Doing Coaching Dojos weekly

Coaching Dojos and Coach Retreats are relatively new ways to learn coaching skills.

Me and my colleagues now decided to do a short (30 minutes) Coaching Dojo once a week.


My first introduction to the Coaching Dojo format was at the Agile Coach Camp Germany 2013, where a 60 minute session was facilitated by Martin Heider.

One day before the Coach Camp, some people already did a Coach Retreat, which consisted of four Coaching Dojos with four different methods (e.g. SolutionFocus, Co-Active, Apreciative Inquiry, ...)


To my knowledge the Coaching Dojo was first invented by Rachel Davies:


And Oana Juncu und Yves Hanoulle developed the Coaching Dojo to a Coach Retreat:

Setup of the first Coaching Dojo (90 minutes)
Setup of the first Coaching Dojo (90 minutes)

Usage in my company

After introducing and trying the Coaching Dojo format in a 90 minutes session, we decided to do a Coaching Dojo regularly, 1-2 times a week.

What we now do is one round of Coaching in Dojo format (30 min):

  • Setup, find Coachee & Coach (5 min)
  • One round of coaching (10 min)
  • Feedback from Coachee, Coach, Observers and Coach again, what he learned from the Observer-feedback (15 min)
  • optional: Feedback on the Coaching Dojo

Some adjustments we did for now

  • No pair coaching
  • The Coachee is free to choose his Coach from the participants
  • "Freestyle" or "free choice" of coaching methods
  • I use predefined observation exercises for obervers to train feedback and observation skills (more info in an upcoming blogpost)

Feedback sequence

  1. Coachee
  2. Coach
  3. Observers
  4. Coach (Takeaways/Learnings)


  • Observation exercises are optional to use

The feedback is in general very good, from participants in any role in the Coaching Dojo. We keep on with the format, but will explore more coaching styles & methods in the future (and try pair coaching again)

2nd dojo; "circle-setup"
2nd dojo; "circle-setup"

Kommentar schreiben

Kommentare: 3
  • #1

    Pete (Freitag, 13 September 2013 15:09)

    You blog post inspired me to try this with our Scrum Master.
    It worked very well. Yo thanks a lot.
    - Pete

  • #2

    YvesHanoulle (Mittwoch, 02 Oktober 2013 16:28)

    Hi Nils,

    please tell me, what is the reasoning to have a rule against pairCoaching?


  • #3

    disruptivelearning (Donnerstag, 17 Oktober 2013 00:18)

    Hi Yves,
    there is no strict rule against it, we were still experimenting.
    A learning from the Agile Coach Camp was, not to use 2 different coaching strategies from two coaches in a single Coaching Dojo.

    We used Pair Coaching lately, when we applied the GROW model, and it worked quite well. To learn or improve a certain coaching technique, Pair Coaching is definitely a good thing.

Nils Bernert, Agile Coach & LeanStartup enthusiast,
Nils Bernert, Agile Coach & LeanStartup enthusiast,

Next Appearances

  • ? 05.12.14-07.12.14 LSM Berlin
  • 26.01.15 - 30.01.15 OOP Munich 2015 (Workshop)

Past Appearances

  • 09.08.13 - 11.08.13 LeanStartupMachine (Mentoring)
  • 21.08.13 Stoos MUC: Coaching Dojo (Organizer)
  • 06.09.13 Lean Agile Scrum Zürich (Workshop)
  • 23.09.13 - 25.09.13 Scrum Gathering Paris (Workshop)
  • 03.02.13 - 07.02.13 OOP München (Workshop)
  • 21.02.14 - 24.02.14 Play4Agile (Unconference)
  • 08.03.14 Leancamp Stuttgart (Open Space)
  • 21.03.14 - 22.03.14 Design Thinking Camp München (Barcamp)
  • 30.06.14 - 01.07.14 Scrum Day Stuttgart (Workshop & Presentation)
  • 01.08.14 - 03.08.14. Lean Startup Machine Munich 2014 (Organizer & Mentor)
  • 06.09.14 Javascript Coding Dojo Munich
  • 30.10.14 - 31.10.14 Business Model Generation Masterclass, London
  • 31.10.14 - 02.11.14 LSM Amsterdam (Mentor & Speaker)