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Professional Coaching for Agilists: Accelerating Agile Adoption

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Professional Coaching for Agilists: Accelerating Agile Adoption

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  • Introduces powerful coaching techniques through real-life example conversations between coaches and coaches
  • Helps agilists quickly get started as coaches and then go deeper as they’re ready
  • Shows how to extend coaching from individuals to teams and entire organizations
  • By leading agile coaches widely known for their work and speaking engagements


  • Copyright 2021
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 240
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-674173-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-674173-2

Coach Individuals, Teams, and Organizations to Greater Success with Agile

As Agilists work to increase an organization's Agility, they will run into major obstacles with mindset shifts, moving to self-organization, and organizational adoption. Over the past decade, more Agilists have been using Professional Coaching to help individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole uncover these obstacles and move forward faster.

In Professional Coaching for Agilists, Damon Poole and Gillian Lee draw on their experience with thousands of Agile coaches and practitioners to show you how to use Professional Coaching to accelerate your Agile adoption. The authors' approach of "learning by doing" teaches by using well-honed exercises, real-life stories, and example coaching conversations.

This guide is framework-independent and has been designed for Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, and any Agilist involved in Agile adoption. It teaches high-value coaching skills, step by step, from "coaching by objective" to managing mutually successful engagements.

  • Leverage coaching to create aha moments that lead to real change
  • Learn dozens of coaching techniques and more than a hundred powerful questions
  • Help people uncover blind spots and assess their opportunities more clearly
  • Offer your expertise while maintaining your coaching mindset
  • Help people improve performance by connecting them with their values, goals, and strengths
  • Blend professional coaching with group facilitation so both work better
  • Become a great coach by making coaching a natural extension of who you are
The coaching exercises and resources in the appendices are available as free downloads. Register your book for convenient access to downloads, updates, and/or corrections as they become available. See inside book for details.



Appendix A: Coaching Exercises (56 KB .docx)

Appendix B: Collection of Additional Resources (121 KB .docx)

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

How to Share Your Agile Expertise

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 4)

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xix
About the Authors xxi

Chapter 1: Basics of Professional Coaching 1
What Is Professional Coaching? 1
Our Coaching Toolbox: Principles, Objectives, and Techniques 6
Objective-Based Coaching 7
An Example Coaching Conversation 12
Powerful Questions: The Primary Tool of Professional Coaching 14
Applying Professional Coaching to Teams and Organizations 19
Chapter Summary 19

Chapter 2: Professional Coaching in Depth 23
Professional Coaching Starts with Permission 24
The Session Purpose 25
Exploring the Coachee's Mental Landscape 29
Forward Motion (aka Planning) 30
Closing a Coaching Session 33
Coaching Techniques 34
An Extended Example of Professional Coaching 36
Chapter Summary 39

Chapter 3: Acting as a Mirror 41
Neutrality: The Absence of Distortion 42
Fully Absorbing Information 43
Consider Your Response 46
Reflecting the Coachee in Your Response 47
Helping the Coachee Focus 50
Using the Team to Augment Your Coaching 53
A Complete Summary of Professional Coaching 55
Chapter Summary 57

Chapter 4: Offering Expertise 59
Resisting the Urge to Provide Unsolicited Expertise 60
Handling Explicit Requests for Expertise 60
Sharing the "Minimum Viable" Amount of Expertise 66
We All Have Blind Spots 69
Applying a Coaching Mindset to Teaching 71
Creating a Self-Serve Knowledge-Sharing Environment 72
Guidelines for Sharing Feedback and Expertise 74
Additional Considerations for Sharing Feedback and Expertise 74
Receiving Feedback as a Coach 76
Chapter Summary 76

Chapter 5: Coaching toward Performance 79
Connecting People with Their Best Selves 80
Shifting from Obstacles to Goals 83
Providing Feedback on the Coachee's Journey 85
Rewiring Our Thought Patterns 88
Team Self-Coaching 94
Supporting Coachee Improvement Efforts 94
Chapter Summary 95

Chapter 6: Being the Best Coach You Can Be 97

Bring Your Whole Self to Coaching 98
Leverage Your Emotional Intelligence 102
Experiment and Take Risks to Grow as a Coach 105
Consider Specialized Tools and Techniques 107
Incorporate Coaching Skills into Your Everyday Interactions 109
Pursue Excellence 112
Chapter Summary 114

Chapter 7: Leveraging Group Facilitation 117
The Best Results Emerge from Self-Organizing Teams 118
Facilitation Structures and Practices That Maximize Coachee Choice 119
Powerful Activities--Powerful Questions for Teams 122
Additional Opportunities for Team Coaching 125
Case Studies 126
Chapter Summary 133

Chapter 8: The Coaching Engagement 135
Discovering the Work That Needs Doing 136
Doing the Work 137
Measuring Agility 140
What's Your Coaching Engagement Model? 141
Coaching Contrasted with Other Services 142
The Coaching Agreement for the Coaching Engagement 143
Chapter Summary 148

Appendix A: Exercises 151
Guidelines for the Exercises 151
Exercises for Chapter 1 153
Exercises for Chapter 2 155
Exercises for Chapter 3 157
Exercises for Chapter 4 160
Exercises for Chapter 5 161
Exercises for Chapter 6 162
Exercises for Chapter 7 164
Exercises for Chapter 8 165
Additional Exercises 166

Appendix B: References 169
Our Coaching Principles 169
Coaching Objectives 170
Behaviors to Do and Avoid 171
Professional Coaching Starting Reference 173
Guidelines for Creating Powerful Questions 175
Additional Powerful Questions 176
Guidelines for Sharing Feedback and Expertise 177
Guidelines for Staying in the Coaching Mode as Much as Possible 178
Example Descriptions of an Agile Coach and Professional Coaching 179
Example Coaching Agreements--For Individuals, Teams, and Organizations 181
Example Service Offerings 184
Coaching Techniques 186
Recommended Resources 195

Index 197


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