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Personal Interactions in Agile Coaching

Some best practices

25 July 2017

Horia Balog
Balog Consulting Ltd.


While knowing that my best practices might not work for everyone, I have decided to share some of the personal guidelines I use in my day-to-day interactions with agilists and agilists in the making — Agile team members, ScrumMasters, product owners, managers and leaders, and other stakeholders.

These are part of my ongoing focus on self-awareness and self-management and my build-up of social awareness and relationship management competencies.
  1. In order to identify the next steps required for training, mentoring, and/or coaching, I sometimes share my findings with the folks and teams I work with. All that in a positive manner, as an opportunity for improvement, not as a failure or a gap in current skills, knowledge, or understanding.
  2. Very early in the relationship, I usually make a determination about how explicit and direct an approach is appropriate, considering the state, personality, and attitude of the folks and teams at issue.
  3. While focusing on specific goals and outcomes, I find it useful to build up empathy into the relationship. It helps the teams and others involved to know that I am invested and committed throughout the duration of the engagement.
  4. I try to use their words or preface interventions with comments such as, "As you were saying earlier . . . " to help them more readily accept my recommendations and directions.
  5. I always attempt to maintain a nonjudgmental and inquisitive stance toward their difficulties and their perceptions of the situation and context.
  6. Since I recognize my reactions tend to be powerful and sometimes negative, I find it helpful to monitor, anticipate, and contain my emotional reactions.
  7. Pitfalls that I recognize I should avoid are to respond defensively, aggressively, or dismissively, or to withdraw and collude with their potential state of denial through a passive attitude.
Of course, this is an actively growing and changing list. What works for you? Let's see how large a list we can build together!
 

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.



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