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Coaching, Coding and Learning By George Evjen
Book Notes from 'Coaching Agile Teams' By Lyssa Adkins

 

Will You Respond Intelligently?

  • EQ - Emotional Intelligence Quotient.
  • The more skilled you become at mastering yourself - the more self-organized and self-monitoring the teams will be.
  • With conflict, language, servant leadership, and emotional intelligence - notice your knee-jerk reaction and decide what to do with it.

 

Recover from Command and Control-ism

  • Command and control is certainly describe someone you will coach
  • Get comfortable with these thoughts.
    • Be detached from the outcome: stay focused on how the team is working together so that you can help them improve the quality and completeness of their work.
    • Take it to the team : Believe it or not - you are not the best person to solve the problem. Every time you think you need to solve  something - stop and raise the observations to the team.
    • Be a Mirror : let them see themselves through your observations.
    • Master your words and your face :
    • Let there be silence : let someone else on the team have room to speak.
    • Model being outrageous : the things that hold our team back will amaze you. These inhibitors center around their beliefs  about what they are and are not allowed to do.
    • Let the team fail : use dozens of opportunities that arise each sprint to let them fail.
    • Always be their biggest fan : the work itself does not define the team. And does not make them great.
      • Getting better as individuals and healthier as a team makes them great.
  • To help manage yourself - make use of control by release.
    • Works when you 'control by turning the team loose within well-understood circumstance -
    • Control by trusting the process.

 

Prepare for the Day Ahead

  • To be of service to the team - free yourself of your worries and racing thoughts.
  • Your mind must be still so that you can see, with clarity what happens with the team.

 

Daily Practice

  • Clear the stuff in your head.
  • Lets you gather yourself together before you start to coach and lets you come to the team free of your own agenda.
  • Your daily practice can be anything that helps you clear away the clutter of your thoughts and emotions.

 

Stay Connected to What you Care About

  • Another way to prepare for the day - stay connected to what you care about.
  • How can I best be of service to the group?
    • Use whatever answer comes to mind
  • Staying connected means staying connected to the one thing you care about.
  • Make sure your words and actions come from what you care about .
    • Don’t teach any and every lesson that comes along.

 

Practice in the Moment

  • Its another proposition entirely to keep balance and listen to your wisdom in the heat of the moment with the team.
  • Theme of noticing how you regard the people you coach.
    • Do you see them as obstacles to overcome - or do you see them as people with hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations just like you.
  • Get in touch with how you regard people - objects or people.

 

Are you Listening?

  • Rare gift to be listened to - and agile coach knows this.
  • Levels of Listening from the school of coactive coaching.
    • Level I : Internal Listening - When the coach listens at Level I, the coach hears the speaker's words and may be very attentive but the words get interpreted through the coach's own lens.
    • Level II : focused listening - when a coach listens at  Level II, a hardwired connection gets established between the speaker and the coach.
      • The coach listens and responds in the moment with the questions and silences that help the speaker move through whatever they are expressing.
    • Level III : Global Listening - the coach uses everything in the environment when listening. The speakers tone of voice, posture, changes in room temperature.

 

Are you Speaking?

  • When you have the urge to speak, check yourself first - what is your 'come from' place
  • Ask yourself - 'why do I want to offer this thought now'
    • You want the team to see how smart you are.
    • You want them to know you are adding value
  • Presumably you have the whole team of people being smart and providing value - that's their job.
  • Every time you speak - make sure your 'come from' place is all about them..
  • Ensure you words are aimed at helping them get better as a team.
  • Don’t Speak First
    • Instead of speaking - count to 10.
    • See whether someone else in the group will speak your thought.
  • Don’t Speak At All
    • Coach the team to see that sitting with silence creates enough space for the really big ideas to emerge.
    • To coach the team to do this - you must first do it yourself.
    • When a team member asks a question - do not be the first to answer it.

 

Are you with Them?

  • Simply be with the team - to practice this, cultivate presence and reground yourself.
  • Cultivate Presence
    • Our minds move away from the present and escape into the past or future constantly.
    • Loud and distracting, they lead me away from what I need to do as the coach. - to tune in to what's going on with the team right now.
    • When I get present I notice what is really happening with the team, and from that clear place - I help them move forward in a constructive and positive way.
    • Practicing mindfulness - helps you get present.
      • You learn to be fully present more of the time and your self-awareness increases.
    • When you get present - the ground underneath you stays solid
    • You coach people from a place of certainty - you speak with clarity and your words impact the team.
  • Reground Yourself.
    • Consider whether the intervention was useful to the team.
      • If not - 'something about this is not working right now - '
      • Honor their time and their creativity.

 

Be a Model for Them

  • Going for the astonishing results that agile promises will take a lot of open-minded and open-heart conversation between team members
  • As their coach - act as their model - and know that they can change.

 

Support Yourself

  • Everything about mastering yourself is a learned skill that requires practice.
  • One structure I use - is to pick a practice that I will keep in mind all week.

 

Always Work on Yourself

  •  I never realized how much being a coach of an agile team was going to require me to work on myself.
  • This needs not be expensive or time-consuming - but it needs to be constant.
  • Do what you can do - and above all - keep moving.
  • Keep learning and applying new ideas.
  • We teach teams to inspect and adapt - this goes for the coach too.

 

Refresher

  • You serve as a model for what a good agilist is and does.
  • Become aware of your abilities
  • Recover from command-and-control-ism.
  • Discover practices that help you cultivate presence.
  • Learn to listen, speak and be with your team consciously.
  • Extend yourself the same compassion and support you off the people you coach.
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2016 10:19 AM Agile | Back to top


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