Being An Agile Coach – A Sheep or Lion?

Tough Love?

As an Agile Coach myself, I found a recent article that I read quite interesting. Recently I’ve been writing and reviewing some articles about being an Agile Coach and the laughable article by Derek Huether on Zombies. It seems like there is never a shortage of introspection with regard to personnel in the workplace, even introspection on yourself as a contributor or consultant.

So what, again, does it mean to be an Agile Coach? Does it mean that we need to be hard headed and look down from our ivory tower and dictate the changes that need to happen? Or do we need to be more like a graceful follower who becomes ineffective because they have lost their consultant angle to the client?

Lyssa Adkins reminds us that to be an Agile Coach we have to be willing to:

…help people face unpleasant things about themselves and their circumstances.

And to make sure that we’re not doing anything too loving.

Her final question to the readers made me think:

Are you hard enough to be an agile coach?

A little introspection here is good for the mind. An Agile Coach should wonder whether they are “coaching” enough or coddling too much. There is a fine line between coaching and just being a good friend. Assuming you’re getting paid to do an Agile transformation or helping mentor a new Agile team, one would think that a tougher approach would be of more value than just letting the chaos continue.

Read Lyssa’s full blog post here.

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7 Responses to “Being An Agile Coach – A Sheep or Lion?”

  1. Lyssa Adkins
    October 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Hey – glad you found the post useful. Another thing I would add is that “being hard” often means having agile coach friends who can tell you when you’re taking the lazy road or the easy way out or just having trouble getting over being “too” nice. People who remind you that you’re in this for THEIR growth and performance, not for anyone’s comfort per se. Having said all this, a hammer delivered without unconditional positive regard is just another way to abuse people. So, yes – be “hard” but also do it with the honorable intention to grow the person/team you’re being “hard” with.

    Hope this was a useful addition. Keep doing the good work of agile coaching!


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