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Managed Chaos
Naresh Jain's Random Thoughts on Software Development and Adventure Sports
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Goal of an Agile Coach

As a coach, my goal is to help people evolve their thinking to be more “agile/adaptive”. Building great software is only a part of it. Agile/Lean thinking applies and shows in lots of ways even outside software. And in lots of cases I’ve seen that when people start applying these values in other parts of their daily lives, they get a much broader and deeper understanding of this thinking process.

Few years ago, when I was a consultant at ThoughtWorks, people used to ask me, what was my job like. I would respond saying, “My job is to set up small ‘safe-fail‘ experiments for my team.” Learning from one’s mistake in a controlled, safe environment is the best form of learning according to me till date. It has a much long lasting impact. Almost always, this really helped me evolve my understanding of how agility can manifest itself.

When it comes to Coaching, there are different styles. What style you can use depends on:

  • Your strengths and weaknesses. By your personality. 
  • The team & individuals you are coaching.
  • Whether you are going in as a coach or they (the team) is coming to you for coaching.
  • The short-term and long-term needs of the team
  • And so on….

Over and above all, to be effective at coaching, one needs to win the trust of the team. Trust is very important. If the team does not feel safe in your presence, then you can’t be effective at coaching. I strongly emphasize on building trust and gaining respect quickly. This in-fact would be my first goal as a coach.

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