How do coaches stay interested in people?

Being a coach is about having good conversations. Sure, there are times when you are reading documents, examining data or making observations, but the reason you are doing those things is to prepare for the conversation that you will be having with the person or team that you are coaching. The conversations that you have are quite specific too. The topic is always the person you are talking to. It is always about them and how they make sense of the world. Sure, you might be talking about changes in the organisation, challenges in managing stakeholders or the crushing pressure … Continue reading How do coaches stay interested in people?

If we want to teach agile, we should be agile in our teaching

I was helping someone make some improvements in their team recently, to be more “agile.” I made the point, almost apologetically, that we had changed direction a few times and iterated in what we were doing. I started with a workshop, then some coaching, then we had some team meetings and then we seemed to succeed. My friend replied “I guess you have to be agile when you are a coach.” I said yes and laughed, but then I thought about it. Sometimes people say “let’s be agile” when they mean “let’s drop any pretence of planning or process and … Continue reading If we want to teach agile, we should be agile in our teaching

Does your team get involved in solving mysteries?

I was talking to someone about a request from a client to “look into something weird.” The client was not sure if something was a problem or not, so they raised it with someone they knew in the team and a couple of hours later the case was solved. It got me thinking. Where do these odd requests fit in? Sometimes people do not know how a product works or how to use it, so they ask for guidance – is that “a matter for the help desk”, is it evidence of a need for client training or is it … Continue reading Does your team get involved in solving mysteries?

Good training stands out

I recently completed three courses on Coursera, each achieving the goal I set out with. The first course was a six sigma course that I used to refresh my knowledge on something that I am familiar with. It contained what I wanted to learn but was typical of old fashioned e-learning (and face to face learning). It was a series of lectures, made up of a series of slides, which contained useful information. Then there was extended reading and chat options to go further. I was able to absorb what I wanted but would not say it was awesome. This … Continue reading Good training stands out

The variable nature of comparisons

I have done many personality profiles over the years. Sometimes they seem to contradict and sometimes there are consistencies. One thing that is consistent though is that I see myself as more co-operative than competitive. However, I was doing a course recently and a point of discussion was when we are all more competitive or collaborative. There were many great points around the impact of things like scarcity, social habits of humans and changing environments, all leading to shifts in behaviour. A conclusion I could come to is that sometimes competition can lead to better results and sometimes co-operation will … Continue reading The variable nature of comparisons