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This is post #43 in 100DaysOfBloggingChallenge

The only session without any slides (from what I attended) and an insightful one. Coaching is something which is so widely recognized as essential, yet it’s understood or mastered by very few.

He asked the attendees to pair up and discuss what coaching means to us! Some of the responses:

  • Helping people grow
  • Guiding
  • Providing direction
  • Asking the right questions

I liked this definition given by the presenter:

“Coaching is a process of guided reflection”

A coach will ask questions like why do you want to do X? What would be different if you do X?

A Coach asks the right questions so they can discover their answers.

Why Coach? Why not just tell people what to do?

Because Behavioural changes require emotional attachment.

What makes coaching effective?

It’s important to build relationships!

  • Empathy and congruence will help you be a better coach.

If the client is struggling to make some changes, a Coach would help them do the required. Sometimes, finding the goal is a huge piece of work.

Sometimes, finding the goal is a huge piece of work.

How would you coach a team which doesn’t think they need any help?

The coach needs to

  • develop trust
  • Sit and observe
  • Give feedback
  • And build relationships

You need to gt them to  point where they realise you can provide value to them.

Agile Coaching comprises of Coaching, Mentoring, Teaching and Facilitating.

If we consider Agile Onion, the inner layers are easier to teach.

Two Core skills of coaching are listening and questioning


  • Its different from listening to your mates.
  • Listen to the way the person is thinking
  • Look for patterns
  • What is said and how is it said?
  • Observe the body language and facial expressions
  • Be comfortable with silence – When you ask a person a question and he/she gets silent, be patient, dont jump in and interrupt their thought process

Some traps of listening:

  • Not being comfortable with silence
  • Drifting to you own thoughts
  • Jumping to conclusions, stereotyping
  • Thinking about your second/next question when the person is answering your first question


  • Stick to client’s agenda
  • Be concise
  • Aim to increase self awareness
  • Start with What and How


  • Avoid WHY questions
  • Avoid advice in disguise e.g. Would it be a good idea if bla bla?
  • Avoid leading questions
  • Be open minded