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Are there levels of seniority for Agile coaches?

In any working environment, there are going to be people with varying degrees of expertise and experience.

It’s that diversity that makes Agile coaching so valuable and rewarding.

There isn’t, however, a level of seniority in terms of coaching, there are simply different areas of focus and experience.

An Agile coach with a decade of experience is just as inclined to listen to a newly minted Agile coach because of their perspective and willingness to contribute as they are to listen to a senior coach.

There are different levels of accreditation to help mark the trajectory of your Agile coaching career but they don’t play into a different level of authority, unless there is a specific hierarchy of coaches within your organisation.

I tend to work with senior leaders within organisations but that doesn’t make me more senior than a coach who specialises at the team level.

I actively need that team coach to be doing a great job in order for me to have an effective impact on the leadership of that organisation. In that sense, we work together as coaches rather than in a hierarchy.

Coaching skills include critical analysis and critical listening. It means that we listen to the people we are talking to, regardless of whether they are a junior member of the development team or whether they are a fellow Agile coach with expertise and experience within our sphere of influence.

An Agile coach with decades of experience is likely to have a great deal of expertise in a specific area of coaching. It may be with individuals, it may be with teams. It isn’t more senior to the role of an Agile coach, it is simply a different area of expertise that benefits us as a team.

Through working with individuals and teams, you will find the niche that best suits your style and personality. As you work within that niche, you will naturally develop your skillset and expertise in that environment that would make you an authority in that specific area.

You can invest in training and certification such as the IC Agile Certified Agile Team Coaching course, Certified Team Coach (CTC) certification from Scrum Alliance or the Certified Enterprise Agile Coach (CEC) certification from Scrum Alliance.

You can also develop your professional coaching skills through industry certification bodies such as the ICF (International Coaching Federation) and learn to blend your Agile practitioner skillset with a professional coaching skillset.

The path to Agile Coach is a natural evolution for Scrum Masters as they deepen their expertise in Scrum or other Agile frameworks, and increasingly take on a coaching role to help teams create environments where they can thrive.

As you become more experienced and your expertise grows, you may even find yourself coaching new Scrum Masters on their path to mastery.

If you would like to become an Agile coach, visit our Advanced Certified Scrum Master course page, our Certified Scrum Professional Scrum Master course page and the Agile Coaching Academy page.

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