"Work while you work, Play while you play", is a common proverb we have heard multiple times. But we never imagined that this statement would become raw material for an Agile coach job.
Yes, to become an agile coach, mindfulness is essential.
What is Mindfulness?
Originally conceptualized through Buddhism (Thich, 1999; Thomas, 2006), mindfulness was first applied to the academic discipline of psychology (Langer, 1989) but has more recently been utilized in the domains of management science (Fiol and O'Connor, 2003; Levinthal and Rerup, 2006), organizational learning (Langer, 1997) and information systems (Swanson and Ramiller, 2004; Butler and Gray, 2006; Valorinta, 2009).
As stated in the “Utilising Mindfulness to Analyze Agile Global Software Development” article.
Weick and Sutcliffe use the term mindfulness to describe an alert state of mind for unexpected situations.
Mind is a non-clarity definition in science often coupled only with the brain. Current science has varied opinions on the origin, function, and end of the Mind. According to the book ‘Physics Redefined’, the Mind is a complex wave in consciousness. Let's assume the Mind is a wave to learn Mindfulness.
When a wave is emitted, there should be a device to sense the wave and process the information carried in the wave. For example, a radio wave carries a wonderful song and is present everywhere but cannot be heard. But a Radio attuned to the frequency of the radio station can instantly play the song that can be heard.
Similarly, an Agile coach should be Radio, completely receiving the wave called mind emitted by the coachee which is reflected by the coach.
To completely receive the signal the frequency of the radio and radio station should match. Exactly if the frequency of the Coach, the receiver, and frequency of the coachee, the emitter matches, the magic happens!!!
To put it in a simpler way, mindfulness is all about living with attention to the intended PRESENT with a fully focused and nonjudgmental attitude.
Mindfulness Comprises 3 Basic Components
In agile coaching:
- The intention is to unleash and enable the potential of the client. So we should be with the client mindfully.
- Attention for an agile coach is the one and only client agenda.
- The attitude of the agile coach is nothing. There is nothing of self and everything of the coachee. No thoughts, no opinion, no ego, nothing!!
When you wire yourself as a coach as nothing, naturally MINDFULNESS happens with the coachee.
Do you know what are the most emerging/powerful workshops that are growing in Software Industries?
Yes, it is the Mindfulness Workshops on how to approach uncertainty to get a solution.
Nowadays, many software industries have started experimenting with scenarios of finding solutions for uncertain projects using mindfulness workshops. Based on the outcome they could clearly visualize the trend of effectiveness based on mindful exercises.
Many researches and articles have been published based on the outcome of effective implementation of mindfulness among software engineers globally with the IT giants such as Google, Apple, etc.
Few Articles On Mindfulness's Impact On Uncertainty/ Stress Management Etc:
- Mindfulness and Agile Software Development 3-5 Dec 2008, Christchurch Matook & Kautz
- How to Plan a Mindfulness Workshop: Best Ideas for Success; 24 Jun 2022 by Jo Nash, Ph.D. Scientifically reviewed by Amanda O'Bryan, Ph.D.
- Do Developers Make Unbiased Decisions? - The Effect of Mindfulness and Not-Invented-Here Bias on the Adoption of Software Components Anisa Stefi Ludwig-Maximilians-University, firstname.lastname@example.org
- How I Manage Stress as a Software Developer with Mindfulness; Veronica Arreche
Mindfulness is not focused on only finding solutions for uncertainty but also on various factors that affect the person at work such as Stress behind the tight schedule, upskilling and implementation of them in this highly competitive industry, proactiveness, health, work balance, and much more.
Living in the present is essential for achieving future dreams. Recollecting long-term goals are mere dreams called procrastination. Rather being in the present is one more step to reach the future.
The word LIVING IN THE PRESENT can also be called "GIFT”, yes the moment in which we live provides a chance to create/understand new things when we are mindfully available for that moment. We do have two other states called "PAST" and "FUTURE" out of which one cannot be changed and the other is not true but a Dream. To reach the fruitful dream we need to attentively use the "GIFT"(PRESENT).
As we are aware of the 4 rules and 12 Principles of agile, we could relate the mindfulness essence with the 12 principles of Agile on handling uncertainty. Also, Agile is not just for Agile coaches but for the whole organization. Hence Mindfulness is not only for agile coaches rather for any role.
The key behind the success of implementing mindfulness across industries is concentration on a particular single piece of work soulfully and attentively with open-mindedness in welcoming and adapting to the change with no judgment over the outcome. This is directly related to the principles/rules that Agile defines as a methodology which is the raw material for an Agile coach.