Coaching Agile Teams – Interpersonal Skills a Must

I know that coaching is hard. It requires many skills including: facilitation, encouragement, experience, an openness to learn, and interpersonal skills. I have learned that many believe that good Agile training and coaching requires technical skills (in a software development environment) above any other ability. I do believe that technical are important. However, those skills can be learned and advanced within the time with a team, training and/or coaching.

I have met many people that would like to train and coach. The one thing that seems to be lacking in many of them that would like to be effective is strong and well-developed interpersonal skills. I mean skills that include the ability to relate well with others, the ability to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with others as they learn and practice the art of being Agile, and the ability to observe and offer suggestions with humility.

Technical skills can be learned over time. Interpersonal skills are much harder to learn and have a much deeper impact on those that are being trained and coached. The second set of skills help teams develop, aid management in becoming part of the Agile transformation, and allow individuals to become partners in the process of culture change.

Wouldn’t you want an Agile coach that has integrity, wisdom, and humility over one that is proficient in .Net, Java, and can build databases?

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