My personal motive for attending Agile Coach Camp US 2016 was to improve my “soft side” coaching skills. The open space session that resonated most from the three day event was the one conducted by @zachbonaker and Michael Herman on the topic of inflicting vs. inviting Agile on those not yet to embrace it.
Take a second and reflect; are you inflicting Agile on others or inviting them to share the joyful experience with you?
Human nature tells us we have a tendency to resist something when it is pressed upon us (aka “inflicted”) . This is largely due to the feeling of losing the ability to control our own destiny. However, when invited, not forced, we tend to be more open to pursuing the opportunity because of curiosity, control, and sense of acceptance. A casual “invite” also provides the sense of safety to move at our own pace.
When we promote Agile, we use terms such as empowerment, autonomy, and innovation. IT folks seek this type of freedom their whole career. So why are so many of us, myself included, inflicting Agile on those that have yet to embrace it? Especially when history and human nature tells us that this approach will only lead to resistance.
Are we making the journey towards achieving the “mindset” even harder then it has to be? Are we getting in our own way as change agents?
After a long flight full of reflection, I am as guilty as anybody when it comes to inflicting agile. I need to adapt and prop the door open instead of pushing people through it. I challenge the coalition to do it the same. It will enable us to achieve our mission of improving the world of software development much sooner.
So that leads me to my request. Can we help one another in our community with “how” to employ this more diplomatic approach? What type of intentional practices should consciously of adopting in our everyday coaching techniques to invite agile instead of inflict? Thanks.