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The Power of Coaching

May 20, 2017

We talk about coaching a lot in the agile world.

However, what we are actually expected to do is not usually about coaching.  We do other things.

We teach.  We facilitate.  We advise. We solution.  We manage.  

Sometimes we even help do the work.

None of those things are bad.  Often, those things are necessary and can be good.  They are part of a wide range of skills that I bring and that many other people bring to their role.  But those things are not coaching.

In this post, I want to clarify what coaching is and why I think it is so powerful. I hope to inspire you to put on your coaching hat a little more frequently.

What is coaching?

Coaching enhances one's ability to learn, make changes, and achieve desired goals.

It is a thought-provoking and creative process that enables people to make conscious decisions and empowers them to become leaders in their own lives.  And being a leader is not about a job title. It is about taking responsibility for our world.

What is the power of coaching for agility?

Agile is a mindset. There is no methodology. There are no perfect processes. We have a set of values and principles to help guide decision-making. We take imperfect action, inspect, and adapt with intention.

We rely on the power of self-managing, cross-functional teams and create an environment for them to be successful.

We believe in the art of the possible. We do the hard work and make the difficult decisions and always seek ways to improve.

This is where the power of coaching comes in.

  • Coaching helps people discover what is important to them and what they want. It helps people tap into a greater purpose.
  • Coaching helps people discover their own solutions. People will be much more committed to a strategy they choose.
  • Coaching encourages and explores creativity.
  • Coaching helps people learn from their own experiences.  It helps deepen the learning of successes, losses, and failures.
  • Coaching challenges people to be open to possibilitiesbreak through limiting beliefs, and take intentional action.
  • Coaching creates a safe and courageous space for growth and experimentation.

One of my Co-Active Training Leaders once said, 

“People don’t dream big enough. Help them learn how to dream bigger."

If you are ready to dig deeper and learn the coaching skills you need to empower, enable, and support your team, check out my self-guided online course Coaching Skills for Impact.

Download the Coaching with the Scrum Values Mini-Guide

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