On the fifth day of festivus my colleague gave to me, five kangaroos!



Introducing Senior Software Developer and Agile CoachCaoilte Dunne

I’m a software developer and advocate of Agile practice in high-performing teams. Even while working in a technical space, I have always been passionate about process, which lead me to Agile Development early on. After experiencing the highs and lows of numerous agile projects, I came to the realisation that it was not process, but a better understanding of people and interactions that would allow for high performance within a team. This revelation pushed me towards the discipline of agile coaching. I am currently on a journey of mastery in coaching; I am changed by what I’ve learnt so far, and excited about what comes next.


What book have you reviewed?

Self Directed Behaviour – Self Modification for Personal Adjustment (10th Edition, 2013) by David L Watson and Roland G Tharp.

What is this book about?

As a coach, it’s my job to get people to explore how they want to change. However once a path is chosen, how do people change? This book is a manual for people asking that exact question. It’s not filled with suggestions for how a coach may change someone. You will not be able to trick someone into improvement. Instead it sets down the scientific bias for how someone changes in a direction they have chosen. You can rely on the wisdom found between it’s covers, but the person must want to change, and do the work.

It talks about antecedents (the context before you act), behaviour (that which you do), and finally consequences (the effects of your behaviours). It lays out in a straightforward and clear manner how you move closer to your ideal self by taking charge of these ABCs of behaviour.

What did you enjoy most about this book?

This is the 10th edition of the book. The authors have over 30 years of experience in detailing the process of self directed change. That’s 30 years of people talking to the authors, sharing their stories and honing the author’s skill at mentoring change. Every page mentions at least one case study, example or experiment. The sheer amount of references and proven techniques is breathtaking. This is not a book with a sprinkling of science, this is science with a sprinkling of book. It rises above being a dry telling of the facts, and instead becomes a warm and compassionate exploration of change. I found myself smiling as I read, and was inspired to look at my own behaviours with a less forgiving eye. It does not suggest change is easy, but is filled with examples of successful long term transformation. I loved its quiet passion and its friendly want to challenge you. Overall, I embraced its acceptance of human weakness, but its refusal to let us be defined by it.

How many kangaroos do you give this book out of five?