Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#98: Coaching the Coaches with Vinnie Gill

May 15, 2024     34 minutes

Join Brian and Agile coaching expert Vinnie Gills as they tackle the complexities of being an Agile coach and working with and among teams. Discover key strategies for overcoming conflicts and enhancing teamwork within the coaching community.


In this insightful episode, Brian and Vinnie Gill dive deep into the often overlooked challenges that arise in Agile coaching.

They discuss the common pain points and conflicts that can disrupt professional relationships and share effective strategies for creating a more cohesive and supportive coaching environment.

Listeners will gain valuable insights into recognizing and leveraging personal and collective strengths and weaknesses, ensuring that Agile coaches not only preach transformative practices but also embody them in their interactions. Tune in to learn how to foster strong, productive relationships within your Agile coaching community.

Listen Now to Discover:

[1:10] - Brian welcomes business agility coach and speaker Vinnie Gill.
[8:07] - Vinnie unpacks the reasons behind the high number of reports about challenging Agilists, highlighting the traits that contribute to their tough demeanor.
[10:12] - Vinnie emphasizes the critical importance of 'starting with why' to forge stronger and more effective working relationships.
[13:58] - Vinnie talks about the importance of coaches applying their own methods to themselves, sharing a real-life example of this practice in action.
[17:14] - Brian invites listeners to deepen their coaching skills by joining him or Lance Dacy in an Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®. 
[18:49] - Vinnie explains the counterproductive coaching anti-archetypes she has encountered, shedding light on common pitfalls to avoid in coaching roles.
[20:03] - Brian describes how Mountain Goat Software approaches empathy as a team of individuals.
[22:15] - Discover how Vinnie takes empathy further by recommending the addition of compassion to enhance team interactions and support.
[23:43] - Explore with Brian the critical role of deliberately designing a team's social contract to enhance collaboration and team dynamics.
[27:00] - Vinnie delves into how understanding and leveraging both our strengths and weaknesses can lead to greater personal and professional growth.
[27:31] - Vinnie underscores the critical need for mental health and self-care among agile coaches to safeguard against burnout and maintain peak performance.
[31:28] - Brian shares a big thank you to Vinnie for joining him on the show.
[32:00] - If you’d like to continue this discussion, join the Agile Mentors Community. You get a year of free membership into that site by taking any class with Mountain Goat Software, such as Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®. We'd love to see you in one of Mountain Goat Software's classes, you can find the schedule here.
[32:20] - We invite you to subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast. Do you have feedback or a great idea for an episode of the show? Great! Just send us an email

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Vinnie Gill
Vinnie’s Agile 2023 Speech
#54 Unlocking Agile’s Power in the World of Data Science with Lance Dacy
#89: Transformational One-on-Ones with Avipaul Bhandari
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®
Certified ScrumMaster® Training and Scrum Certification
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Join the Agile Mentors Community
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He's passionate about making a difference in people's day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.

Vinnie Gill is an experienced agile coach with a diverse background that spans continents and industries—from mining and finance to education and the public sector. With over 20 years in project and business management roles and a commitment to transformative education and agile practices, she excels at leading organizational change and fostering growth at the enterprise level.