Redux: SH*T Bad Scrum Coaches Say…

Redux: SH*T Bad Scrum Coaches Say…

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In late 2014 I ran an open space at the Raleigh Scrum Coaches Retreat with this title. You can read more about that session here.

I then got the opportunity to run the session again at the Phoenix Scrum Gathering in May 2015. The session was well attended with the room full at around 100+ people. So the dynamics were a bit different from the retreat.

Instead of focusing on those bad expressions, I want to instead share some of the new themes I heard in this session.

Context matters – this came up again and again. What was the context in the team? The organization? The project?

Intent matters – look at the intent. For example, someone could say something terrible, but what is his or her intent? This is easier the more experience you have with the coach interacting with team members.

Empathy matters – I’ve been hearing this over and over again lately in some of my agile events. The coach needs to have empathy for the team and the team for the coach. Consider this the – put yourself in their shoes position.

There were several other points that came up in our debrief:

  • Give yourself permission to occasionally be a “bad cop”;
  • Earn the right to coach, as an ongoing team member;
  • Apply the 5 Why’s – looking for the story “behind” the story;
  • Always connect to the customer, the ultimate WHY;
  • Always “protect” your team…sometimes even from themselves;
  • A big part of context is: team maturity and the kinds of results being delivered.

After my session, I was given the opportunity to be interviewed on this topic as part of the SolutionsIQ Agile Amped series. You can view the interview here.

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