Jason’s coaching journey – the struggling coaches

Some context before we start

This is the second in a series of long articles about Jason, who is an agile coach.

In the last episode, Jason was coaching away happily when suddenly it all came crashing down.

In this episode we look at how he reacts and how his friend Sonja tries to help him through some agile coaching.  Then we look at some tips on how Sonja could have more effectively coached Jason.

coach focus when slapped

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Jason’s coaching journey episode one. The big slap

The great thing about agile coaching is that you are helping people to help themselves.  So if you get some traction, then people usually enjoy the journey and start to build momentum.  Then they help themselves (with your support) and you can clearly see the value of your effort.

But it is not always as straight forward as that.

Once upon a time an agile coach faced a setback …

This article, and some others called “Jason’s coaching journey”, are a long read.

The article is a mythical story of  how an agile coach found himself on a journey that turned into a real struggle.

As we learn about Jason’s journey, we will also look at whether, if we were coaching him, we could help him get back on track.

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Coaching when they will do the wrong thing

My last couple of articles have been about presenting ideas so that people listen to what you are saying.

But what happens if you explain something to people and then they decide to do the wrong thing anyway?

Of course it is possible that you were wrong and that they are right.

But what if you are sure that they are about to do the wrong thing and that it will hurt them when they do?

The care factor

When people are about to make a mistake, I often stop to ask myself how much I care.

If I don’t care much what they do then I can just keep my mouth shut

Sometimes I have found myself arguing with people when I really should just let them make their own call and move on. So one of the things that I am still working on is to avoid expressing an opinion where there is no need to.  Instead, a good coach is one who let’s people form their own opinions.

But what if I do care that the person I am coaching is going to make a mistake and I think I should tell them?

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When you lack evidence (or have too much)

I have been writing a couple of articles about presenting new ideas in workshops.

But sometimes you want to make a point, but you lack the evidence to back it up.  And sometimes you have heaps of points to make, full of evidence and highly relevant learning, but all the evidence will actually get in the way.

So let’s look at ways to present ideas, that reduce the use of evidence.  You might like some of these and not others, so read through and see what you think.

You might also notice other people using these approaches quite often when you start to listen for them.

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Introducing ideas when you need more credibility

In my last post I talked about about presenting new ideas to people.

But sometimes you need to be a little bit more convincing – Especially if you do not yet have credibility with the group or if your idea might by challenging what people currently think.

Let’s say for example, that you are telling business analysts that they are not needed anymore, or if you are explaining to a project manager that they do need a BA even though it will cost them money.  People will not accept these statements at face value.

You can plead with people to believe you, but that rarely helps.  You can yell and scream – but nobody will care.  So what can you do?

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