Receiving critical feedback is dreadful. Our defensive routines get triggered and however we might understand that the feedback giver is speaking with good intention, it’s still difficult to listen.

Try CALM — “Curious Active Listening Mindset“:

1. Calmly with curiosity, listen to understand

  • Suspend assumptions
  • Quiet the mind, no listening to respond, no parallel thinking
  • Listen with no interruption, no interpreting while listening

2. Playback what was said

  • Acknowledge what was heard

3. Ask for support

  • Differences are ok, voice back as necessary
  • Ask to co-create solutions

4. Agree to speak again

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With a Curious Active Listening Mindset, there’s a better chance at overcoming the feeling that you are under a character attack, and instead be able to listen to feedback genuinely on your actions and behavior. …

Download the deck in PDF | Watch on YouTube


Welcome to Design Thinking. Hi, I’m Coach Takeshi. In this short video, I will explain what is Design Thinking, how we do Design Thinking, and most importantly, why we do Design Thinking.

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Let’s start with clarifying the difference between Design Thinking, Agile and Lean. Well, consider them all the same.

Technically they all come from different origins; Agile from the software development world in the late 90s, and Lean from Lean Manufacturing made famous by the Toyota way, and Lean Startup after the first dot-com bubble burst again in the late 90s. …

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Here’s a rapid Design Thinking practice exercise that I do in my training sessions. It’s really simple. You pair up in buddies and by gifting each other an origami craft, you can go through the full empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test stages in just 30 minutes.

Origami Gift Exercise

  • Form pairs
  • Take turns interviewing each other; learn who your neighbor is, what they like, aspire etc. (Empathize)
  • Your gift to your neighbor will be something that represents them. What makes her/him/them special? Think of values, characters and other unique things about them. (Define)
  • Ideate what kind of paper craft you can build to represent that something about your neighbor. …

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I use three mental models to describe my pedagogy (theory and practice of education):

Structured + Unstructured Learning

  • Lecturing, teaching, textbook learning fall into the realm of structured learning.
  • Coaching, mentoring, parental conversations are examples of unstructured learning.
  • Then in between, we have hybrid and blended learning which is everything else, or more correctly everything — learning is seldom completely structured or unstructured. Training, facilitation, workshops, practicing, debating, playing and work itself are good examples of hybrid and blended learnings.

Vertical + Horizontal Learning

  • Consider vertical learning as learning done in a planned, formal setting with a teacher or instructor. …


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Linear thinking is our default: We are very good at planning and making lists

Linear thinking is our default. We are very good at planning and making lists.

Linear thinking is simple and great because it keeps us organized and it’s a systematic and intuitive way of doing things.

The problem is the opportunity cost associated to linear thinking. Are all options explored? Is that the only way? How do I know what’s missing? When we generate tunnel vision, we can’t see what’s beyond. That’s an opportunity loss.

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This article is intended for professional behavioral coaches, typically ICF (International Coach Federation) certified executive, leadership, team, organizational coaches who are considering to become professional process coaches as well, and vice versa for professional process coaches, commonly Agile coaches, Design Thinking facilitators and Lean (Lean TQM and Lean Startup) practitioners, considering to become professional behavioral coaches simultaneously.

Table of Contents

1. Why It Works: Behavioral Coaching + Process Coaching

2. Funny Things Happen in Organizations

3. Wanted: Organizational Learning Interventionists

4. Economics and Benefits of Becoming an ICF + Agile Coach

5. How to become an ICF + Agile Coach

6. Join the Tribe for the Joy of…

What is agile? Why agile? How do we do agile? What’s the difference between Agile, Scrum, Lean, Design Thinking? Tell me about Scrum. Is agile a fad? What’s the difference between Agile and agility? All answered, in a 33 minute video.

The Deck

Download the deck in PDF


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Hi I’m Coach Takeshi. Welcome to my agile 101 session. In this not so long video, we will go through a remarkably wide variety of complex topics, each brain twisting, perspective shifting contents on its own.

Yet what I want you to experience is that, despite this sheer complexity, you will find simplicity and even elegance in it. Nature is full of examples like this — things that work, however complex, are beautifully simple. …

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So you had some great customer interviews as part of your Design Thinking exercise. You felt that you empathized well with the customers and generated awesome insight. Wonderful.

Before your memory evaporates you’d want to write down your thoughts quickly and effectively, as we all know how painful it is to replay scenes later from memory alone.

This is where I’d like to share a tip. Free-style notes are already enormously helpful, but if you can have those thoughts put into a format that can be used immediately and directly as ingredients for the next defining the problem and ideation stage in Design Thinking, that would be awesome right? …

What to do when feeling overwhelmed.
What to do when feeling overwhelmed.

1. Breathe

Know to stop. Stop. Take a deep breath. Slowly regulate your breathing.

Our mind and body is an amazing system. Breathing is the most simple, immediate, no-need-for-tool intervention available to us in times of panic. By the time we are overwhelmed, our body has gone through a cascade of hormone releases and bodily reactions that caused the severe stress. Breathing reduces the production of stress hormones such as noradrenaline and cortisol, and brings us back to our normal state.

2. Check-in with your right brain: Feel

It’s important to check-in with the right brain first, before the left brain. If we check-in with our logical left brain first, we tend to over-rationalize and it fuels the overwhelmingness, which is counter-productive. …


Takeshi Yoshida

Complexity Handling, Enabling Conversations - Behavioral Coach (ICF ACC), Agile Scrum (PSM II, PSPO), Lean, Design Thinking Trainer, Facilitator -

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