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Responsive Agile Coaching: How to Accelerate Your Coaching Outcomes with Meaningful Conversations Paperback – September 1, 2020

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Niall McShane is a coach at heart and throughout his career has applied coaching in many situations; sports, life, leadership and most recently agile and ways to work. There are two consistent themes in all of the coaching Niall has delivered over the years; performance (getting the outcome) and growth (learning to be better). These two elements are central to his work and life as a coach, consultant and person.

McShane has built his agile coaching career through hiring, training, and mentoring others to be coaches. He has done this while delivering agile coaching to a broad range of customers (business and technology). In a recent role he was the head of a coach academy at a large (30,000 people) Australian corporation undergoing a full transformation to its way of working; he trained and established a mentoring approach for 70+ agile coaches from beginner to expert.

Arie van Bennekum Co-Author of Agile Manifesto

Arie van Bennekum is one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto and Thought Leader. He is a pragmatic who embeds his pragmatism in structure, discipline and common sense. This eventually led to becoming one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto and an expert in the area of Agile Project Management, team facilitation, agile techniques and user involvement. Believing in his team, facilitating them to reach their best combined with end user involvement, have his focus when he speaks, presents, demonstrates and lectures about agility.

Today, as Wemanity’s Thought Leader, Arie focuses his energy on leading agile transformations for large international corporates and on researching better ways of integrating agile. Arie also is Chair of the Agile Consortium International, lecturer at universities and keynote speaker at conferences.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


For more than 25 years, I have been working in this system we call “agile.” In the beginning, I was experimenting because everything was theoretical. Later, I was working on making these approaches solid and reliable and most of all, delivering value to the client. What has always been a big question mark for me is the fact that although the end results are initially successful, clients had always an excuse to step back into their old habits―the old habits that resulted in non-delivery.

Later on, I detected the power of old paradigms deeply embedded in the organizations in areas such as decision making, documentation standards, career paths, bureaucracy, job descriptions, evaluation and reward, and last but not least―habits. Habits, once in position, are difficult to change (“it does not work for us”) and also define a person or company’s reflexes under stress. These deeply rooted habits make it difficult to help people change; it is common for people and organizations to revert back to their old ways. People bump into an issue and instead of fixing it in an agile way “forward,” they regress “backward” by reimplementing old habits. This problem offered a massive opportunity: the professional domain of the agile coach. 

Now there are a lot of people who call themselves agile coaches; however, and I am so sorry to say this, I often meet coaches who don’t know how to coach. Agile knowledge and experience is often already an issue, but the lack of coaching skills strikes me over and over again as a major issue within this professional domain.

The question is: what exactly are those coaching skills? I do not claim I have the one and only answer, but for me it is clear that “supporting people in finding their own way” is not the way. For me, an agile coach is like a sports coach. Sometimes you have to be directive and strict on the dos and don’ts, and sometimes you have to let teams struggle a bit and move forward on their own. Collective change (to achieve collective benefits) and tailor-made team improvements are both part of the support needed, and this is what the book is all about.

I recommend you read this book to learn. Read to see how this book can help you in your career. The help is out there, and a professional agile coach is always interested in the lessons and improvements forward that can be learned from another. Enjoy!

Arie van Bennekum
Co-Author of Agile Manifesto
The Netherlands

Product details

  • Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
  • Paperback : 322 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 195036738X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1950367382
  • Product Dimensions : 5 x 0.25 x 7.75 inches
  • Publisher : Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press (September 1, 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating