Every Agile Coach is Different

Photo by Ravi Shah

Photo by Ravi Shah

If you’ve talked to more than one agile coach, you’ve probably realized that agile coaches vary in their experience, knowledge, skills, and styles. And if you’ve worked with multiple coaches, you’re more than likely aware that they think and behave differently. There’s no single path to becoming an agile coach, and organizations face a wide variety of challenges that lead them to hire agile coaches. But how often do we talk about how we engage as agile coaches with those we will be coaching? At Agile & Beyond, Matthew Heusser reminded me that agile coaches are incredibly diverse, and we can learn a lot from each other.

In professional coaching, designing the alliance or contracting focuses on setting expectations and defining agreements for the coach and client to work together. If there’s a separate sponsor, he or she will also be included in a conversation to clarify what information will and will not be shared about the coaching.

Talking about coaching and our own working styles can be awkward. Thankfully it gets easier with practice. I have presented two different presentations that explore coaching relationships and how to set them up for success (and reset them as needed), and I look forward to speaking on the topic more in the future:

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.