Leading agile teams with coaching skills

Leaders in the agile world have a hard time. Traditional leadership tools and behaviours quickly reach their limits. In complex environments, new leadership responses are needed, as different values and principles apply here compared to traditional management, for example. Above all, agile leadership is based on a completely different mindset: instead of wanting to change people, you look at the entire system and subsequently concentrate on changing this system. Instead of decisions being made solely by the manager – who has usually become a manager thanks to great technical expertise – the teams often decide together. In this way, the manager legitimises himself as a leader not on the basis of his technical expertise, but on the basis of his leadership expertise. Instead of short-term sub-system or key figure optimisation, the focus is on the customer or the added value that the organisation provides.

Interestingly, leadership answers to the challenges in the agile world are not only found in the very latest management books and publications, but have been around for quite a long time. Among others, in Systemic Coaching, which has been widely known in German-speaking countries since the 1980s. Systemic Coaching has a special application in leadership. Coaching techniques and methods are used here as leadership tools, such as questioning techniques, conflict coaching, tools for team coaching, visualisation of the system, and much more. Coaching as a leadership style is experiencing a renaissance in the field of leadership development due to the strongly increasing introduction of agility in companies.

If you want to use coaching successfully in agile leadership, a lot is demanded of you: self-reflection, acting as a role model, role clarity, the willingness to step out of your own comfort zone and the courage to break with the conventional. But for the agile leader, there are a lot of advantages and benefits in the first place:

  • Agile team leadership at eye level without instructions, pressure and coercion.
  • More personal responsibility and self-organisation of the teams
  • Greater security and trust
  • Continuous development of the team and the leader
  • Appreciative interaction and open feedback

There are many ways to learn Systemic Coaching in depth. If you want to familiarise yourself with the topic, reflect on your own role as a leader and add some coaching techniques, I recommend our workshop "Coaching Skills for Agile Leaders". In 2 days you will get an insight into the basics of Systemic Coaching, learn basic tools and techniques and apply them right away. And if you are into it, the workshop offers many references to further and more in-depth literature as well as trainings.

You can find more information about the workshop here: https://www.kegon.de/en/training/coaching-skills-for-agile-leaders/