Agile coaching can be a difficult term to pin down. It shares elements with agile ideas like servant leadership and scrum mastering, and you could write many books on the different forms it can take. Indeed, many people have.
Here’s what it means for us.
- Coaching is not something you give to people, it’s something people allow to be given to them. Everyone has the right at any time to refuse coaching from someone, request it from someone else, even refuse any offers of coaching at all. We will only coach those who agree to us coaching them, each and every time we coach.
- Coaching takes many different styles. It could be directive or reflective. A coach could teach, or let the coachee teach themselves. We believe it is the right of the coachee to ask for the sort of coaching they would like to experience, and up to the coach to be honest if they cannot provide it.
- Coaching is about listening. Not just hearing words, but doing active, full body listening for the entire duration of the coaching session. A good coaching session should leave the coach feeling like they’ve expended tons of energy, even if they’ve just sat there saying nothing.
- Coaching is about open questions and open minds. The person being coached often knows where they want to get to and and how to get there. The coach can help them discover this.
- Coaches see connections and build connections. They see the wood when the coachee just sees the trees. They facilitate a sense of perspective and context, a reminder that it is often darkest before the dawn.
- Above all else, agile coaches know agile inside out. Not just in terms of kanban boards and scrum ceremonies, nor in terms of ‘X years experience doing Y role’, but in terms of the mindset and way of seeing the world that true agile requires. As a result, a true agile coach will know what they do not know, and always be looking to learn.
- Coaching can be done informally on a constant basis, or more formally at regular intervals.
This is our take on agile coaching. We’d equally love to hear yours.
So if you’re interested in bringing Bunny Picnic in to do some agile coaching in your teams, or would like to discuss our take on coaching in more detail, just click the button below.