The 3-R’s of Agile Coaching

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The 3-R’s of Agile Coaching

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I was reflecting on the craft of agile coaching the other day. As I often do, I was thinking of areas that are important in my coaching competencies and my focus.

Sometimes, when I’m reflecting like this, I generate far too much information to consider at once. But this time, something simple and clear came out of my reflection and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a metaphor I’ll refer to as the 3-R’s of Agile Coaching and my focus on them has been increasing the quality of my coaching. Let’s explore each ‘R’ in turn.

I’m continuing to discover that relationship is the center of everything in my coaching. And when I say relationship in this sense, I mean—

  • Relationship with myself;

  • Relationship with my individual clients;

  • Relationship with my client system(s).

I most actively see it nowadays in the intentionality I have in entering spaces and the meta-skills I bring into play. But I also am more intentional in creating, fostering, and building my ongoing relationships with my clients. This ‘R’ reminds me that the key is always being intentional in how I’m “showing up”.

From the relationship building, I find that making time for reflection is a key daily activity for me. And this reflection is all around my coaching. Reflecting on each coaching engagement. Reviewing all of the feedback. How I approached it and the flow of the coaching arc. What happened and what didn’t happen? And being curious.

From an agile coaching stance’s perspective, what stances did I use and why? How were my sensing and responding with stance changes? In other words, how well did I dance with each client?

I also reflect on my client’s direct feedback whenever it’s given. And I try to pair-coach so I can get an additional perspective from my partners.

In a nutshell, this ‘R’ reminders me to reflect…continuously.

I’ve encountered many coaches who are very controlled in the stances they use to respond and react with. And that’s certainly not bad. In fact, it’s an incredibly powerful part of your professional coaching. But as an agile coach, I need to be leveraging so much more than a singular professional coaching stance with my clients.

Lately, I’ve gravitated towards the Agile Coaching Growth Wheel as my go-to framework for thinking about coaching stances within my coaching arcs. Included in the ACGW are stances that include: coaching, facilitation, guided learning, advising, leading, and transformation.

This breadth and depth make our Sense and then Respond/React ‘R’ an incredibly important part of our coaching. It also serves as a nice closed loop that flows back to previous Rs in a:

Learning loop.

Of course, this is a bit contrived and I forced the Rs a bit. But please look beyond that and consider the intent behind each of the Rs. I think you’ll find it a useful model to focus your coaching and continuous learning. 

Stay agile my friends,


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