Agile Super Coach – Part 1 – Transformative Coaching

Agile Super Coach is the three-part article series about the application of transformative coaching in the context of the IT team performance and delivery.

In part one, “Transformative Coaching,” I will describe what transformative coaching is. Further on, in the second article, “Transformative Agile Coaching,” I will share my vision and understanding of the application of transformative and in-depth coaching in IT. And in concluding part three “Imposed Transformation,” I will speak about resistance and Agile Coaching being imposed on people.

The articles are inspired by Michael Neil’s book, “Super Coach.” The book itself is an infinite source of inspiration and insights, and I highly recommend reading it.

Levels of Coaching

In his book, Michael Neil describes three levels of coaching.

Level one is about solving a particular situation, finding a solution to a specific problem. For example, get rid of the fear of flying, become a more confident speaker. In the teamwork context, this might be solving cross-team dependency, finding better ways to manage a product backlog.

Level two is about improving some life area. It is about working with underlying problems and causes of situations that I talked about in level one. A person is trying to impact the whole class of situations and asks the coach for help. For example, grow a business, improve relationships with a partner, become more efficient in planning personal finances. In the teamwork context, we can replace the life area with a work area. This might be improving planning and estimation, introducing a particular framework, not solve one cross-team dependency, but remove them altogether by reorganizing company structure.

Level one and two are beneficial and can improve your life experience for sure! But you will not achieve a deep level of personal change and still can have difficulties dealing with other life areas and new challenging situations.

Level three is transformation on a deep level, it is about changing how we are viewing life itself. You probably heard a phrase,

“if you cannot change the situation, change your attitude.”

This phrase makes no sense on the first two levels, it requires a shift in the whole life experience. Michael Neil calls this level Super Coaching. Erickson Coaching (the school that I am coming from) is also about this level of change. With the help of a Super Coach, you can change your attitude, learn how to deal with ANY problematic life situation, be happy in ANY circumstances, so that your wellbeing is no longer connected to the unpredictability of the outside world.

The shift in life perception occurs through insights because only through insights, you can truly change. The coach’s job is to ask questions that will cause these insights.

A business coach would not question the necessity of having a business. A fitness coach will not help you become more confident and change how you see your body.

Super Coach will talk about your emotions, where they are coming from, about your legacy, about what is true for all humans.

How to apply this level of coaching to the IT team context that seems more like level one and two? About this in part 2 of the series. Stay tuned!

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Part 2 of the series can be found here.

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Tags : agile coachagile coachinglevels of coaching

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