Agile Coaching Essentials And Valuable Insights

Agile Coaching Essentials

A good Agile coach is the one who shares ‘Your’ goals & works hard till ‘You’ achieve them!

My journey as the coach began in 2013. Frankly, speaking I wanted to work in agile space and found a job with the title Agile Coach. I googled what it meant and somehow it wasn’t such a popular concept then and since I fulfilled all the expectations for the role and also cleared interviews, I accidentally got into coaching.

What began as a namesake grew into something bigger and what a journey it has been – exciting and fulfilling. And definitely challenging. Managed multiple Agile Transformation Journeys, coached more than 150 teams, Agile consulting in 50+ clientsAgile Training for 12000+ people, may be countless events and ran Coach the coaches program for 100+ potential agile coaches, so far. 🙂

I am sharing the insights from my experience which has helped me throughout being successful in my coaching endeavors and hope you may find it helpful –

  • 2 word mantra – ‘BE USEFUL’. Always.
  • When you are on an assignment to train or transform, you must know the names of all the people. It’s fine if you have forgotten them once the assignment ends
  • Always be on time. On time means 2 minutes before an event begins
  • Neven go unprepared or under prepared. All eyes are on you even when they are not looking at you
  • Intent is to get the problem solved and at times you may just need to listen and not speak
  • If you can not create ‘ease to talk’ with your coachee, you have never begun
  • It’s Ok to say, ‘I don’t know’ as there is no point in winning the conversation
  • You are not the only wise one in the room. Be curious. Be attentive. Experience osmotic communication and let the energy guide you
  • Do straight talks & stay away from pleasing business. Straight talk doesn’t mean rude. You are not allowed to be rude. No one is allowed to be rude.
  • You are also not allowed to lose hope. They can and they will but you have to always bring them back on track and get moving
  • You need to be respectful, secret keeper and the emotional bin of all around you
  • Practice detachment. It gets overwhelming when you need to listen but don’t  judge and still help them. Try taking breaks between 2 assignments – to steam off.
  • You may not be good in making ppt or excel pivots but you need to be great in articulation or storytelling
  • They will forget the words you said but they will never forget the way you made them feel
  • Each day is your last day at assignment. Make it the best day. Trust me, the news of one failed assignment cross-pollinates faster than 10 successful assignments
  • It is never about ‘bad’ students. It is always about ‘bad’ teachers. Find better ways.
  • Continuous learning is a key. To learn, you may need to read, watch or listen to many things. Keep learning till you can write it in your language. And then share it with others and learn from their feedback. If you are not sharing what you know, it may in a way mean that you are not learning and you may be outdated and not useful.

There are of-course many other technical traits that you can imbibe but they are confined to specific subject area expertise, the above points transcend specific competencies and yet are very tough to adhere to. All the best for journey as an Agile Coach.

Anuj M Ojha

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