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In practice

The Advocate Role

A role profile/description is available elsewhere in the Handbook here.

Advocatee and Advocate Meetups

More than

Frequency

These need to be frequent enough to add value and build a good relationship. For new starters, weekly is suggested initially, then monthly after the initial settling in period.

Location

Meeting places don't have to be in an office - a casual setting in an environment that suits both works well, for example off-site in a coffee shop or over lunch is good.

Discussion Points

Meetings can involve coaching and mentoring where appropriate and wanted.

They can be an opportunity for feedback either way, if agreed upon (see Feedback beneath) and should be enjoyable and helpful.

Advocatees should feel able to talk openly, for example:

  • I want to take time off but I'm scared of asking
  • I'm over worked but I'm too scared to saying anything
  • I'm thinking about moving to Finland
  • I hate the client but don't want to complain and seem like a problem
  • I've got some ideas for the company I'd like time to explore, what should I do?
  • I'm not doing what I want to do
  • I'm really happy and want to do more

Changing Advocates

An Advocatee can choose to have more than one Advocate or change to a different Advocate.

It is suggested that Advocates make it clear to Advocatees on day one how to go about changing Advocate so the process can be instigated by the Advocatee without having to give an explanation.

The process is either to approach another member of the Advocate's buddy group (a support network for advocates) or instigate via People Ops.

Meeting of Three Minds

Initial Meeting

The Meeting of Three Minds combines the Account Lead, Advocate and Advocatee and must happen for every new starter and every time an Infinite moves account - this signifies the three way commitment to the Advocatee's welfare.

Each person involved in the three minds have a responsibility to share any performance concerns with each other, in an open, honest and respectful way. Remember, it is feedback not line management.

The Infinite must be welcomed by adopting the double-thumbs-up posture, recording the event by way of capturing a photographic likeness.

Frequency

This must be set up by the Account Lead and Advocate as close as possible to the new starter joining or moving - within the first few weeks is best.

Discussion Points

All parties are empowered to provide feedback to each other, there is no implied hierarchy.

Account Lead Responsibilities

  • Provide feedback to the Infinite
  • Support the Infinite with their daily operations (including holidays, sickness etc)
  • General settling into the team and meeting clients where relevant, outlining the mission of the team
  • Ensure that the Infinite does not feel judged or that they're being tested at any time

Advocate Responsibilities

  • Confidential regular meet-ups
  • Support, information and guidance as requested by the Advocatee in an open and confidential way
  • Ensure that the Infinite does not feel judged or that they're being tested at any time

Advocatee Responsibilities

  • Voice any concerns
  • Flag if the initial three-way commitments are not being met
  • Take an active role in the three-way relationship

Feedback

It is important to:

  • Ask if feedback is wanted before giving it
  • Ask if they want you to scout for feedback from others, otherwise only offer advice and feedback on the conversations you have with them
  • Be happy to give or receive feedback freely if asked or offered
  • Make feedback specific, talk about impacts and offer suggestions to improve - have a look at Jurgen Appelo's feedback wrap (https://management30.com/practice/feedback-wraps/)
  • Choose an appropriate location for the kind of feedback being given, e.g. formal/casual, private/public