In this episode I talk with Karolina Trzcionka and Malgorzata Dec about the coaching approach and how that can help us in our roles as Scrum Masters.
Karolina and Malgorzata have completely different backgrounds (Computer Science and Psychology), but they help Future Processing internally as coaches. They started their journey learning about coaching and being certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and now they work at Future Processing helping local leaders and Scrum Masters to learn and apply the coaching approach to their work.
We talk about how important it is to have people in each organization that understand and practice the coaching approach.
What is the coaching approach about?
The coaching approach has two main characteristics:
- It moves or shifts responsibility for growth from the leader to the person or team being coached, and as a result:
- It helps individuals and teams grow and mature much faster.
Where to get started learning about coaching?
Karolina and Malgorzata recommend the following books to get you started:
- Coactive coaching by Nicholas Brealey
- Coaching Questions by Tony Stoltzfus
- The Manager as a Coach by Jenny Rogers et al.
- Coaching for Performance by Nicholas Brealey
Why is it important for Scrum Masters to adopt and practice the coaching philosophy?
As Karolina and Malgorzata put it: at some point in the life cycle of the team, coaching is the only way forward. No matter what we try, we need to put the responsibility for growth in the hands of the team, and that can only be done with a deliberate and conscious process of helping the team find their own empowerment and take responsibility.
As Scrum Masters we must also be aware of our own self-limiting beliefs.
What are powerful questions and how can we ask those?
One of the key activities and skills for coaches is to ask questions, powerful questions. These questions have a specific task to fulfill. They must help the person being asked (the client) to imagine a different perspective on the problem. Powerful questions, as Karolina and Malgorzata put it, are questions that:
- Stimulate our creativity by leaving the question open for the client to imagine a different definition of the situation;
- Are short, and let the client fill in the blanks;
- Use the same words as the client uses;
- Come from listening with curiosity and without assumptions.
Some examples are:
- How did you solve a similar problem in the past?
- Where could you find some help?
- What is the concrete challenge you have? And why is that a challenge?
- What could be the first step in solving this challenge?
How coaching can help you improve your quality of life
Adopting the coaching approach means that we have to learn to give up on control, but through that allow other people to take responsibility. If you can’t go on vacation because you feel responsible, then you are not yet a coach. Being a coach means that you get to take time off without fear that everything will break while you are away.
This will, in turn, help you manage your energy, rest and find other interests where you can focus your energy, both as a person and as a professional. It gives you the opportunity to say no to the things that others should take on, so that you can say yes to the things you are passionate about. Thanks to coaching you can start to discover what truly matters to you.
About our guests
Karolina Trzcionka is a Delivery Manager, coach and trainer. Working in IT since 2008 –
Karolina started as a QA, and then a Scrum Master at Future Processing where she works today. Karolina works closely with the teams and learned about leadership and management in that work. That led her into coaching where she is able to support leaders and teams in their job.
You can link with Karolina Trzcionka on LinkedIn.
Małgorzata Dec is a Psychologist, trainer, coach and HR specialist since 2011. She supports people creating professional relationships and reaching their full potential. As a trainer she shares ideas to increase the quality of life. As a coach she helps individuals and teams in their change and self-development process.
You can link with Małgorzata Dec on LinkedIn.