Alexander A.

Giurca

Product Owner & CoP-Lead

Untis GmbH

Modern product leadership –solution-focused coaching skills as enabler for high performance

“Coaching skills are only for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches” – a common belief but is it really true?
As Product Leaders, the methods we use (user stories, product backlogs, impact mapping, etc.) are fairly easy to understand but the collaboration with others to get to the desired results sometimes is a hard nut to crack in a complex software engineering world. We have to communicate strategy, manage different expectations, have to lead great user interviews, get the devs and all other stakeholder on board, manage “resistance” and emotional customers and users. Our stakeholders expect a lot from us and sometimes it just feels overwhelming.
Solution-focused coaching skills can help to improve communication towards stakeholders, manage “resistance” better, come to collaborative (and also better) results much faster and much more. The solution-focused mindset and toolbox helped me personally to lead more efficient meetings, benefit from emotional customers to the advantage of the product, use the full potential of user interviews to really get to the core need and improve collaboration not only in my Scrum team but also in the Product Owner/Leader team and the overall organization. And in the end, everything leads closer to the general goal of Product Leaders: maximizing the value for the user.
The goals of this talk is to provide insights in solution-focused coaching skills being used in the role as Product Owners and break the common belief that coaching is only relevant for Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches. It will provide small learning nuggets (f. e. linguistic turns, powerful questions for “resistance”) and real-life examples how solution-focused coaching skills have been used to solve several challenges on individual, team and organizational (f. e. community of practice as knowhow multiplication) level.

Biography

The one thing that I enjoy most is when I see that I can support individuals or teams to get one step further. I’ve done this since I started my professional career. My begin was building up a boutique consultancy focusing on unconventional business modelling and change formats for big corporations (mostly management teams) which helped them one step towards more innovation. Then I was in a consultant role focusing on executives, supporting them in product development. And now I am a Product Owner for a 5mio. users software that enables schools to run smoothly. Next to that I support other product companies and leaders as a solution-focused coach and sparring partner and run Training from the BACK of the Room workshops as a certified trainer. I am really passionate about what I do and always very excited to share my knowhow!