When Does the Scrum Master Use The Coaching, Teaching, Mentoring, Leadership, Facilitation Stances

      It's a beautiful day today and today we're going to be talking about When to use the Scrum Master stances. If you're an aspiring Scrum Master, don't go anywhere, stay tuned. The key to being an Awesome Scrum Master is balance, which knows when to use the right stances within the right context. The Scrum Master uses several stances to improve the organization's agility, that is the teaching stance, mentoring stance, coaching stance, leadership stance, and facilitation stance. To explain what stances the Scrum Master should be used according to the context that the Scrum Master is experiencing, I'm going to be using this 2 by 2 matrix throughout the video. The first thing that the Scrum Master should consider is the capability of the people that the Scrum Master is interacting with and the second thing that the Scrum Master should consider is people's motivation for self-discovering their own solution. Teaching is about imparting the teacher's knowledge of the person learning from the teacher. According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master not only teaches the Scrum team but also the whole organization in Scrum values and principles and also other complementary agile practices such as extreme Programming (XP), Kanban, DevOps, User experience (UX), etc. As teaching is about filling up one's knowledge and moving them from not knowing to know, it is mainly used when people's current capability and knowledge about Scrum and other agile practices is low and the motivation to seek their own solution is still low. As time progresses, if the Scrum Master is inspiring and able to move people to be able to seek their own solution and increases people's capability, the Scrum Master should be using other appropriate stances and not only use the teaching stance. It is also possible in a large organization some people in other departments within the organization still don't know anything about Scrum and other agile practices yet, for those people the Scrum Master can use the teaching stance or in other cases when there are new employees who just joined the company who doesn't know anything about Scrum and other agile practices yet, the Scrum Master can use the teaching stance for those people. 

     Not only the Scrum Master knows when to use the teaching stance, but the Scrum Master also knows when is the right timing to teach these complimentary agile practices. Mentoring is another stance that the Scrum Master use that is not explicitly mentioned in the Scrum guide. The word mentor itself comes from Greek mythology which is the name of the advisor of young Telemachus in Homer's Odyssey. Mentoring is about giving advice based on the mentor's personal life experience but during the mentoring process, the mentee has the full authority to not follow the mentor's advice. As mentoring is about advising people based on the mentor's personal experience, it is best used when people's current capability is not high yet but their motivation for self-discovering their own solution is quite high. People in this area, they're really inspired by the mentor, but they don't really want to hear the theories, they'd like to hear the mentor's personal war stories when the mentor applied Scrum and other agile practices in the past. As a master, just like a master in martial arts, that means the Scrum Master needs to have his or her own personal experience to be brought on the table otherwise the mentoring process may not really be effective and the Scrum Master may start talking in theories and fall back to the teaching stance. Leadership is another stance that the Scrum Master use that is explicitly mentioned in the Scrum guide. 

      The type of leadership that the Scrum Master use is servant leadership. Servant leadership is a term that was first coined by Robert Green leaf around 1960. Unlike other forms of leadership, servant leadership is about inspiring others by sharing power, actively removing impediments, and helping people to become the best version of themselves. When the Scrum Master is inspiring using the teaching stance, the Scrum Master may increase people's motivation for seeking their own solution or the Scrum Master may increase people's current capability or if the Scrum Master is really awesome the Scrum Master may increase both at the same time. When people's current capability is high but their motivation is low, which may be caused by the constraint within the system, this is when the Scrum Master needs to inspire people by changing the system and removing any impediments that are demotivating people using the servant leadership stance. As a servant leader, the Scrum Master believes that people are naturally motivated, so if people are demotivated, it is caused by the constraint within the system like corporate policy, bureaucracy, politics, measurement system, and so forth. So the Scrum Master doesn't try to change people, but on the other hand, the Scrum Master will change the system so that people can be the best version of themselves.

      Coaching is another stance that the Scrum Master use that is explicitly mentioned in the Scrum guide. However, in our industry people think coaching is like teaching or mentoring. This is because many people refer to coaching from sports coaching. In the world of professional coaching or life coaching, it is not about giving instructions, it is about guiding people to self discover a solution themselves, mainly using active listening and asking powerful questions. Throughout this video, I'm going to refer to coaching as a professional coaching rather than sports coaching. Unlike a mentor, a coach does not need to have personal experience or expertise in the subject or the field that the coaches are interested in, but to be effective so that the coaches can self discover a solution themselves, a coach needs to be an expert in coaching techniques. A lot of Scrum Masters get excited when they hear the concept of professional coaching and hear how people can self discover their solution and be accountable for that solution through powerful questions and active listening, however, a wise Scrum Master know when is the right context to use the coaching stance because not everybody needs coaching. In fact, coaching is an invitation, we don't just come to people and tell them that we want to coach them. The coaches need to have a high motivation to sign up for the coaching session and be coached, and they also must have a high capability to self-discover their own solution. 

      During the coaching session, the Scrum Master as the coach will guide the coaches to craft their own solution and be accountable for that solution. The facilitator stance is another stance that the Scrum Master uses that is explicitly mentioned in the Scrum guide. According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master facilitates the Scrum events when needed. Outside the Scrum events, the Scrum Master may facilitate other events that require a group of people to select an outcome that is acceptable by everyone within the group without any influence from anyone within or outside the group. This includes the Scrum Master. That means the Scrum Master needs to remain neutral and unbiased during the facilitated events. Effective facilitation is challenging because it requires a group of people to remain accountable with the outcome they selected and it requires the Scrum Master to remain neutral and unbiased and not manipulate the decision that the group of people selected. The facilitator stance is an interesting stance because compared to the other stances is the only stance where it involves a group of people. As facilitation is about enabling people to select an outcome and be accountable for that outcome, the group of people must have the capability to select an outcome and at the same time the Scrum Master must not manipulate the whole process otherwise people cannot be accountable for that outcome. So that is all from me today folks.

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