Jun 21, 2019
Joining Dan Neumann today is return guest — and his colleague at AgileThought — Sam Falco! Sam is an Agile Coach and Certified Scrum Professional with an extensive background leading Agile development teams.
In today’s episode, they will be discussing coaching around resistance. Sam began developing this topic a couple of years back when he had seen some books and articles about overcoming resistance and how to defeat resistance. It had always struck him as kind of psychologically violent, very prescriptive, and not too collaborative. When he thought about his own experiences with resistance — both when he resisted some sort of change and his experiences coaching change — he discovered that it should not be thought as something to be overcome, but instead, as a useful red flag.
Sam further explains what coaching around resistance is, how to get people to talk about their emotions when they’re resistant, how to become an effective coach for leading changes or a transformation, and how to build the skills that are key to coaching around resistance. They also discuss the different levels of relationship that are important when coaching around resistance, the different types of inquiry you can apply in your coaching, and overall, what you should keep in mind while coaching.
What is resistance?
A natural reaction to an emotional process of adapting to difficult change
What is coaching around resistance?
It is when you act with empathy and help others to — not overcome or defeat something — but to work past what is blocking them
Treating the underlying cause rather than ignoring it or bandaging over it
How do you get people to talk about emotion (in regards to resistance)?
Use humble inquiry (which is asking for information in the least biased, least threatening way which helps to build trust)
Access your ignorance
Ask in a neutral way
Sam’s advice for being an effective coach for leading change or a transformation:
Consider the relationship you have with this person (the four levels of relationship that Edgar Schein identifies are: ‘minus one’ relationship, transactional relationship, personal relationship, or intimate relationship) with the goal being ‘personal’
Have honesty about the mutual problem or the experience that is happening
Honor commitments and promises
Find that level of comfort where you both trust each other to be open and truthful
Share information (which can help foster that personal relationship)
Use relationship/team building exercises such as The Line Journey or Personal Maps
Model the behavior you’re expecting from them
Build a rapport so they’re open, transparent, and willing to share the true challenges that they may have
Live by Scrum values (which helps to build the relationship to the right level)
Use humble inquiry to build trust
Use diagnostic inquiry, confrontational inquiry, and process-oriented inquiry at your discretion
How to coach around resistance:
Make sure to ask more questions
Leave more space for the other person to talk
Go beyond the mechanics; which includes the values of Scrum
How do you build these skills?
Start by trying them on/practicing with someone who you already have a good, trusting, personal relationship with
Mentioned in this Episode:
Sam Falco’s Book Pick:
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