Who is an Agile Coach?
Why is ICF coaching an indispensable aspect of Agile Leaders?
How can one go from being a Good Agile Coach to a Great Agile Coach?
Ginu Samuel, an Agile Coach who is currently pursuing his ICF Coach Training & Certification, demystifies these important, relevant queries for the benefit of Agile Enthusiasts and Scrum Masters as he recounts the experiences and learnings from his ICF coaching journey. Let’s hear from him!
Will I be a good coach?
During my initial years on the Agile coaching journey, I invested a lot in reading. “Coaching Agile Teams” by Lisa Adkins was one of many books I read then. ‘Will I be a good coach?’, the title of the very first chapter, hooked my attention. I have been constantly curious about what makes a good Agile coach ever since.
Adkins also asks pertinent questions such as ‘What is an Agile coach’s role in self-organized teams?’, ‘How do I, as an Agile coach, help my team and yet stay hands-off?
ICF-approved professional coaching provided me with satisfactory answers to all these questions.
What does Agile Coaching Involve?
In the context of agile teams, coaching takes on the dual flavor of coaching and mentoring. Yes, you are coaching to help someone reach their next goal in their life. In addition, you are also sharing your agile experiences and ideas as you mentor them or guide them to implement agility. Coaching and mentoring have been entwined to develop talented agilists who can enhance their performances and thus maximize business results.
The 4 stances of Agile Coaching
Lisa Adkins, together with Michael Spayd, introduces a simple agile coaching framework all Agile coaches can follow. In the framework, they talk about four different stances an agile coach should use. Teaching, Mentoring, Facilitating, and Professional Coaching.
Agile coaching is a combination of coaching, mentoring, teaching, and facilitating. Many agile coaches have experience and knowledge of working in the area where they’re helping teams/individuals. As a result, there is a high chance of using the mentoring and teaching stances more when people are stuck. Agile coaches who lack ICF coaching skills tend to give more importance to other stances. This is a huge disadvantage, for professional coaching is the most important of all the four stances.
ICF-approved professional coaching – the most important stance
Transformation involves a change in mindset, culture, process, structure, or ways of working. It is very common that people can get stuck on this journey towards excellence. Professional coaching is an excellent tool to help Agile enthusiasts to unlock blockers and transition towards a new world of agility. An agile coach with ICF-approved professional coaching expertise can partner with individuals, teams, and organizations in this transformation journey.
ICF Coaching – setting apart the Great from the Good
The word “Coach” in the title “Agile Coach” comes from the professional coaching stance. All great Agile coaches have professional coaching in their toolbox. Through ICF coaching, Agile coaches master key coaching competencies such as active listening, asking powerful questions, and creating self-awareness. Agile coaches who have sharpened these coaching skills progress from being good Agile coaches to great ones.
ICF coaching certification strengthens agile coaches in the other three stances. An Agile coach can teach, train, and facilitate more effectively using ICF coaching techniques such as asking powerful questions and making people think.
These are the reasons why I feel professional coaching is a powerful skill in the Agile coach’s toolbox. In fact, professional coaching is a necessary competency for an agile coach.
My ICF coaching journey with Regal Unlimited
Last year I decided to sharpen my coaching skills and transform myself into a great coach. I enrolled for the ICF-ACC coaching certification with my coaching mentor Subash CV, Master Certified Coach, and founder of Regal Unlimited. The first year was a tremendous journey of unlearning old behaviors and learning new skills. We had rigorous coaching practice sessions, illuminating mentoring sessions, and other interesting, insightful activities such as book reviews. All these propelled me toward my goal of becoming a great Agile coach. Subash CV and the coaching community at Regal Unlimited have been strong pillars of support in this transformation.
ICF coaching certification has helped me improve my listening skills, self-awareness, and coaching competencies. I would highly recommend Agile coaches and Scrum Masters to take up the ICF coaching course and accelerate their journey from being Good to Great.
Do you want to become an ICF Coach
Are you an Agile Professional who wants to scale up in the organization and contribute meaningfully to your career? Are you looking to add coaching competencies and become an ICF ACC Coach then write to firstname.lastname@example.org know more about Regal Unlimited’s ICF-ACC program.
You can also read this blog in which Seven Agile Leaders and Experts explain why ICF Certification is a must-have for Agile Leaders/Professionals and how can they go about obtaining it! Agile coaches about ICF Coach Training for Agile Leaders
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