On Taking Chances … and failing

Okay, so the truth is that this picture is not me.  It’s not even Vermont – where I happen to be working and freezing right now!  It’s my cousin Theresa and it’s in Illinois.  She is standing on her Dad’s frozen pond and loving it!  When I saw her post this picture on Facebook all I could say was, “That … Read More

Performance Coaching – Helping People GROW

As an agile coach I get the opportunity to have mentoring and coaching sessions with scrum masters who are in a rut.  They usually have tons of potential but don’t know how to take the next step forward. In order to facilitate these conversations, I use the popular coaching model GROW. G – Gather Data R – Reality Check O – … Read More

Why are we standing?

A few months ago as I stopped to check in on a team during their daily scrum and I saw something really interesting happen.  This team was co-located in a team room and were all sitting around a large conference table working collaboratively.  There were two large whiteboards on two walls of the team room and one wall held a … Read More

Pushing the Limits

In my role as a coach I often have to conduct hard conversations with people that push them beyond the limits of where they are comfortable living in order to bring them to the place they say they want to be but only I can actually visualize. Their reactions to these conversations at first are often defensive because they think … Read More

Introverts, Extroverts, Ambiverts – How Life Affects Us Differently

Three very different people types: extroverts, introverts and the very little known ambivert. I find that people have great misconceptions about what people with these three personality types can and cannot do. In general, I hear comments that extroverts do outgoing jobs that involve people and they are very successful, introverts don’t play well with others and they hide in … Read More

7 Tips for Delivering an Engaging Conference Presentation

As a consultant one of the things that I enjoy most is speaking at conferences to help people gain knowledge about various topics that they can take back to their workplaces and implement. Often, after a session, people will ask for tips about how they can become better speakers. So, I thought I’d use this blog to give some of … Read More

Why They Need Agile Coaches

Over the past several weeks I have encountered multiple people from completely different companies that are implementing scrum.  Some have been trying this for a few weeks.  Some have been doing it for a couple of years.  Others are somewhere in between.  Some received formal training.  Some read books.  Others supplemented with You Tube videos. Everyone I spoke to had … Read More

Failure Must be an Option

I have heard people say all my life, “Failure is not an option,” and today, I would like to challenge this belief and say that in order to succeed, failure must be an option. One of the things you learn when training to be a coach is the art of deep listening.  When practicing this art with a team, the … Read More

Coaching Teams Tips from the Trenches

Earlier this week I met with a group of coaches of various experience levels from different backgrounds to talk about coaching teams.  We discussed together our successes and failures in attempts to learn from one another.  What follows is a list of the results of what we discovered together. Create an environment where it is safe for people to fail … Read More

Servant Leadership in Action

Earlier this week I attended a retrospective with team I am coaching and watched as a growing scrum master stood up and started the retrospective saying, “Ok guys, I’m going to step completely out of my comfort zone again today.   You didn’t like the activity that we started the retrospective with last time so I’m not going to make … Read More