ABC - Always Be Coaching
As you progress through your Agile journey you may start to notice that you (consciously or unconsciously) look for ways to help fellow Agilists. For instance, imagine you’re at an Agile conference and meet someone who is new to Agile and is faced with many challenges. You listen to their struggles and coach them on identifying the root cause as well as recognizing some potential solutions. A few weeks later you reach out to this person (perhaps over email) to assess the outcome and possibly offer some additional coaching. There are 2 key benefits of this interaction: 1. A less experienced Agilist has now gained valuable knowledge. Ideally they can put what they’ve learned into use right away. 2. The experienced Agilist has further reinforced their understanding of the topic under discussion. Knowledgeable Agilists should always be looking for ways to help others. There was a time when the experienced Agilist was not so experienced and would have greatly benefitted from someone with the knowledge they now possess. Furthermore, when Agilists automatically go into “coaching” mode they naturally become better coaches. Essentially, the more you do something the better you get at it. When you take a “coaching” first approach, you’re enabling someone to be better. That doesn’t mean you have to solve their problem. Maybe your assistance involves introducing them to someone else who is better equipped to discuss the issue. Another important point is that everybody needs coaching and it doesn’t have to come from someone more experienced. A 20-year veteran of Agile can certainly learn a lot from an Agile colleague with only 5 years of experience. So the next time you witness someone in need, offer up some coaching.