I was inspired for this article by the same titled blog post from Simon Nadav Cohen that you can find here: https://labs.spotify.com/2016/05/13/to-coach-or-not-to-coach/
In the article, Simon speaks to his experience of overusing the “coaching stance” in his agile coaching interactions and showing that more nuance is often required. I wanted to explore it even more from an additional context – that of leadership coaching. But let me start out here…
The 5 Why’s
Are you aware of the 5 Why’s tool? It’s a lean technique for getting to the root cause of a problem or challenge. You keep asking why, five times in fact, in order to “peel the onion” of a problem and get to the root.
I submitted a talk to the North America Scrum Gathering this year that made me a bit nervous. It was entitled – Why the World Needs More Prescriptive Agile Coaches. And I was intentional with the title.
I’ve felt for quite a long time that agile coaching can be too soft, at least in the beginning with Shu-level (beginning) agile teams. Coaches are taught to never TELL teams what to do or be forceful in any way. At best, they might “hint” at a tactic or solution, but the real learning and evolution is “up to the team”.
Consider this the default coaching stance for the majority of agile coaches.
And while I understand it, I wanted to get the audience thinking differently in this session. And yes, see what the outcome might be. Does it resonate well OR do I get some tomatoes thrown at me was the question.