There are many ways to learn and deepen your knowledge and skills. Finding the format that works best for you is key to being able to develop mastery of a craft.
For Agile Team Coaches there are plenty of learning opportunities available from a variety of organizations. At TeamCatapult we made a choice many years ago to be one of the first Member Training Organizations with the International Consortium of Agile (ICAgile). The choice included the offer of a facilitation course, and a few years later, an agile team coaching course to help those who wanted to coach and lead teams who were pursuing the art of agility.
One of the primary reasons we aligned so well with ICAgile was their approach to framework agnostic in learning agility. It aligned well with how we wanted to talk about facilitation and coaching skills in the context of the values and principles of agility – creating a space to focus on deepened knowledge of human systems dynamics and how teams and groups develop.
A secondary reason we aligned well with ICAgile was the emphasis placed on learning journeys.
Learning Agile Facilitation and Coaching
For those unfamiliar, ICAgile has two levels of certifications:
- Certified Professional – means that you have acquired knowledge and skills
- Certified Expert – means that you have demonstrated competency
In the ICAgile Agile Coaching track there are two Professional certifications:
- Certified Professional: Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF)
- Certified Professional: Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC)
…which culminates in a final Expert certification:
- Certified Expert: Agile Coaching (ICE-AC)
The learning objectives for the professional certifications are often covered in 2-3 days of classes. These certifications lay down the basic level of knowledge for agile team coaches.
Then comes application, experience and practice.
How Do You Learn Best?
We all have different styles and ways of learning.
There are some, perhaps you, that are social learners, meaning you prefer to learn in groups or with other people. Joining a cohort is a great way to accomplish your next goal of becoming a masterful Agile team coach!
What is an Agile Team Coaching Cohort?
The dictionary defines a cohort as “a group of people banded together or treated as a group.” An agile team coaching cohort is a group of agile team coaches who learn and upskill together.
So why would you want to join a cohort?
We’ve put together the Top 5 reasons to join a cohort, and for good measure, we’ve added one bonus reason.
Here are The Top 5 Reasons to Join an Agile Team Coaching Cohort
1) Meet Like-Minded Colleagues
We learn so much from our peers. Belonging to a cohort for 7 months will allow you to connect with fellow cohort members on a deep level in many aspects including social and professional, coupled with a mutual understanding of Agile leadership. Cohorts, in a way act like mastermind groups, but with clear leadership and an end goal.
2) People Learn Better In Groups
The traditional models of learning where an instructor does all the knowledge sharing and talking is not effective. Research shows that community plays an important role in our learning. Cohorts provide rich opportunities to learn from experiences and stories; ours and the others in the cohort. Plus, feedback can be just as valuable, if not more.
The experiences of others will be different than yours. Sometimes the difference will help you to clarify and try things that you haven’t, possibly because they are not in your practice model…yet. And then others will share things that inspire you, invite you to step outside your comfort zone and current range.
3) Get Support
A supportive environment enhances the overall learning experience. Working through a problem or issue alongside someone often shapes the overall outcome to a positive experience.
“Taking on a challenge of any kind is easier to accomplish if you have a support system—people you can go to for answers to your questions, for advice, as a shoulder to cry on, or encouragement.”
4) Develop Your Skills
Enhancing current skills or developing new skills certainly is the main focus of joining a cohort. However, a secondary and equally important reason to develop new skills as an adult, includes life satisfaction as well as improving and maintaining your mental well-being. What better way to do that than with like-minded, enthusiastic peers who will share this 7-month journey with you?
5) Learn to Work With Live Group Dynamics
In a cohort, you will be in community and relationship with the other members of the group, including your co-leaders. As you learn together you will also be developing relationships that transcend the material. Group dynamics naturally emerge and we will work with what shows up as a way to model the skills you will be using to coach relationships and team dynamics in your work.
Bonus TIP: Continued Support Long After the Program Ends
Because the format of learning relies on you building relationships with other cohort participants, you will likely build lifelong relationships that will endure beyond the end of the program. This will become a supportive network of colleagues who “have your back” when you need it.
Learn More About Coaching Agility From Within and Apply to Join!
We invite you to our in-depth, 7-month program.
It is rigorous, placing an emphasis on practice and feedback opportunities through skill drills, peer coaching, team coaching, ongoing group work, professional one-on-one coaching and one-on-one supervision of actual Agile coaching sessions.
You will have ample opportunity to learn from your peers and bring real-world scenarios to the group for feedback and guidance.