Mindset of the Agile Coach as…

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Mindset of the Agile Coach as…

Self-Mastery is the hub of the Agile Coaching Growth Wheel. As such, it serves as a central connection to all of the competencies with the Wheel. In other words, each competency has self-mastery as a foundational layer when operating within that competency. 

That being said, when I think of Self-Mastery within the context of the ACGW, I also think about the unique mindset that each competency requires. It’s not one mindset across all competencies but unique aspects that emerge for each competency.

Below, I wanted to explore what I think of as essential mindset aspects for each of the primary coaching competencies—

  • Checking ego lessness

  • Checking coachability

  • Checking self-awareness

  • Checking community engagement

  • Checking self-care

  • Checking your continuous growth

  • Showing Up – Realizing that every other stance is grounded by YOU.

  • Sharing your deep experience.

  • Speaking truth to power; showing up with Courage.

  • Empathy; Walking in their shoes.

  • Partnership; Co-create coaching agenda.

  • Showing Up – Sharing skin in the game.

  • Deep AND Broad experience across methods & frameworks.

  • A pragmatic approach that is unfettered by best practices or defined frameworks.

  • Variant scaling experience.

  • De-scaling and Lean thinking experience.

  • Showing Up – Continuously growing your agile/lean chops and open-minded support.

  • ICF coaching mindset/presence considerations.

  • I hold ethics.

  • Leveraging Powerful and Clean Questions.

  • Powerful Listening, Discernment, and to the Emotional Field.

  • Showing Up – Staying in presence and revealing the system to itself.

  • Fostering deep democracy.

  • Continuously holding up the mirror, revealing the system.

  • All discoveries, outcomes, and actions emerge from the group.

  • Try to be invitation-based, leveraging open space dynamics.

  • Showing Up – Creating and firmly holding the space.

  • Side-by-side; I’ll show you, now you try it.

  • Creating paired partnerships and mentoring teams.

  • Modeling as Mentor.

  • Partnership: Co-create coaching agenda.

  • Showing Up – Establishing an accountability partnership in growth & learning.

  • Meeting them where they are; yet, challenging conversations.

  • Meet the variety of learners; TFTBOTR style and approach.

  • Modeling as Teacher; showing and exampling.

  • Creating the space to learn from each other.

  • Showing Up – Creating a collaborative learning space.

  • Leading by example; serving as a role model.

  • Principles, ethics, and positivity.

  • Clarity of language; awareness of the power of language.

  • Occasionally, Leading from the Front.

  • Showing Up – Revealing yourself to the system.

  • Building empathy – understanding of the business, stakeholders, customers, and leaders.

  • Building empathy—understanding your team’s skills, strengths, diversity dynamics, motivations, and needs.

  • Building self-awareness of your service-oriented mindset.

  • Relentlessly finding opportunities to serve.

  • Showing Up – Becoming an empathy sponge—soaking up the system and serving its needs.

  • Experience and stories around agile organizational structures.

  • Experience and stories around moving from project to product-oriented flow.

  • Deep experience in change models and how to show up as a change.

  • Serving as a visionary evangelist and confidence booster.

  • Showing Up – I’ve been here and done this. Let me help you with options.

I’m increasingly concluding that my most potent coaching stance is how I show up or my mindset as a coach. That is—

Which includes what I applaud, what I tolerate, and what I challenge.

My privilege as an agile coach means that people are watching me…continuously. And what I DO matters so much more than what I SAY.

The cool thing about coaching without coaching is that it’s easy. Beyond being intentional, you’re not doing anything specific as a coach. It’s not a proactive stance but more of a model-based one. And it’s “on” 24 hours a day, whether you like it or not.

I’d encourage anyone and everyone who identifies themselves as an agile coach to reflect on how they are showing up and to be more intentional in bringing that to their clients.

Stay agile, my friends,


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