Helping you to understand and enhance your coaching journey
Coaching is a journey and has many levels. In this section we focus more on team coaching and give you some skills for your toolbox.
The competency framework also know as the X-Wing was originally developed by the Agile Coaching Institute (Lyssa Adkins & Michael Spayd).
The Competency Framework breaks agile coaching into eight competencies (this is a framework not a model so expect to learn new things each time you use it). As a coach it helps you to think about the areas you can offer and the areas you wish to work towards depending where you are on your journey.
The model is split into sections:
Practitioner - The practitioner competency is focused on deeper knowledge of agile. Most people link this area with certificates they can achieve to learn and master their skills more such as Certified Scrum Master, Less Practitioner, Team Coach and more. This is a wide area with so much to learn and some people follow the paths that will help the organisation they are working for and some for their own learning journey.
Teaching is simply teaching people something like agile mindset, agile principles, scrum, splitting stories, sprint planning. In short teaching has a learning outcome and objectives. Here you are sharing you knowledge with others and you create the content.
Mentoring You are still relaying your experience, but in a more subtle way and are less likely to have a ‘training agenda’. You help people to learn based on their needs and theirs asks. You are helping people to grow rather than teaching them an objective. Coach the person and their problem, end with the person.
Facilitation is about holding an impartial stance. You can facilitate a team through a session, but you must remain impartial. Your goal is facilitate them through the session and guide them but you do not have a specific expected outcome. You create the container, they create the content.
Coaching is about being impartial to the goal. You believe that the team can solve the problems they have. You work with them to help the team to solve those issues and be their best selves. Your are not teaching by imparting specific knowledge about a solution. You are helping the team to solve the problem via their own knowledge, coach the person, not the problem.
Mastery is split into three different levels (none of which is more important than the other).
Technical Mastery is focused on the technical nature of software development (architecture, software craftsmanship, etc.).
Business Mastery is focused on strategy, operations, process, and product innovation.
Transformation Mastery is focused on change leadership, organizational change, facilitation, and helping organizations transform and evolve.
As the team coach it is good to evaluate yourself against the competency framework to assess your skill to offer and where you would like to improve. You can also use this with clients to establish what they require from a team coach when they enter the role in the organisation.
In the downloads area we provider a pdf version of the competency frame, and a simple practical example of how you can align knowledge across a team of coaches on the framework and an example of where you get gain more knowledge in each section.
Do you believe people can think for themselves? If so don't feel the need to think for them, just listen. By listening you emanate trust, interest and unconditional positive regard. The better quality of your listening the more you will ignite their thinking.
Lets break down the 3 levels of listening:
Level 1 - Internal listening
You can hear the voice of the other person but your focus is on your own thoughts, opinions and judgements not what the person is telling you.
Example -A person is telling you about their situation, you are thinking about a time this happened to you and you respond with "I had the same thing, this is what you should do".
Level 2 - Focused listening
You are completely listening to the other person so much that you lose awareness of anything around you and your own thoughts.
Example - A person is telling you their situation, you can notice their tone, expression and can notice the impact of their responses. You respond with an open question such as "How important is that for you?".
Level 3 - Global listening
You are listening to the other person and are aware of your environment and own intuition.
Example - You can hear the other person talking, you can see their responses and feel the environment around you. You respond with "I get the sense you are in a difficult place - are you? What is happening for you?
In coaching conversations, coaches switch between level 2 & 3 but are aware if they slip into level 1 to be able to recover as quickly as possible. Understanding these levels help you to know what level of listening you are at and master the skill of listening.
Reflecting is a huge part of helping us to learn, adapt and improve. If we don't stop to reflect how do we get feedback? In agile we talk about fast feedback and we should ensure we do this in everything we do including coaching.
The Rolfe et al.s reflective model is simple and straightforward consisting of three questions:
Using this simple three step model allows you to quickly reflect on anything you do to capture your data and help you learn from any situation. We recommend reflecting as soon as you can after the event whilst information is fresh in your mind.
We all encounter adverse situations but we all deal with them differently. Each person has different triggers that create the stress response, some of use stay relaxed in situations and where others don't.
During negative experiences, the first thing we naturally do is subconsciously explain to ourselves why the situation happened. Our beliefs about the causes of adversity determine our reaction. When a negative experience occurs, we naturally explain to ourselves why this situation happened ( subconsciously) based on our beliefs about the world we live in and about ourselves.
The ABC model helps us understand our behavior and is broken down in three steps:
Activating Event - a negative situation occurs
Belief System - the explanation we create for why the situation happened
Emotional Consequence - our feelings and behaviors in response to adversity, caused by our beliefs
A perceived threat to persons identity and status - my team is doing scrum my role isn't in the guide.
My role has to be listed otherwise I cannot work as part of that ream. I have ben working in the team for a while they will think I have been doing it all wrong.
Nervous, withdrawn and lack of engagement
The ABC model is a technique to help individuals reshape their negative thoughts and feelings in a positive way. Using the ABC template with an individual can help them reflect on the situation and identify how what could change when faced with a similar situation in the future. As a coach create a safe space to talk to the person, stay clam and listen taking notes on the ABC template we provide (explain you will do this to the person before you start). When the person has finished talking ask if they would like to reflect on the template with you.
Coaching is about forward movement in thought or action, it is not therapy. Therapy concentrates on past situations whereas coaching is about future actions (with the occasional glance in the rearview mirror).
Lets take a look at the difference
When coaching treat people as though they are already were what they potentially could be.