The day I discovered I was not (yet) an Agile coach

I remember that morning, 6 or 7 years ago. I had been practicing Agile for a couple of years and I had decided to update my LinkedIn profile. I opened my profile, edited my headline and replaced “Scrum Master” with “Agile Coach”.

That was a lie. But I didn’t know it at that time. I really believed I had become a coach. In reality I was a consultant, a trainer, sometimes a mentor.

A few years later I decided to go back to school -a coaching school- and it changed my life.

In this talk, I will share my personal journey to become an (Agile) Coach and share what I’ve learned along the way:

  • What is the difference between consulting, training, coaching and why we should care?
  • Why by calling ourselves coaches we are not doing any good to the coach profession?
  • What can we do about it?
  • How did I become a coach?
  • What are my coaching tools?
  • Does your organization really need a coach?
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Outline/structure of the Session

  • The landscape: consulting, coaching, mentoring, counselling...
  • Coaching: a specific role and process
  • An overview of some coaching techniques/models
  • Steps to strengthen you coaching skills

Learning Outcome

  • What coaching is / is not
  • What are the benefits of coaching
  • Coaching techniques/models
  • How my organization/team can benefit from coaching
  • How as a person I can develop my coaching skills

Target Audience

change agents, scrum masters, agile adopters

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
    By SANJAY  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Sylvain - What coaching courses do you recommend for someone in the similar circumstances as you. Consultant Yes, Trainer Yes, Mentor Sometimes, Coach - ?? Also what do you think about Agile Coach Vs any other coaching profession as Life Coaching or Sports Coaching?

    • Sylvain Mahe
      By Sylvain Mahe  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Sanjay,


      An Agile coach is a coach but not only... it's a strange beast that wear multiple hats, sometimes consultant, sometimes trainer, mentor... and sometimes coach. To get started I recommend books like "Coaching Agile Teams" by Lyssa Adkins. When it comes to courses I recommend pure coaching courses accredited by the International coaching federation. Co-active is great (CTI) but there are others. You can start with the Co-Active books to make sure you like the approach and then take a course. "Coaching questions" (Stoltzfus) is a great resource as well. I've also heard that the courses from The Agile Coaching Institute are good. I still believe that a pure coaching course is valuable, and to be considered before an "Agile coaching" one.

      Regarding your question about "Agile coach" vs "Sports coach" I would say that most of the time coaching is applied to a certain field (wellness, performance, career...) and it's a combination of pure coaching + domain specific expertise, meaning that if you already have Agile knowledge then what you need is to take a pure coaching course.

      You can also check out my presentation ( you may find some valuable information and pointers.



  • Daryl Chan
    By Daryl Chan  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Thanks Sylvain. Can you please give brief examples of "some coaching techniques/models" you will cover?

    • Sylvain Mahe
      By Sylvain Mahe  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Daryl,

      Coaching techniques: I'm thinking of Active listening, powerful questions, mirroring, open/close questions. Wheel of life. SMART goals. Do/feel/think. Levels of awareness (spiral dynamics).

      Coaching models: GROW model. Co-active.

      • Daryl Chan
        By Daryl Chan  ~  1 year ago
        reply Reply

        Thanks Sylvain, appreciate the extra detail.

        • Sylvain Mahe
          By Sylvain Mahe  ~  1 year ago
          reply Reply

          You're welcome :-) Don't hesitate if you have other questions!

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