“To win the game, go where the puck is going to be, not where it already is.”

The Agile/Scrum/Lean industry is going through a tectonic shift. The increasing focus on merging the ‘Coaching competencies’ along with the techniques, tools, and frameworks of Agile Methodology has gained traction, globally.

We hosted a panel of Agile Experts and asked them just this one question:

How can Agile/Scrum professionals benefit from ICF Certification? What shifts when an Agile/Scrum/Tech professional pursues ICF Coaching certification and training?

A panel of eight experts & trainers answer this question:

1. ICF equips you to lead ‘People’

By Nanda Lankalapalli

I was a technologist turned into an Agile Trainer and a Coach. Over the period I realized that working with people requires active listening. Also, I realized that asking the right question is more important than providing solutions to their problems. I took my coaching journey with Regal Unlimited and it made a lot of difference in how I deal with my professional and personal life. I recommend leaders (of any domain/function) to have coaching as a core skill!

2. Coaching embeds resilience in the systems and teams

By Jerry Rajamoney

Yes, definitely one can benefit from the ICF certification. In today’s VUCA World it’s very important to develop resilience. I believe the coaching skills like active listening, powerful questioning truly help an individual to develop resilience in themselves or in their teams. 

3. Professional Coaching is an essential competency in the Agile Coaching and yet the weakest link

By Srinath Ramakrishnan

Agile Leaders and Agile Coaches would benefit immensely from an ICF Certification. The Agile Coaching Competency Framework of the Agile Coaching Institute talks of Coaching among other essential competencies for an Agile coach.

Professional coaching certification for Agile Coaches has gained impetus over the last few years when Agile thought leaders from organizations such as Scrum Alliance and Scrum.Org observed how coaching was the weak link in the jigsaw puzzle of Agile Coaching competencies. For guide-level coach certifications from Scrum Alliance, one is expected to demonstrate professional coaching skills at the ICF-ACC / ICF-PCC level, though the ICF certification is not mandatory.

For me, my coaching journey with Regal Unlimited started after completing my Agile coaching training from Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd, the gurus of Agile coaching, who recommended an ICF certification to broaden one’s Agile coaching skills. 

The training at Regal Unlimited involved significant learning and unlearning and it was a transformational journey for me, both personally and professionally. Having a coaching mindset, practicing active listening and asking insightful questions, exhibiting curiosity, building relationships were some of the competencies I developed after the training. My coaching journey still continues.

4. Coaching changes mindset, creates space for the team, instead of advising/instructing

By Anbu joseph

One of the responsibilities of being an Agile coach is to work with people to change their mindset towards being agile. Also, as part of the agile coaching framework, professional coaching is one of the core competencies which is mandatory for working with various levels of people in the organization. 

5. Coaching unlocks potential of Agile teams

Minesh Paulraj

One of the responsibilities of being an Agile coach is to work with people to change their mindset towards being agile. Also, as part of the agile coaching framework, professional coaching is one of the core competencies which is mandatory for working with various levels of people in the organization. 

6. Coaching helps Agile Teams to deliver faster customer-value

By Gaurav Chaturvedi

I have a firm belief that ICF certification is beneficial for Agile/Scrum/Tech leaders. Organizations across the globe are transforming for faster value delivery to their customer and one of the key elements for this is self-managed teams and individuals that can independently work up to their potential. Leaders with ICF certifications work with teams and individuals to unleash their potential for being self-sufficient in delivering quick value.

7. Builds connections & steers high-performing teams

By Bharat Polagani

In my honest opinion, ICF certification benefits every professional, and agile/scrum/tech leaders are not an exception. The additional advantage agile leaders have got is the added opportunity to practice the markers in their job. Agile leaders are called so when they bring out the best in their teams. ICF Coach Training gives the relevant mindset, toolset, and techniques.

I truly learned the listening gaps in me after starting the credentials. I genuinely became curious about the stories of others without any judgment. My presence in the space is much more active now. I am peaceful in my dealings and able to reduce the mental chatter during conversations. I clearly see that the level of connection has improved between me and others. 

I think this connection is 

  1. Making me feel great about myself 
  2. It is converting into meaningful partnerships that will take me and others to places.

8. Coaching is bigger & deeper, it goes beyond ‘Agile.’

By Anurag Sharma

It asks the question back to Agile/Scrum/Tech leaders, do they really want their clients to create unlimited abundance and fulfillment into life and business or are they happy by enabling the clients to learn agile ways of working.

Almost for a decade, I am practicing and mentoring teams on Agile ways of working. And while coaching I always carry the ‘Agile-Agenda’ in mind. This forces me to think whether it’s about me or my client. 

How about, I have a competency that will be focused on empowering my client to identify what really matters to them and what they want to achieve, and then through coaching I can nudge them toward discovering and deploying the best possible solution based on their own actions.

When I first discovered what actual coaching means, then the shift happened: 

ICF defined coaching exceptionally well, “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”

While if you look at Agile Coaching from one of the famous authors – Lyssa Adkins

“In the context of agile teams, coaching takes on the dual flavor of coaching and mentoring. Yes, you are coaching to help someone reach for the next goal in their life. You are also sharing your agile experiences and ideas as you mentor them, guiding them to use agile well. Coaching and mentoring are entwined for the sake of developing talented agility so that more and better business results arise through agile.”

Agile coaching is predominantly agenda-driven and inclines most of the time towards mentoring. 

As I started my ICF journey I have a few initial realizations

– Coaching is much bigger and deeper, it goes beyond agile

– It’s all about my client

– Coaching creates deep, lasting transformation for yourself and your clients — so you both can achieve the most ideal results in alignment with your higher purpose.

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