Presenter: Pierluigi Pugliese

Objectives:

What if an Agile Coach could have a way to determine the right question to ask to intervene on an individual or a team? How valuable would this be for a such a coach?

The Solution Focused methodology is widely used in psychotherapy and also in coaching. Itʼs based on designing a solution and working out the steps needed to achieve it. This is a very elegant approach because it shifts the discussion from the emotionally-filled problem state to where the result is: the solution state. This technique can be successfully used when coaching Agile teams, for example during planning and retrospectives, but also as a reflection mechanism and coaching technique for Scrum Masters, Product Owners and the whole development team as well.

The session is intended to give an experiential introduction to the Solution Focused approach, providing the basic practical tools to use it in the daily team coaching activities.

Intended audience:

The session is targeted at agile coaches, scrum masters, product owners and, in general, everybody relying on intensive communication in teamwork. The methods presented can be effectively used also by team members to achieve a more efficient teamwork by asking “better questions” and understanding the difference between asking questions to provide a solution and asking questions to search for a solution.

Contents:

  • Content-free coaching: a definition
  • Solution Focused approach basics
  • Methods used in Solution Focused work: systemic questions, miracles, interviews and scales
  • Where to apply these methods when coaching Agile teams
  • Reflection and lessons learned

After a short introduction to correctly frame the basic concepts, the session will proceed presenting each method through a short description. For the methods “systemic questions” and “scales” there will be a set of hands-on exercises in small groups. Each group will be composed by a minimum of three and a maximum of five people: the coachee, the coach and one to three observers. In each exercise round, the coach will coach the coachee utilising the concepts introduced. The observer has the role of observing both coach and coachee, providing feedback on the process, in particular on the following aspects: 1) has the coach worked “content-free” or did she suggest solutions? 2) what about the body language of both coach and coachee? 3) were there moments when the coach was more effective? If yes, what happened exactly?

At the end of the session there will be a reflection collecting feedback from the participants about how they felt during the process and how they could utilise the techniques in their work.

Format and length: 90 min presentation and interactive exercises