EAFH58: Cherie Silas. Influence without authority: Making 360 impact when you don’t call the shots
coach, people, agile, organization, happening, coaching, problem, change, agile coach, resistance, work, solve, compliance, client, agenda, solution, hear, company, stand, fix
So good morning, everybody Happy Saturday is the 16th 930 or 940 now, and today we're doing Sheree silence, we have her as our host. And she's going to be talking about influencing without authority, making 360 degree impact when you don't control the shots. Sheree, for those attendees who might not know you, or might not have heard about you what's important for them to know about you before we get started today?
Um, well, I guess just a little bit about who I am. I think many of you, I've met several of you I noticed things and I know some of you have been in class with me. So I mean, I'm a coach, I am a coach, I have been an agile coach. And my big thing is really training and developing other coaches. So bringing professional coaching over into the Agile space so that people well, if they call themselves coaches come in need to understand and apply what actually coaching is beyond just the mentoring, consulting type things. And so helping to bring those two walls together professional coaching and agile coaching to make more impact because I believe that that's what makes sustainable changes when we approach things as a coach. So I'm a mentor to professional coaches. I'm a coaching supervisor, which basically helps coaches to reflect on the work they're doing with their clients and to improve that. And I run and own tandem Coaching Academy where we train analysts and coaches. And guess that's probably about it. However, I am willing to share whatever anybody might have questions about.
It's very much a round of applause for Sheree. She's awesome. So why don't we just dive right in? Sheree? If you're ready. Think the rest of us are ready?
Sure. All right. So let's talk a little bit I'm not going to put slides up right now I'll just kind of pop them up and pull them down because they kind of get in the way of us looking at each other. So I know that some of you are coaches because I've worked with you. I'd like to maybe if you could hit that chat box and talk a little bit about who you are coaches, Scrum masters managers, dog walkers, what is it that you do? And are you in the Agile space? Senior Scrum Master, agile coach, writer, editor and aspiring teacher, Tony, you're going to have to tell us tell me a little bit about that. Is it in the Agile space for your writing fiction novels? Or what? Seeing your agile coach fall over a parish? Okay, so
I have joined agile space before, but I just I like the concept of it. And I just love to learn more.
Yeah, awesome. Well, good to have you here. And I hope that some of what we talk about will be good for you today. So some of you who are already in the coaching space, you will, you will already know a lot about coaching and the way to bring coaching into your world and the impact that it can have. And so I'm going to go ahead and pop this on the screen. I, in my journeys as a coach and as someone who developed who develops coaches, one of the biggest questions I get is, how do you deal with resistance and resistance and being able to make an influence where you don't really have control as agile coaches? I don't know how many of you ever go into an organization and they give you the keys to the kingdom and they say everyone reports to you. Everybody has to do what you say. Yeah, not really. They're usually instead saying, you have no control. You have no authority and you better fix my whole my whole company for me and I'm gonna sit here and watch And then I'm gonna blame you whether it works or doesn't work because that that more more likely what happens? Yeah. So then we come into this place where not only do we have to be able to influence people to get them to come and follow the direction that we're going. But we also have to be able to deal with this thing of resistance. And so I want to hear a little bit from you. Tell me about what you think creates resistance. You are welcomed up on mic and talk. Hey, kuleana way.
Yes, sir. So I think resistance comes really from beliefs and values, and the mental models that every person has. Like, for example, right now I'm dealing with a lot of resistance, because we're implementing a big change. And people come and say, I've always done that way. Like for the 30 years, I've done it that way. So that's what comes, comes up. Most of the time.
It's been marking this way for me for 30 years. Who are you? Because Tell me what I do. Is it right? or it doesn't work? That's it? Yeah. Early again. JOHN, you were gonna add something? Yeah, I
think anytime that. Anytime that I think somebody is trying to fix me, or tell me what to do, maybe guilt me or make me wrong in any way, then I'm going to resist that.
So when they, if I can maybe interpret that a little bit, maybe when people are talking down to you, or trying to maybe manipulate you is what I hear when you say guilt? Me?
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Me wear me down. Make three. Yeah.
Interesting. And a Porsche had something in here, which was they're not ready to change. Or they're really happy with the current process, right? Yeah. So what happens? What do you see with agile coaches? I know something that I see not with all. But when I talk about what I see agile coaches doing that may not be working, it's more like, over the years, I've seen people do these things. And it's like, interesting, let's see how this pans out. And and maybe not really. So I see where other coaches, or other people who are trying to bring change into an organization do a lot of these things that you say, right? They go in and try to say, well, your way is wrong. My way is right, you should be doing that, like I do it. And there's not a why. And there's not a problem that your solution is trying to solve. So you can make you throw a bunch of solutions out. Everybody do it the way I do it, here's my solution to make you better. And everybody's saying, Wait, why are we doing this? What was wrong? What is broken? What are we fixing? Here? Stop. It was good before. And then there's this other aspect of it, where I often see people, you know, like I said, the company says, Coach, you can fix everything for me. And so the coach has taken ownership of making the change, we're what happens when it's your responsibility to change something. And you are the one like your performance review or your name is on the line for when it works or doesn't work. How do most people handle that? Like, like, john, if you are like, I'm going to kill your contract. If you don't get this done? What's going to happen with the way you interact?
Well, I'm certainly gonna be under stress, because I don't want to lose my paycheck. And then I'm probably going to go into some kind of overkill to make darn sure like it happens no matter what.
Right? Right. So there's this pressure and what I call that is the coach bringing their own agenda in like, you've got to make me successful, you've got to change you've got to do what I said do because it's me that's going to get in trouble. Well, let me ask you a question. If you're an employee at a company, and some person comes in and they start saying make me successful, do what I say even if it doesn't make sense to you. How motivated Are you going to be to follow them like yes, let's make this guy I don't even know successful. Yay, he's ruining my life. Let's help him. Yeah, probably not gonna happen. Right. So when we get our own agenda in the way, and we're trying to force our own success on other people, number one, they see straight through it. And number two, it doesn't make sense to them. And so when we instead focus on them, and what's best for them, and what's going to help them, that makes a difference, because now it's about them. And it's not about us, if you make it about me, and about what's going to make me successful, even if I don't quite understand it, I'll be more open to hearing it. Right? So let me go into first point here. This is what I've seen happen, both in engagements that I've been on and engagements that I've watched other people in. I've seen train wrecks happen between the coach or the person trying to implement change, and the people they're trying to work with. And so some of the things that cause the train wreck are these things that we're talking about how the coach interacts, or how the change agent interacts with the other people. If I'm in professional coaching, there's this concept of the not like customer service where the client is always right, it's a bit different. It's that the client is smart. The client knows what they're doing, right? We say in coaching, that the person you're working with, is competent, not broken, they're resourceful. And they don't need you to fix them. Now think for a minute. If you're working in your organization, and you are looking at people, let's say that manager that is totally frustrating you because they keep doing the opposite of what they say they're going to do or what they're supposed to do. You know, the one who was maybe an engineering manager, and they've got work they need to get done. So they go yet people often have a few teams and say, Hey, I don't care what the product owner says come do this, or the one that maybe isn't interacting with people the way you think they should. They're not empowering the team. They're kind of micromanaging. So if you look at them, like they are competent, they don't need you to fix them. And they are resourceful. How are you going to respond to them? What's going to happen when they do these weird things that you're like, why are you doing this? What What do you think the different responses if you really see them as competent?
I think shitty people will feel that, when you talk to them that way. And when you believe and trust them, they will feel it. And when they feel that you believe and you trust them, everything changes. So that's why like me, as a coach, when I go into a company, I work on the trust first. And then the magic happens.
Right? Right. People need to know, they need to be able to trust you. Right? And if you see people as broken, like the normal reaction to this kind of person is, oh, why are they doing this? What is wrong with them, I'm going to go tell them what to do, I'm going to go tell their boss, I'm going to do something, right, I've got to fix them than doing it wrong. However, if you really see people as competent, and believe that they are, then what happens is when you see something happening, that's like this is not the way we're supposed to be doing it. Instead of getting frustrated, and going to fix them. You actually get curious, because you see it, and you're like, that's weird, or while that's frustrating, and interesting. This person knows what they're doing. They know how to run their company. And they're making this decision that seems odd. There must be a reason why they're doing this. There must be some problem they're solving. And this is the solution that they've come up with. Let me get curious and find out what's actually happening at you. So that different behavior is what causes people to see them to their agenda, not your agenda. Because if I'm looking at them, and I'm like, you're doing this wrong, you should be doing it this way. They're gonna feel my agenda all over it. You're breaking my agile. But if I'm going to them and I'm finding out you know, hey, I see this thing happening. Let's see what's going on. I see that there's this whatever happening right? What's happening? What are you trying to solve And what problems are there? And how can we how can we help? How can we do this better? Right? So we're looking at it from the perspective of what they need, not what we need. Um, so when I'm working with organizations, I do something a little bit different than what maybe I would be doing if I was fixing the Agile for clients. So you can't fix their agile, if you're going to do coaching, and you're going to make sustainable change, the client has to own their own change. And so if the client owns their own chain, it's got to be about their agenda, and not my agenda. Right? So if we take it outside of Agile for just a minute, suppose you maybe you're trying to lose weight, that's a famous when most people try to lose weight, or maybe some of you lucky people are trying to gain weight. And and, and you say, Hey, will you be my partner? and help me lose weight? Sure, what do you want me to do? I can, I can ask you, if you walk, I can ask you how you eat, I can cook better food for you, whatever. And can I actually make you lose weight? Can I make you stick to a diet? No. Right. And if I'm, if I'm, even if I constantly monitor every bite of food you put in your mouth, if you want to do something, you're going to go hide in the closet, need a case of chocolate, you're going to get in your car and go to the bank and stop at the fast food place, you're going to do what you want. Because only you can make a change in your life. Because you have to want the change. And your mindset has to shift to what you want. And where you want to be not where you used to be. Well, if we look at this, from the same perspective, from helping organizations or individuals change, you can't force them to change and you can't make the change for them. So you can't make people agile, you can't make companies agile, which means you can't drive the change, they have to drive the change. So another way to get away from resistance and to have influence even though you don't have the authority to say this is what we're doing is to go with their challenges their agenda. And what I mean by that is, what are the problems that they're having,
that you might help them solve. So I've been in organizations, I could tell you some of the stories about how I messed up. But I can remember working with one company, it was a it was a large company that had a bunch of divisions, you know, like typical companies like I'm sure you've worked in. And so I was working in one organization. And I had been there for a while and the way that I was interacting with them work for them. And they were moving right along. And so I moved over to another organization to work with. And they kind of came in the same way. I just assumed same company, right? same company, same atmosphere, same culture. And so when I came into that side of the organization and started to work, I immediately got resistance. And so I was working with in that side, a whole different kind of engineer. And they had a lot of experience a lot of talent. And so what I had to do when that instance was like was put the brakes on first, ooh, this is not working. I made a bad assumption. I came in the same way I was over there and not happening. So I backed up. And what I had to do was just I looked for was the most influential person who's the one everybody follows, and went and talked to him. And I was, you know, first I had to be humble and say, Yep, I totally messed up, sorry. And this is what I want. I'm here to help you. I'm here to be a partner with you. And so I don't want to bring my stuff in. What I want is to know, what's your pain points? What is it that's hurting you and frustrating you? And what do you what do you want to be better? I can't I maybe can't solve the problems, but I can be a partner with you to figure out how to solve them and we can experiment together. And so that made a difference because it became about his problems, not my agenda. When you walk into an organization and you look around and you say that's broken, that's broken, that's broken, that's broken, this is what you need to do fix this, do this. Do this. You're going to get slammed with resistance. Instead, when you go in and start asking questions like a coach would, and start listening and seeing people as competent, you can act, you can hear the things that are frustrating them. Now, when you come in, you're going to see a bunch of stuff, that's not the way you would do it. And that's okay. Hang on to that, because a lot of the problems they're having are going to be solved with a lot of the things that you see aren't being done well or are being done, right. The difference in approach is if we solve their problem, and I have some suggestions of things that might help, it's their problem, it's about them, and their are wanting to solve their problems. So now you're seeing as someone who's helping, if you come in and just apply a bunch of solutions, and they can't identify a problem important enough to solve with those solutions, then there's no point all you're trying to do is put your stuff yet. And also, it's also it's putting in like it's focusing on process more than it is on on adding value and on people. Right? Our goal is an agile, agile is never the goal. I'd like to have a little bit of conversation about this point right here. Agile being the goal, because what I hear consistently, through clients, through coaches through ways that people are measuring several companies I've worked for the measurements that have success that putting in is how many agile teams have we adopted? Are they shoe hungry? Or are what practices are in place? And it's all about agile? And I say, agile is not the goal. So what are some thoughts from you about what is the goal and why agile may or may not be the goal? Happy to have you proved me wrong?
I know from from myself. The goal is to fulfill the purpose of the enterprise.
What if the Enterprise's purpose is to adopt that?
I don't think that that enterprise would last long enough to pay my paycheck.
Right? Okay, who else has some thoughts on that?
Anybody? Really, fuck focus on business outcomes, like what we are trying to improve in terms of business?
Right? It's business outcomes, right? Yes, people are applying, they want to adopt agile. But keep in mind, agile is a solution to business problems. We have business results that we want to achieve that we can achieve. And we believe agile will help us solve them. So we want to adopt agile. And then what happens is people get confused. And instead of measuring the business results that the solution is trying to get you. They measure the solution to see if we're doing the solution correctly. And the big problem with that is all solutions are just experiments. Yeah, during the experiment, a haka head
on the top of that, not only like just experienced, but if you say my goal is to launch 10 agile teams. So agent, they will measure that by launching 10. A Joe James, it will be a check in the box. Okay, I'm down. So what's happening? why it's not working? I launched 10 agile teams. Right? But then it doesn't work. Yeah.
Right, because you're measuring to make sure that you've applied the experiment correctly, not measuring to see if the experiment is working. Right, when you write a hypothesis, it's this is the problem we have. This is what we think will solve it. And this is how we know that this actually solved the problem, not how we will know that we applied the hypothesis correctly. And so so this is what creates the pushing of my agenda because my agenda is at all. If your agenda is the company's business results, it'll be their agenda. Okay. Maybe Let me open this next one here. So here's another concept That comes from professional coaching, that helps you to be able to work with others, and be able to make impact. Even though you're not the boss, it's about partnership. It's not about compliance. So we often have people approach things where it's like, here's agile, you're supposed to be doing all these agile things. And approach it from a perspective of, you have to do this, you have to listen to me, it's the way it is, this is the way we're going to do it. We're going to take these practices, and we're going to spread them out across the organization, and everybody has to look exactly the same and do the same thing. The problem with that as well, what adds value. And because we're working in cultures that are very complex, and we're working in making a bunch of different systems, every system is not the same. Right? And so compliance is not what we want, compliance is not going to get you sustainable results. What compliance is going to get you is just, I'm doing what you said, as long as there's a forcing mechanism, making me do it. And then when that fork forcing mechanism is gone, I'm going to go back to what makes sense for me, or what I really want to do. Right? So instead, what we want is partnership. So I worked in an organization, years back. And it was it's an interesting story about the difference between compliance and partnership. Because when I got to that organization, there was a coach that had been working in the organization, he was running the the engagement, and client said, you know, they agreed, we need some more coaches. So I came in as a coach, me and one other person. And when I got there, what I usually do is, walk around, get the lay of the land, talk to people get to know what's happening here, the problems, all that stuff, just see what's going on before I even try to start doing any work. And so I started noticing that people were in different teams, a lot of them were doing the exact same things. Okay, let make some sense, right? I'm doing this team does this, it works. They tell another team, the other team does it that works. And then I started to notice that it went down to the like the tiniest detail. And I was like, well, I wonder what's happening here. And I could, I could see the handprint of the coach that had been working with I could tell which ones he had been working with, because they were all doing exactly the same stuff. And so I went into a stand up one day, and they were in a conference room, the had gripping conference table, and a big screen on the wall where their their storyboard was up on, I think it was rally they were using. And so they were all in this room, they were looking at the electronic board. And first thing they did was okay, it's time for stand up. They were all working and collaborating. And then they said it's time for stand ups. And they all stood up at their chairs, and they started looking at the screen. And then so somebody looked back that you know I was in the room yet somebody kind of glanced back and they saw me in the room. And then I could see him getting kind of nervous. And I could see other people getting kind of nervous. And I was like No, like, worried about me, you do your thing. This is your stand up. I'm just standing here observing like anybody can come to a daily Scrum. And at the end, they did their thing. And at the end, they turned around and they were like, what do you want to add something? Hold on one second. Sorry.
grandkids, sorry. And so they asked, What do you have anything to add? And I was like, No, not really. I mean, it looks like you're gonna collaborate and it sounds like you have a plan. Like, this is your stand up. There's not really much for me to add. And then somebody said, you mean you're not going to say anything about the board talking. He said, Well, the other coach, he told us we had to use this other filter. When we looked at our work and our daily Scrum and when, if he comes in and we're not using it, then he goes and tells our boss that we're not coachable and we're not listening to him. So are we gonna get in trouble? Are you gonna yell at us? And I was like, Well, why are you using this filter? And we're like, because the other one doesn't make sense. This is the one we need to see the information we need. Sounds like you know what to do then right? Like, continue on. So what was happening was he was getting compliance as long as he was there. And his idea of the way things should be done, yep, they were complying. But when he left, they actually did what added value to them. And so in the end of the day into the story, the air is that I worked there for about a year, when I when I pulled out of that organization, not long after that the organization decided, we know what we're doing, everybody is like, on the money, they're doing what they're supposed to do. Let's take the coaches out. And then the coaches left. And then everything started to roll backwards. And the leadership even pulled out all of the scrum masters, and said we don't need for a masters. And so things started rolling backwards, like to the way it wasn't before. And what was interesting was the groups of people that I was working with, many of them quit, even though they had 1519 year careers with this company. Because they said, We don't think like this anymore. This is not the way you cannot introduce us to this stuff, and then take it away. And so they could no longer live in that organization. The ones who had worked with the other coaches, they just stopped doing what they were reinforced to do and did whatever the next person was forcing him to do. So the difference was that I worked with a coaching approach. I worked as a partnership, I let them make decisions about what added value and what didn't. Yes, I gave my opinions when needed. I raise risks, ask questions, things like that. But ultimately, they own their own change. And because they owned it, the way they thought about the way they did business changed, and they weren't willing to roll backwards, they weren't willing to comply, because they had taught been taught to take ownership of their own change. What are some thoughts that you have on that? If any?
Okay, yeah. Um, so there's, I think there's something inherently repugnant about being forced to do something, whether it's right or whether it's wrong, when you don't understand why. And so people who believe that they have choices about where the work, don't endure the repugnance for very long, they began exploring their options. Only when you believe that you're trapped in an organization that you're at? Do you have an unlimited appetite for being disrespected into compliance with something? You have no idea why it's a standard?
Yeah, collini wanted to add something.
Yes, I remember years ago, we were four or five coaches, standing next to a board, it was a chain board. Similarly, the example you mentioned Sherry, so I remember four or five of us standing in front of that board, trying to solve a problem that a team had, about how the board should be organized. We spent so many hours we lost so much time. So yeah, and we were four or five people, you know, saying that we were coaching them around
the hoverboard would would work best.
No, yes. But at that time, it was a learning. Yeah,
yeah. But that's natural, right? That's how we function as humans, we're problem solving machines. And so we know stuff and we want to solve stuff when actually, the best solutions come from the people who are doing the work, because they know the solutions, okay? And then so the other part of this client piece that doesn't really work. It's so say I'm in an organization and I do They have problems and we do some experiments and we find some things that work and we apply them and it works beautifully. Great. I go to my next company, and they have same problem. Logic would say I know the solution, this is what you need to do. That doesn't work. Because even though it's the same problem, it's not the same system. And so because it's a different system, it's got different underlying conditions around the problem. And what works in one system will not work directly in another system. Now the concept of what worked in another system, you can apply and adapt. But you can't apply it directly. Right, let's say, I'm sure many of you know how to ride a bicycle. Right? So I know how to ride a bicycle, you know how to ride a bicycle, at some point someone either taught us or we taught ourselves how to ride a bicycle. But the way I learned to ride a bicycle, might not work for you. Because you as a human system have different ways of functioning your body, different ways of thinking, different ways of believing, maybe the way I learned, I learned with training wheels. And then I took one training reel off and wrote on one, and then took the other one off and wrote on the other where some of you started with no training reel, somebody held the back of your seat and let you go. I've seen other kids learn how to ride a bike, oh my gosh, do not try this at home. But the older kid putting a rope on the bike of the younger kid and driving down the street with the bike dragging the other kid until they figured out how to how to ride the bike. Right? It's same concept, you've got to figure out how to balance and pedal. But every system is a bit different. And what works for one won't work for the other. So while I will bring it and say, Well, here's what we did over here in concept, very, very high level we did this, this and this. How do you think something like that might fit in this environment? What would need to change if something like that we're going to work here? Right? So you still got the basic concept of the solution. And they need to figure out how to implement it in their world, and it may not work at all, because they've got a bunch of different constraints. And so that's why we need to be looser with our opinion, instead of just trying make force compliance. I know how to do it. I'm smarter than you that goes back to fixing the client believing they're broken. All right, yes, john?
Yeah, I can say like, like you taught me that, you know, hold your hold your beliefs lightly. Um, and that really saved the day, a lot of times, like, you know, I, I'm with multiple clients. You know, people like to have options, um, being able to choose freely among many options is a terrific sensation as a human being. And my being attached to the best option doesn't serve the client. And so like you said, when I when they asked me well, john, like, how what what is it that we could do you know, what are the possibilities? And I say, well, ABC, or if I just say, well, I've heard of a, I've seen B, and they go Yeah, we're not doing that in like a sub second timeframe. Like let it go like I never even said it. Yep. And they value that.
All right, Joel.
Hi there. And apologies for not being on camera. Yeah, I have to wonder about doing some stuff. One of the things is I mean, a lot of the things you said I totally resonate with, like I tend to coach people not agile. And the thing that really came to mind is to even emphasize further I would go even further to say that if you as a coach or a scrum master or product owner, whatever role in the Agile universe if you are carrying an opinion about the solution, you're probably in service of yourself, not the people you think you're serving. And that you know that's a really hard thing to let go of, because I think a lot of us, you know, wrestle with the hero syndrome that we complain about other people having it's called projection that you know, we are we are here to solve for your problems with agile with Scrum with Kanban with Whatever who started service of and as they said in clubhouse when I played there?
Right? It's, it's about what they need, not what we need and and the reality is they know their environment better than we do. I mean, think of how much how audacious it is for us to think I can walk into your world, listen for 15 minutes and solve problems you've had for years. It's a bit arrogant. Ray, do you have a question? Or a comment? I see you off mute, but I don't hear you. All right, and let's move on and till Ray, if you get your step up and running, feel free to jump in. So this brings us to this concept, asking, rather than telling. So when, when we ask people questions, number one, the biggest thing it does is it causes them to think instead of us thinking for them. And so when we work in organizations, whether it's as a scrum master code or any other type of change agent, the goal is to get those people to take ownership of their own change. Right? So if we tell them how to change, first of all, we go back to the resistance. If I tell you what to do, you're not going to love it. And I've also noticed that whenever I solution for clients, most of the time, they're like, nope, try that. Nope, try that. Nope, that won't work. Nope, that's not going to work either. Like it's such a waste of time. So it's better to just ask, and so we get asked questions, instead of tell people what to do or give solutions. It creates an environment where people know they're respected. They know they're heard, they're seen as intelligent, they're seen as capable. And it also gives them the ability to think outside the box. We don't know what we know, until we have to articulate it. We don't know what we know until someone asks us and then we have to kind of search our head and say, Okay, well, I know this, and I know this, let's put these things together. And okay, here's the answer. I never really knew I knew that. But when you ask me, I was able to put it together. And yeah, that makes sense. Here's what I know. And so by asking people questions, it takes their wisdom and their knowledge, and it teaches them how to put it to use so that when you're not there, they can still do it. When you ask them questions, it actually trains them to ask themselves questions. I have I do individual coaching, not just organizational. I have a lot of clients who come to coaching sessions. And they were like, yeah, this week, so and so happened. And I was like, Okay, what would she ask me right now? Or what would she say? And then I was able to just, I said, what she would say this. So this this, is it, right? And so because they are so accustomed to working with me in a way that I'm asking them questions, and I'm pushing on their ideas, that they've learned to pattern their brains after that. And then the other thing that asking questions does, instead of telling people what to do, is that I'm, if you come up with your own solution, you're going to be more bought into it. Right? If you design it, you're going to have a motivation to implement it. For two reasons. One, because you believe in it, and to because you've probably verbally committed to it. And now you feel an obligation to get it done. You take the responsibility and the ownership for the idea that you had that you decided to implement. You're invested in it. Now think for a moment about when you're working with a team and developers are asking product owner Nope, tell us exactly what you want. Like, tell us where you want this bar. Tell you what, tell us where you want this letter. How do you want it implemented? Like you've got to break it down all the way. We don't want to think we want to just do what you told us to do. Well, two things are happening. One, the people with the talent are not using their talent. They're depending on someone else. To tell them what to do. And what happens if it doesn't work? Well, that's an easy out product, or we just did what they told us to do.
So when, if, if they are allowed instead or pushed instead to make their own decisions, if it doesn't work, they're not gonna say, Oh, so and so let us do that. They're gonna say, Well, that didn't work. What else do we need to do? Let's try this again. Right? So you want to create an environment where people are taught, or not even taught that they were utilizing the wisdom that they have. One of the things that is constantly amazed me is I work in organizations where they're seeking the top talent, paying them high dollar rates, and then telling them, I'll think for you, you just do what I tell you to do. Well, why do you need top talent, you don't need top talent for that. You can take anybody who can follow an instruction manual, use them for that, right? So use the talent in the right place. And so when people come up with their own ideas, they are more willing to take ownership. When was the last time somebody told you what to do and how to do it? And you were like, Yes, I can't wait to do what you told me to do. I think it's dumb. I can't wait to do it. It's not gonna work. But I can't wait to do it doesn't solve the problem. But I can't wait to do it. Right? Put it on them. So one thing that I tell product owners and managers and coaches and everybody else is when you when you work with people, instead of coming in and saying, okay, here's a solution. Bring the problem to them. It's too easy to say I have a problem. Let me think of a solution and then tell you the solution. It's more effective to say, Okay, this is the problem I have. So for example, if, if a manager is having a problem with, I can't I don't have the information I need, and my boss keeps asking me for stuff. Well, maybe their first thing they're going to say is Well, look, I need a report, I need y'all to report to me everyday, where you're at what you're doing so that I can answer these questions. Well, that's a solution. And so when the manager comes, and they say, this is what I need, this is the solution. They won't use those words, but this is what I need from you. The question is, what's the problem that you're trying to solve? Let's find out how we can solve it, we may have a better way, we may have a way that's more effective for you. And that's not going to be a pain for us, right? So what's the problem? And so teaching people or manager instead of telling them you need this report, instead, don't you don't do the work, you push the work to them? This is the problem I'm having, I don't have enough transparency to give my manager the answer. How would you like to solve that? Now maybe they say we'll give you an A report. But maybe they say, here's this other way. And it's less tedious, or it's less expensive, or it's more clear, maybe there's a way to automate it. But as long as only one brain is working, the one that's got the problem, you're not going to get the best solutions, you're going to get the solution of one person. All right. Next piece here, when be when influencing people who you don't have authority over. And I would say, influencing people when you do have the authority also, because it just works better is to have a consulting mindset, I mean, a coaching mindset versus a consulting mindset. And so the difference here would be that a consulting mindset, looks for problems tells people how to fix them, a coaching mindset. It ask questions, ask what problems are there and partners with people to figure out how to solve what they want to solve and not what you think needs to be solved. So it's really what we've been talking about this whole time. It's the difference between I know, I'm going to fix you. And you know, and I'm going to partner with you to bring in the knowledge that you have. And so at the end of the day, it's all about relationships, about human focused, working with people, treating humans like your humans, seeing other people as being intelligent, just as or even more intelligent than you are, and trusting them in their own environment, to be able to do what they need to do. So I know we are At time here, so I'm happy to open up for questions or Robin, I'll hand it back to you and you can tell us what
to do. Yeah, so I mean, yes, what I was gonna do first off, open up to any questions. Um, I did put Sherry's LinkedIn profile for those of you that are interested in connecting with her and the chat. array, did you get your question?
That that one over three remark. My intention is to capture a certain person's attention and make her laugh. I'm severely aged ADHD, I've been in the adult education, consulting coaching business as a technical person for 55 years. So three, would you? What is he saying? Would you marry me?
My husband is not gonna love that. polygamy is not legal in the United States. So I'm gonna opt out. But I mean, if we could see who you are, then that might make a huge difference to my camera doesn't work. But that was in my marriage ability doesn't work either. Sorry. Who's next?
Dr. Dave looks like you're muted.
No, just saying thanks. Right. Let's Yeah, cool. Robert Jetta, man, you're the MC. All right.
Yeah. So any other questions? Go ahead, Gilberto.
Thank you. Thank you, Sherry, for the nice talk, and many, many interesting points. And one thing that I'm always having issue is, when you let the people get the solution, right, you bring the problem, and you want the team to come up with a solution. But sometimes there are many people, right, six, seven people needing to have a solution. And sometimes you have the pressure from from management from above that we need a solution in, not one week, two weeks, but after two, one month, you don't come to a solution. And they are like starting to get pressure, like the team is not making solutions. So what what do you do that in that, in that, in that situations when the team is actually not coming to the solution after quite some time? This is something I just cannot. I don't know where to move.
And just one quick question. Are you talking about like a solution to a general problem? Or is this like a technical solution?
A performance problem in the team?
Okay, great. So um, I think there's a couple of things here. So first, making the problem clear, and, and doing experimentation. So first off, if it's an individual who has a performance issue, and like in the team's approach, the issue, they've offered help or whatever, and that person is either not capable or not willing. That is the manager's job, not the team's job. It's not the coach's job, that is a performance management thing that does not belong to the team, throw that out, let the manager deal with it. If it's a some other issue, like they can't work together, or they're having just general problems, whatever, then it's a couple of things. So as you're brainstorming and trying to solution, your goal is to create a series of experiments that you can try. And so there's a couple of concepts that are helpful here. One is, if I have an idea, and I give it to the team, it belongs to the team, it's not mine anymore, I don't own it. So nobody can fight for their own idea to be intact the way it is, it's what we're going to do, the ideas, we put ideas out, and we build on those. So once I give you an idea, you can the team can accept it as is they can throw it out, or they can add to it, change it until we build together the best solution. We don't we don't want to fight for our solution. We want to build together the best solution. And then if you if you figure out well, what are the what are some experiments we're going to try? Well, here again, go back to that hypothesis. Here's the problem we have this is the thing we're going to do that we think will solve it, how will we know if it solved it? We're going to see this, this, this and this change and run that experiment for a time box. Now if you get out the gate and in a day you know that this experiment is not working kill the experiment. Then move on to the next one. And so what happens is that you get this iteration of trying things. And so you get to get rid of the stuff that doesn't work until you find out what does work. Maybe you get an experiment that partially works fine. Adjust what's not working until you get what is working. And don't be afraid to call other people in. If they just simply are lost. There's no point in saying, Well, you've got to figure it out. If there's someone else or something else, some reef resource or other people bring that in, let them get all of the information they need, however they need it. Does that help?
Yes, pretty much in terms of what to include the upper management in knowing that we are doing experiments and that so that they don't get paranoid that nothing is.
Yeah, there's no reason why you wouldn't be transparent. here's, here's we're running experiments. Here's the time box, this experiment work. This one didn't this one didn't. We're on our 14th experiment, if anybody has ideas for other experiments. No. Right.
Thank you very much. Yeah. Okay. Even include them to the experiment. Thank you.
You're welcome. Oh, Joel, I did see your hand up that we do have a question from Carlos in the chat. Any suggestions for how to remove the siloed mentality that may result when agile teams reach capacity and are unable to help other teams?
Oh, yeah, I'm sorry, I had to read it just to make sure I kept on. Um, so I would say this is actually a priority problem. It's a work in process problem, and it goes up to a higher level. So the more work you put in progress, the less work you get done. So if you've got teams that are, they're unable to help other teams will find it's because they're, they need to focus on their own work. But my bigger question is why? Why do we need to help other teams? Now if you're saying that other teams can't get their work done, so they need help, and we just don't have enough people, it means we've got too much work, need to back some down and prioritize. This is why we have backlogs. And so top things on the backlog are what gets done. And then. So there's that. And then I think it's, it's the working always from that priority. Right? If the question is about, we've got these teams, and there's dependencies, and my team needs your team to do something, but you don't have time to do it. That is a product owner to product under thing. And so it's a part of dependency management. So if I need your team to do something, then we need to work with the product owner to get it on your backlog and get it prioritized. And just like any other stakeholder, you need to make a case for the work that you need done. And among product owners, they've got to think broader than just my product. Here's my silo, these are my toys, I don't care if your toys work, they've got to look at it from the company perspective, from the whole business perspective of from a business success position. What is the priority? If I don't do this, because it's not what I need for my product, but it slows down your product. And that makes a bigger impact, then that needs to be higher priority than some of my work. And so, Carlos, I'm I'm let me know if that didn't answer your question, or what you were meaning in your question.
Sure, you this is Cameron, if you take it to the next level, that probably leads into some of the challenges we face in the organizations where the comp, and their reward recognition system is directly linked to certain behaviors as well, right? Being in silos, and still performing and getting promoted, sometimes drives them than anything else.
Yeah, we agree. So when doing performance management, this kind of goes to enterprise coaching. When doing when working with performance metrics, and performance management, you want to look at team metrics, yes, there should be some piece that's just you. But if you're working in teams, then we should be rating people on teams. And that's not just agile teams. So if you want to see silos, broken across organizations, then put those leaders in teams and have them accountable for for things as a team, not just for their own silo. And then that forces the company thinking rather than the individual thinking, as long as you are going to incentivize this leader and that leader and that leader in whoever's the best wins. Well, that's what you're going to get. I'm taking my toys and I'm going home. But if you say, well, none of you win unless all of you win, then they're going to put their toys all together. And they're going to say, How can we do the best thing from a company?
That makes a lot of sense. Thank you, Cameron.
Joel, did you you you had your hand up? I haven't seen it up in a while. Did you still have that thought? Or question?
Sure. Actually, this was a follow up to kill I think, was Gilbert's question a couple ago. I heard in the question and assertion that there's some team performance problem. And I'm curious to know, do we know that's where the problem is? Or is that just where management said it was?
So when I when I answered that my thinking was not from the manager said it was a performance problem. I was thinking of it from the team perspective. Alright, if the individual that's not performing, so was that question to me, or it
was to was to Gilbert, actually, it sounded like, it sounded like what he was hearing is management pressure to work on some sort of a team performance problem. And I was just opening this fear to say, do we know that it's actually the team that has a problem versus something in the system around them, that keeps them from being able to do what the manager wants? If that makes any sense.
Just to clarify the we have some initiatives that we try to finish at the end of the sprint at the end of the month of the quarter, and they are not being done at the end. So we are actually not being able to reach the goals that we are setting. So for management, that is a team performance issue. So it's not individual performance. But it's a general, right, you know,
I don't want to drag us into the bushes, I guess I was just thinking, a lot of cases where I've seen this. There are reasons around the way the company does work, and the way the teams relate to each other, and infrastructure, stuff about various other things that could be related to why the work is not getting done. And I guess I don't automatically accept the cast of a manager to say, the team is the source of the problem, and the team can get something done. If that makes any sense. Could be might not be. But if we go and victimize the team, then they're not going to be in a leave of worship to feel like they have any control over their life.
I agree completely.
Yeah. Thanks. I just I thought that was helpful. Thanks.
I wanted to ask you another question. Camera. I wanted to kind of build upon this and ask, because there are actual situations when you're running into us into a place where some of the individuals on the teams may not have the right. How would you handle that?
Well, there's two, there's a couple of different ways. So first, the manager is responsible for ensuring that people have the skill sets they need or helping them to get those, whether that's sending them to training or whatever. So there's that piece of it. So if they just don't have a competency to do the work, and then it's, it belongs to the manager. However, the other way that I encourage people to do this is to have them pair with somebody who doesn't know it. And so this is often the case where what senior developers on the team do, they pick, they partner with junior developers, or with people who are just transferring to a different language or platform or whatever, and partner with them to learn together. So what you what you don't want to happen is that people can only work in one one section, like it should be collective code ownership, not I own this section of the code, and I only do this. And so you want to create an environment where you're teaching one another, who, who wants to be the bottleneck for everything. If you're the only one who owns it, you might think it's job security, but actually, it just means you can never go on vacation. So we want to make sure that that ownership is spread. So I've seen many teams, and one of the things I do is just again, take it to the team, here's the problem, need to learn this skill set, how are we going to do that. And so maybe other people on the team partner with them, maybe they need to go take a class, whatever and then and you know, so that's why part of this is it's technically the manager's job to make sure people will have or retain the skill set they need and that they've got competence. And then the team because we're a team and because the performance of the team is more important than the performance of the individual, they may slow down in order to bring that person up to speed so that the team can speed up because it's best for the team later.
It's an artist sense. Absolutely. let other people ask question because and I have something that I would like to follow up further.
Okay, so we're about to start wrapping up here. Um, so I think maybe Dr. Day, do we have time for one last question, or?
Well, I like to, to kind of like, give Sherry an opportunity to promote her upcoming book. Right. I think that's essential. And then let's talk about our future conference. Sounds good.
So Sheree, I noticed you put the link in in the chat for your let's hear about it. Yeah,
yeah, just went on presale. So it's out there. We're gonna release this book, enterprise agile coaching. And it's about creating sustainable change through an invitation approach to agile coaching. So through a coaching approach, rather than a consultant approach, and this book was written by me and Michael Dell avanza, and Alex could not. And so we've got some a good range of perspectives in there. And it It talks about how you work with organizations first, what is a coaching mindset? What does it look like for you to be? How do you think when you're working with organizations, and has a section in there that starts all the way back from how do you submit a proposal and go through the MDA? Yeah, MSA and SW process? And how do you do business development, things like that? And then once you're in the organization, how do you coach in that organization? Even things like metrics, and so there's a bunch of there, and then we've got this beautiful section. That is on Kevin, and I don't know if you've ever tried to read snowdens work on Kevin, but oh, my gosh, he's so intelligent way more than I am. And so this, this piece here is the most understandable, Kevin explanation that's on the market, anywhere. And so we worked to get that. So that the, the concepts are accurate, and the wording is such that people have normal intelligence or average intelligence, like me, can actually understand it. Because sometimes like these, these scientific books are way out of hand. So we wait, can Evans a beautiful theory in a way of working, but if he can't understand it, it's not helpful. So yeah, we'll release on December 15. And so we'll have the ebook. And we'll have paperback copies also, and they're on presale now.
Awesome. Thank you so much Sheree. So if you guys liked and enjoyed Sheree today. She This is not her only event that she's going to be participating in with us. In February, we have our annual agile for humanity conference being celebrated at the end of Black History Month, February 22nd. Through the 26th. She is going to be one of our key awesome teachers that are going to be offering some certifications and workshops. Sheree is going to be offering discover coaching condensed. So if you really liked what you heard, in the realm of what she does, as far as coaching, sign up for a class, figure out a little bit more what it's about. We also have other instructors that are going to be there, such as Dee Vaughn and Lizzie Morris, we have Trisha, Broderick, Karen Bruns, Lorraine Aguilar, all of them are going to be awesome. Go ahead, and I'm going to drop that link in the thing right now, since we have super early bird tickets isn't the cheapest you're going to get them. And then in November, I think the 15th day is when the prices go up to early bird. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, if that's something that is interesting to you guys, go ahead and sign up for that. I'll go ahead and put sharees linked in in the chat once more for you guys, just in case you want to connect with her. And I think that is it for us today. Dr. Day, do you have anything that you wish to share?
Oh, no, I just like to say thank you, everyone, for showing up on your Saturday morning or Saturday afternoon, depending on where you are in the country or the world. And, you know, we do this by monthly so we'll have someone else who's going to bring some of the great, you know, ideas that shirt Sheree brought today in December. I think he's coming out of Hong Kong. And we're still trying to confirm that so that would be another interesting and informative presentation. So I just like to say Sheree, thank you for all that you do. You know, I've been Tapping you a lot in the last few months for doing stuff with me and with our, you know, our initiative. So thank you so much for being grateful to leaning in, and really helping us to, you know, bring bring the idea of coaching out to the world more. Thank you so much. All right, Robert.
Yeah, I mean, we're gonna I mean, we go until 11. So I don't know if sure if you want to stick around if anybody wants to stick around, and it's kind of freeform now. And then we can just when you guys want to drop back, you can drop out.
Yeah, so 10 minutes. And then if people want to hang out for another 10 minutes, and if you want to hang out and just have conversation, cool. Otherwise, enjoy the rest of your Saturday.
Yeah, I came in this may be a good time to answer any additional question you had there.
Yeah. That's great. Actually, it was really exciting to hear all the thoughts here. And great. You're looking forward to the conference in February. So I think we were having a conversation about the individual performance on the team. So the question would be Sherry, I think, again, it probably goes back to the enterprise coaching, where I have had experience with some of the enterprises where a lot of tech people are, they perform well, in technology, they become managers or people managers. And they're actually not being coached themselves, to act to coach their teams to develop the right set of skill sets. Any advice, any thoughts and experiences you would like to share on that topic?
Yeah, this is a sad story. Because what happens continuously in companies is they have this engineer or developer who's really good at what they do, and they want to promote them, and they want them to get recognized for the great things they do. And they don't have a place to put them. So they put them in a people management role. And that's not what they do. And that's not what they're good at. And then they get in this hole. And they suffer, because they don't know how to do it, or, or hate doing it. So for me, it's, it's like a, it's like a trap, right, you're going to, you're going to tell someone, they're doing a good job, and you're going to promote them to somewhere, they're going to fail, so that they are set up to not do a good job. And so I think it's better for companies to figure out ways to reward people and to, to not shift them to a different role. So have a better path for engineers to go to whether it's, you know, whether you've got 20 levels or whatever, but don't force them to go into a different career. And a lot of people do that, because that's what they know. And so, yeah, maybe they're not being coached. This is yes, it does go back to an enterprise problem. Because it's working with HR to look at, well, how do they How do they do development with people. And my opinion, rather than shifting someone to a manager role, and then teaching them how to do it, they should teach them how to do it, make sure they want to do it, and then shift them into it. A lot of your larger companies have development programs, where they look at someone who's going to be a management or an executive leadership. And they go through some programs for at least a year or more learning and focusing on how to develop people how to communicate, how to do performance management, all those things. So that as they shift into that role, they shift their through competence. And then they take on a role that they're competent at, rather than getting thrown into something they have no idea what to do and told sink or swim if you want to get paid.
Commander, you want to say something?
Yes. I have a question to Dave. And Robert, maybe to you, Sherry as well. I'm curious if if you're planning to give any talks about topics such as neuroplasticity, or transactional analysis. I don't know if you guys planned that in the meetup or usually do you have anything in mind I would be very curious to attend. I see the smile.
You're the first person in the Agile space. I've heard talk about ta You're beautiful. I love TA and I teach a little bit of ta in our advanced coaching program. And I actually convinced Alex he's going to a TA I'm a program right now and I'm getting ready to start a different program to learn more about transactional analysis and bringing it into coaching more and more. It's a discipline that seems to be older. And I guess people are kind of forgetting about it or moving away from it. But it's a lot of your NLP neuro linguistic programming stuff comes out of transactional analysis. So not right now and that I teach a little bit in our advanced program. I would not want to present anything publicly until I knew I was rock solid, not even not messing people up because when you do this stuff, and you really don't understand it, you really make a mess of it. Yeah.
It would be very interesting to hear for topics such as transactional analysis for coaches. Yes, yes, I would love that I
teach in our advanced class
to get it.
Right. Oh, we think we got time enough for one more question. If anybody got one looks like alpesh has a question in the chat from a contract work perspective. When being hired as a contractor, the contract has specific goals, specific measures and more importantly, fixed short end date, like six months duration, often manager says individual is hired to solve problems, very specific, predefined tests, and not to perform experiments. How do you coach in such a situation?
So Alright, had to we had to read it. So I'm contracted to do what what your job developer coach, fully contracted to do a coaching job. Okay, that's what I thought. But I wanted to make sure because the answers are extremely different. So anytime you take on any role as a coach, to me, the first thing you do is to I do like a survey of the organization. First, it's understanding what the client wants and what they need. And in this case, six month contract, it sounds like what they probably looking for you to do is work at team level. So it's very important as a coach and client to make sure you're in alignment on what they're actually looking for. I see a lot of coaches, they throw around this transformation word, and the client just wants him to come teach them Scrum teams how to do Scrum, and they think they're here to do transformation in the whole company, that you've got a mismatch. So understanding what the actual Statement of Work is for and the reason for it. And then when you come into the engagement, there's a creating a coaching agreement or coaching plan, which basically, is what are the problems you need to solve? There are several techniques for figuring that out, depending on what level you're working at. What's the priority of them? What is current state? What is future state for these problems? Six months, you probably only have one problem, you're going to work on current state future state, how are you going to measure that we're making progress or have success? And how is it tied to business objective, so your return on investment for the problem. And so by outlining what we're doing together, and how we know what success is, now you have an agreement of what you're doing and how you're going to check in throughout the engagement to know if you're making progress. Without that you're walking around doing a bunch of stuff. And the client is doing the traditional I have no idea what this coach does.
Thank you very much.
That's part of that's in the book too. there's a there's a like five chapters on ways to make to outline goals and contracts. Thank you. All
right, everybody. So we are at time A big thank you to everyone who attended making time in your Saturday for us of huge thank you to Sheree Silas, for being here and teaching us about influencing without authority. And so, hope to see y'all next time and hope you guys have a great rest of your weekend.
Before we go, I just want to let everyone know that this recording will post it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. So at least you could go back and listen again. This one wanted to let you share that with you. This will be available sometime this afternoon. Thanks all appreciate that. Thank you. Thank you. Bye, everybody. We all have some day