I attended the Agile 2016 conference earlier this summer, and it was my first major agile event since being approved as a Certified Enterprise Scrum Coach (CEC) At the event, I had the chance to reconnect with some great coaching minds, only this time, it was as a peer.
Why go through the hassle
A question people usually ask me about this program is, “Why? Why would you want to become a certified coach? I mean, there’s not really a lot of monetized opportunities. It seems like a lot of effort.”
1) Building Competence as a Coach
The initial answer for me was about building competence as a coach. For most of my journey I feel really good as a trainer, a presenter, a communicator. But I knew that there was a lot for me to discover and to learn about being a real coach, what that involves.
What’s great about the Certified Scrum Coach programs is that the application form itself gives you some very structured learning recommendations, some resources that you can look into to, to start building, knowledge and awareness about profession of coaching.
2) Building Credibility as an Coach
The second reason was the credential. More than building competence, I also wanted to differentiate myself from the agile trainers out there. There’s a lot of people that can explain to you what it means to be adaptable and collaborative and innovative, but actually guiding you on the journey is a very different skill set. Explaining is not the same as constructing.
What did you learn?
So, once I knew WHY I wanted to build some competency and credibility through the credential program, I started going on a journey, and had some “a-ha” moments I want to share.
3) Raising my consciousness
The first aha was my own perception of my teams and my organizations. In particular, the journey raised my consciousness about how much I dominated conversations: “Jesse, stop talking. Give people a chance to just simmer a little bit. Give them a chance to digest. More importantly, listen to how they’re processing their own reality.”
Because a coach is more than just a know-it-all person that has lots of advice to give, and say “I’m going to coach you by telling you everything you should do, and then I’m going to leave and not be around to let you process that or reflect or offer challenging comebacks.” As a coach, you want to build a consciousness, a self awareness about how much are you coaching versus how much are you really just consulting. That was a rather humbling “a-ha” that I had going on this journey.
4) Leverage Community Wisdom
When I started the CEC program, I thought I was pretty smart. I filled out my application form with sage insights like “If I was in a coaching scenario, this is what I would do, and, this is how I’ve done it, and I’ve got it figured out.” However, the community around me had some really rich feedback to offer that said “Actually, um, you’re not answering the question that we’re asking you in this credentialing program. You’re answering the question YOU want to answer.”
I wouldn’t have that self-awareness, that consciousness, if I hadn’t had a community around me to give me the feedback, the corrective course redirection. I was really just focused on how smart I am, instead of conveying an awareness around my experiences and my learning and my failures.
This was just a quick story to share with you the WHY of going through the Certified Enterprise Scrum Coach (CEC) program, and WHAT incredible value I gained as a result of that personal investment.
I strongly recommend it.