True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing. - Socrates

As those of you who read my blog often know, I recently made a career jump to a contracting firm to consult at different large-scale organizations. To my dismay, my first assignment has been more as a developer than as a coach/scrum master, but I felt this would also be a good opportunity to observe and understand how to coach effectively. I might even experiment with seeing how well I could help improve practices from the trenches.

You see, I thought I knew all there is to coaching after being in an agile environment for three years and seeing a lot of good and bad approaches. The contrast between that and my current workplace has been profound… I’ve often been swift in pointing out rotten practices, often citing a lot of the good practices that I’ve experienced work well and know to be right. It ends up in lively debate for sure, and of course I sometimes bring my ego and assume I am always right. But I have been bothered by my ego a bit lately and trying to dial it back.

Anyway, while I was walking my dogs this afternoon it hit me… coaching isn’t about being right, it’s about providing options and helping the team discover the right practices for them in the moment.

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