, hard to end relationship between you and your client.

Why inappropriate? An agile coaching contract and its outcomes should be defined in a way that both parties should be able to review progress and can end the contract when the outcomes have been sufficiently achieved.

Abuse of power

  1. I will not abuse my power to influence others for personal gain.

Example appropriate:

A coach is coaching someone and the relationship soon turns personal and intimate feelings develop. The feelings are mutual from both coach and coachee and a sexual relationship soon develops. The coach terminates the coaching relationship.

Why appropriate? The termination of the coaching relationship retains the integrity of the neutral coaching stance.

Example appropriate:

A coach learns of proprietary information (such as a merger), that if used, could be a financial benefit to themselves. The client is unaware that this type of information is available to non-employees. The coach immediately informs the client of the breach, so they can fix the exposure, and does not use the information for personal gain.

Why appropriate? It is appropriate because we put our client’s best interest first, help notify them of risk, and not abuse the information for your own gain.

Example inappropriate:

A coach is coaching someone and the relationship soon turns personal and intimate feelings develop. The feelings are mutual from both coach and coachee and a sexual relationship soon develops. The coach continues to have a coaching relationship with the coachee.

Why inappropriate? It will be impossible for the coach to remain in the neutral coaching stance working with this coachee.

Example inappropriate:

A coach feels that a scrum master they are working with is more likely to succeed in a different role as they are low performing. The coach begins to raise other potential career paths and encourages them to self select out of the role as they feel it will be too hard to develop them into a successful scrum master.

Why inappropriate? It’s inappropriate to encourage someone to “self-select” out of their chosen path. A more appropriate action would be to potentially help them find a mentor or coach that can be more successful for them.

Example gray:

A coach consulting at a company learns of a job opening and uses their influence with the hiring manager to help their friend get the job.

Why gray? It is appropriate to share the job listing with their friend, but is inappropriate when the coach uses their influence on the hiring process.

Responsibility to the profession

  1. I will uphold the reputation of the agile coaching profession.
  2. I won’t condone and will challenge unethical behaviour in other Agile Coaches. 18. I will attribute other’s ideas appropriately and avoid the appearance they are mine

Example appropriate:

You are part of a meeting where another agile coach is misrepresenting a team’s performance to their manager. You challenge the misrepresentation and ask for the evidence upon which the opinion is based to ensure the manager gets a balanced perspective.

Why appropriate? You are challenging the misrepresentation which is unethical behaviour by the other coach.

Example inappropriate:

You design a workshop using a technique which you learned from another coach. You do not acknowledge where you got the ideas from and imply that you came up with these ideas yourself.

Why inappropriate? Even if ideas are not copyrighted or explicitly protected you are still expected to acknowledge the source of ideas

Example inappropriate:

An agile coach creates a training workshop that purposely disputes the need for the core principle “Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.” from the Manifesto. When asked about this statement in these workshops, the coach cites that this principle is wrong without evidence or further discussion.

Why inappropriate? As an agile coach, it is your obligation to live the principles and help others adopt them. The action of stripping this principle publicly minimizes your obligation. Refusing to discuss it presumes you know more than others and violates the coaching mindset.