What is a coaching conversation in Agile? A sharing.

Coaching conversation in Agile

To understand a bit more about coaching in the context of Agile,  in this article, we will review a coaching conversation.  The review criteria are derived  from the definition of  coaching by International Coaching Federation, the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches.

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Of course if you know PCC markers, you are welcome to use these markers  to review the conversation.


The coaching conversation to be reviewed is “What else can I do to include the middle managers in this agile transformation journey?”  


In this review, there are  two parts

Part I : “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process”

A lot of people know coaching is not telling.   What are some ways a coach can help a client to shift towards a desired outcome.   In this coaching conversation, the coach has demonstrated a few tips.

  • Clarify the outcome.

In this conversation, after asking the client to express the focus of the conversation,  the coach has followed up with a clarification question.

6:32 [coach]  Okay. I see.   And just, just so that we are clear about what the outcome will be for our conversation. Um,  when you say “what else”, what do you mean by that?


  • Active listening.  

Coach has picked up a few keywords which help the client to go deeper in the conversation.

18:23 [coach] More and deeper.  When you say more and deeper, what do you mean by that?


  • Asking “thought-provoking” questions

Coach’s favorite question in the conversation is “what do you mean…”


Part II : “maximize their personal and professional potential”

  • Client is in the driver seat.

In this conversation, not only  the client determines the focus, he is having opportunities to explore the topic in the direction of his choice.


  • Shifting client’s mindset using a metaphor

The coach has invited the client to consider the metaphor “gardener”.  Through the metaphor, the client has reflected on his past image as an “expert” and  is finding his ways to embrace a new image as “gardener”.


  • Ask for learnings from the conversation. 

17:31   [coach]  Yeah, yeah. So what are you learning so far from our conversation, Wan

 It is followed up with a question on potential action.


  • Celebrate success in the conversation

21:27   [coach]  So Wan, I applaud you on getting to this point in your thinking. How do you want to translate this insight that you’ve now into action?


What do you observe in this coaching conversation?

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