The Agile Coaching Series - 1

Evelyn Tian
Since 2009 I have been working with agile coaching, and it has been a journey of continuous learning and each day has been a learning day. I shared my experience at difference conferences, including product, leadership and agile conferences.

Here is a summary - if you are interested in knowing more, you are most invited to reach out. Join our global community - let's network and grow together!
Now let’s get started- given the confusion about Agile Coaching, let’s start with a skiing story that we can later use to compare, explain and generate insights about Agile Coaching.

Note: If you haven’t read the Introduction to The Agile Coaching Series, please check it out.

Many of your friends ski, and you became really interested in skiing as well. You did research into different ski schools, various ski programs and checked around with your friends. You heard quite some good feedback about the programs offered by Ski Teacher Aveline. Evaluating your schedule, budget, location, feedback and more, you decided to select the join Aveline’s skiing introduction program.

Meeting the Ski Teacher - Aveline

During the introduction program, Aveline started by introducing how to put on ski equipment, how to control skies, how to make a pizza shape to control speed, and how to zig zag. She explained, she demoed, and she also took everyone to baby hills to practice. Aveline corrected you and showed you based on what she saw while you were skiing down the baby hill. At the end of the program, as a newbie to skiing, you managed to ski down from baby hills without difficulties.

To celebrate the success, Aveline also took you to a slightly bigger hill and explained to you how you can practice further.

After this, you became even more excited about skiing. So you decided to practice on the bigger hill. You tried hard but it was more difficult than you anticipated. You fell multiple times. You felt frustrated and even slightly scared when you saw snow bumps. You have a friend whose name is Eve, and she has been skiing for years with quite some experience. So you reached out to her for help, and asked her to practice with you.

Skiing with Friend Eve

When you started to ski with your friend Eve, Eve first watched how you skied. Then she worked with you by explaining and demonstrating to correct your postures. For instance, she showed you how to ski with snow bumps around you. Eve showed you how to bend your knees slightly forward, to avoid falling on your butt. Eve practiced with you to make sure you ski with correct body posture. You skied with her a couple of time, and you successfully navigated yourself with some snow bumps around!

Eve also shared with you a few tips, such as how to ski with snowboarders around you, and how to avoid potential problems with snowboarders.

After a couple of ski trips with Eve, you improved significantly, though you knew you still had a long way to be as good as Eve at skiing. But you were happy with your progress, and you started to ski with other friends on weekends. Your interests continued to grow.

Your skiing expenses continued to grow also. You started to feel that renting ski equipment all the time is not worth it. It did cost a bit and a half to rent an entire ski set. You researched slightly, and buying seemed to be a viable option.

Shopping with Eveline

So you went to a ski equipment shop. Immediately you were quite overwhelmed with various options, long skies, short skies, wider skies, more narrow skies, different types of boots, and various options on bindings. You consulted somebody working in the shop, and they worked in the clothing department. They referred you to Eveline, a senior employee in the ski equipment shop.

Noticing your confusion, Eveline explained to you the difference, principles and feeling of long, short, wide, and narrow skis, and lectured around the mechanics of bindings, and highlighted the key differences among ski boots. You asked her to recommend a ski-set to you. She asked about your budget, your skiing level, height and weight, and your preferences. Then she advised three options, and you decided to take one of the options as you loved the look and the budget also fitted nicely.

You continued skiing. Unfortunately you got into an accident with a very fast skier. You almost had a concussion and you became so afraid of skiing. You wanted to ski, but you felt scared the very same moment you thought of skiing.

Reflecting with Evelyne

You went to see your professional coach, Evelyne. Evelyne and you have been working together for a few months. You first started your sessions about your work and life related topics. With her help, you advanced with career development and some decision making in life.

As skiing became a growing interest for you, you actually brought up the topic with her already before you decided to pursue with skiing. You shared with Evelyne about your desire to ski back then, and she helped you reflect on how you plan to get started, and what information can be helpful in the past. Though Evelyne doesn’t know how to ski at all herself, she supported you with reflecting on the importance of skiing to you, and you made the decision to proceed with taking introduction programs etc.

During this coaching session, you brought up your dilemma. With Evelyne’s help, you reflected on your ski experience, your feelings and emotions, evaluated the pros and cons of skiing, and what options you have to overcome your fear. With her help, you were able to see the situation better and you decided to take a break from skiing. In addition, when she asked you about what your plans are next. You reflected on what to do with your ski equipments, and evaluated the pros and cons of keeping the ski equipment. You decided to sell due to fast evolution and replacement of ski equipments.

So here ends your skiing story.

Moment of Reflection

Now I would like you to reflect what’s the relationship among the skiing story above, Agile Coach and Agile Coaching.
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