Self-Management and the Agile Coach


The Oxford Dictionary defines “self-management” as, “the taking of responsibility for one’s own behavior and well-being.” It is said to be a key skill for an Agile Coach.  Perhaps in line with the word “management”, we are liable to get so caught up in methodologies and techniques concerned with controlling what we want to avoid doing or preventing what we don’t want to be, that we sometimes lose sight of what it is that we actually want to be and do as a coach.

“Self-management” comes into better focus when we view it from the perspective of what we are attempting to managing toward. When you look at it this way, it becomes apparent that if you’re not clear on that, if you’re not focused on what you want to be as a coach, and do, it’s probable that you’re going to encounter some difficulty in achieving it.  Yet for practical purposes, at least in terms of basic, personal interaction, we can state a lot of what the coach should strive for in a very few words, possibly even in an order of importance:

  • Interest
  • Caring
  • Extroversion

And happily, even though you might say, “Oh I’m an introvert,” or “Truthfully, I could care less,” these are, to a very workable degree, skills that you can practice and improve on.

For instance, you can, just walking in a room, look around and observe objects – let alone people – study them, and you will, inevitably, start getting a little more interested in the room, AND a little more extroverted at the same time, if you do the drill sincerely.

And you can study a person for a while and find something in them to relate to.

I’m sure, at one time or another, you have experience a moment of urgency in which your interest, extroversion and presence in the moment shot up, out of sheer necessity! Well, if nothing else that proves you can do it. Which means it’s something that you can actually practice and become more skilled at it. And we’re not talking about something faked here. You can spot that a mile away. We’re talking about the real thing.

This also goes to your attitude. If you find yourself feeling antagonistic, bored, angry, a little upset, or even apathetic, you can 1) learn to spot that this is the case and that it also means that you are less interested and extroverted – that’s just the way it works; so you can use it as an indicator and 2) rather than introverting in order to “figure out why this is” you can, tactically, just apply the technique of getting interested, just overtly making yourself do it.  And sometimes, to your great surprise, you just may, in a little while, cease to have any further attention on whatever it was you were sunk in.

Hope this is helpful.


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