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Agile Notes (No. 39)
We are continuing our re-read of Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins. This week Chapter 11: Agile Coach Failure, Recovery, and Success Modes. Only two more chapters to go! (Maybe a bonus post - I’m thinking about collecting all the reference tools in one place. Let me know in the comments if you would like that to happen.)
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Lyssa examines common ways to fail AND to succeed as “modes” but they are really personas we embody. Her experience lets her notice more quickly when she falls into each persona.
When you fall into failure mode traps less, you have more time to notice the good happening in your coaching, the success modes. Noticing and naming these turn them into regular patterns, which makes them easy to remember and express more often.
I have mentioned my idea that there is a venn diagram of Buddhism/Mindfulness, Stoicism, and Agile for me. Strap in. For the past few years, I have read Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic. This year I added in The Daily Stoic Journal. Here’s what I wrote this morning:
The Daily Stoic reading today was about the Stoic practice of giving up control which is the fundamental concept behind Stoicism. Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance was immensely helpful to me last year. My meditation/breathing/mindfulness practice had gone off the rails. I could not get the chattering monkeys in my head to take a break. I was stuck in this cycle of trying to breathe mindfully and freaking out because I could not. Radical Acceptance allowed me to be gentle with myself. It showed me how that it was OKAY to breathe/be mindful and when the monkeys started rattling my cage, all I needed to do was recognize them by saying, “thinking, thinking” and then reset. (Full disclosure: I said “monkeys, monkeys”). This gave me space eventually. One breath with no monkeys lead to two, two lead to three, three to four and so on.
Giving up control is very similar. Very. With a lot of introspection, I can catch myself trying to control things. Both internally and externally. Over time, this practice has improved. The muscle has grown and is still growing. I WANT to control. I recognize it and I am actively practicing how to let go of that control. When I catch myself, I say to myself, “controlling, controlling.”
Which brings me back to recognizing failure modes. The idea is to sit down with them when you notice yourself behaving in these ways. The more you pay attention to yourself, the faster you will recognize these behaviors/modes/personas. The faster you recognize them, the faster you can redirect your energy to Success Modes. Lyssa even has a whole section on mindfulness in this chapter. Which takes us to OODA loops but I won’t get into it because I worry that I am about to alter space/time.
Are you a Control Freak in Recovery? Let me know in the comments.
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