Agile Super Coach – Part 2 – Transformative Agile 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 described what transformative coaching is. In this article, I 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.

In part one, I described what transformative coaching is – the profound inner transformation that results in a more satisfying life experience when your wellbeing is no longer connected to the unpredictability of the outside world. But we are talking about coaching teams. Doesn’t it sound too woo-woo?

The first step is really to understand and let it sink in – Agile Coaches work with people, not with organizations. The transformation of an organization means something is happening to the people inside it. To rephrase commonly used expression

“change the employees or change the employees.”

But how?

Transformative Coaching

I see two main directions, how can real transformation happen: through building mindfulness and through generating insights. These two are interconnected, of course. As a coach, I need to develop mindfulness so that people notice what is happening to them, how they feel, what they notice in others. A coach asks questions about the future, both short-term and long-term; helps see the situation from many viewpoints – team member, manager, client, even family members. Asks questions that broaden the perspective.

When we think about the situation or a problem, we tend to operate on the level of doing, of circumstances. Agile Super Coach helps to think on the levels of “why are we doing this” and “who do we need to become to succeed.” Actions and circumstances are quite obvious when you know your “who” and “why.”

And then ask deep questions that lead to insights. If you had an insight, then you immediately see things differently. The keyword here is “immediately.” The problem that you were dwelling on for months and sometimes years can resolve itself in minutes. This is what transformative coaching is built around – transformative coaches know how to ask all of these questions, and more, allowing people to see options that were not obvious before, to think outside the box.

And the format is not that important. You can build mindfulness and generate insights through retrospectives, training programs, mentoring, and teaching. What makes the difference is the goals of a coach – to pass the knowledge, share her values and vision, and to invite others to challenge themselves. This is what Agile Transformative Coaching is for me. Does this make sense?

But then the new problem appears – when someone decides to work with a coach, they are ready to challenge their mindset and beliefs, but when a coach works with a team, not everyone is prepared and willing for the challenge. About this in part 3 of the series. Thank you for reading and stay tuned!

Part 1 of the series can be found here.

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