“Put Your Oxygen Mask on First”: Self-Care and the Modern ScrumMaster

As ScrumMasters and coaches, we devote our time and energy looking out for our teams, finding ways to support and challenge them as they become higher and higher-performing teams. As we succeed, we take on more and more, highlighting larger organizational impediments and coaching beyond the team. We help managers, leaders, and whole systems improve. We turn our jobs into our passions, and pour our hearts, minds, and even our bodies into helping everyone around us.

But, who helps the helpers? Who coaches the coaches?

There’s an old saying that I used to hear as a ScrumMaster just starting out: “The average tenure of a ScrumMaster is 18 months, then they burn out.” Nearly 20 years later, that’s still true, and we still aren’t doing anything to help.

For ScrumMasters, coaches, and anyone else who needs to take time to care for themselves, this workshop will focus on providing a framework to help understand the different types of self-care – internal and external, individual and collective – and then work through three different practices you can incorporate tomorrow as part of your own self-care regime.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

* [2 minutes slides, 3 minutes table exercise] Using the Check-In Protocol from Jim and Michele McCarthy’s Core Protocols, participants will “check-in” with other participants at their tables, so that they can bring their whole-selves into the session without judgement

* [2 mins slides, 5 min pair discussion] Participants will use the Integral Coaching lenses – internal/external and individual/collective axes – to provide an additional self-evaluation model to build on the Coaching Competency Framework. Participants will use the Integral Coaching lenses to discuss where they currently feel more and less resourced, more or less fulfilled.

* [2 min intro, 7 min individual practice] As an Individual Exterior self-care practice, participants will spend 10 minutes doing a series of in-chair, seated yoga poses – poses specifically designed to reduce stress and re-energize the body, and be highly compatible with life in an office.

* [2 min intro, 7 min individual practice] As an Individual Interior self-care practice, participants will spend 10 minutes guiding participants through a 10-minute loving kindness meditation practice, focused on subtle changes you can make to this meditation to address specific struggles you’re having with individuals, teams, and even your own inner critic.

* [2 min intro, 7 min individual practice] Lastly, as an External Collective practice, participants will use the Network of Support practice to identify the external help and partners they already have to help support them, building and extending their community of support and care.

* [~2 min] In closing, we’ll review the things we’ve discussed and open the floor to questions.

Participants will be provided take-aways to carry with them for each of the three practices, and the two different frameworks we’ve used during the session.

Learning Outcome

* Recognize the importance of self-care practices as a part of any ScrumMaster or Agile Coach's work supporting organizational change;

* Identify the different aspects of self-care using the perspective of Integral coaching;

* Practice three different self-care techniques you can incorporate into your daily life – a somatic practice, a meditation practice, and a community-building practice.

Target Audience

ScrumMasters, Coaches, and anyone who needs self-care practices in their toolbox

Prerequisites for Attendees

Some experience being a ScrumMaster or Agile Coach.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago