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Coach the Person - Not the Problem

July 7, 2020

Part of the role of being a Scrum Master is to be a coach; to the team, the organisation and the individual.

So How Do You Become an Effective coach? 

In a previous post I said that the first skill is to know how to listen, as without being able to listen you can't truly understand.

In order to be an effective coach it requires time to practice the required skills. It isn't possible to attend a course and then overnight be an effective coach. You may pick up practices from the course, but the lesson is knowing when to use them. 

In my early days of being a Scrum Master, I would often try to solve my team's issues. I was a hoarder of issues, as I saw this as my bread and butter of the role - I was wrong.  It was tempting to try to fix all the issues, after all another aspect of the role of being a Scrum Master is to remove impediments that the team cannot resolve themselves. However this can lead you to focus on the issue and I found that the same issue would often reappear, so I found myself doing the same thing time and time again.   

There is another way...

You Got This

What if you coached the person, allowing them to grow? 

The effect of coaching the person so that they grow is that they learn to see alternative paths to solve the impediment; they could move around it, step or see over the impediment. By growing the person, you help to shrink the impediment - the problem isn't as big as it once may have seemed. Any similar impediments are now a smaller size and are not as concerning for the individual. They have grown and you as a Scrum Master have helped them. 

So before you're quick to solve an issue, just ask yourself -

"How can I help this person grow in order to make the issue smaller?"


My offer to you....

If you attend one of my courses, I'd like to offer you a complementary coaching session with me - so that you can experience a Co-Active coaching session.  Course details can be found at 

If you can't see a course that you'd like to attend please have a look at my profile page to see the courses I can deliver - it could be that you've just missed the course that you're interested in -  

More details on the coaching can be found at


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