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Pro-Social vs Selfish Behaviors

While visiting Durham Coaching I was recommended to Rise to have some morning biscuits. Standing outside waiting for the Uber I dug in like the ravenous person I was scarfing down a biscuit before the cab arrived and a lone sparrow flew up to me. He knew.

I knew what the little guy wanted to so I broke off a large portion of biscuit and dropped it on the ground. The bird broke off a small bird sized piece hopped a few hops and began to dine on his portion. Leaving the rest to share. Moments later a bird that had not been so brave swooped down, same kind (sparrow? I am not an ornithologist) took the entire share piece and flew away hiding it for his own person bird use.

Our friend, the original bird, now finished with his portion hopped back to find all the biscuit gone. He looked around sadly and dejected (I don’t know he is a bird personification is just the way we do things) and looked to be negatively reinforced for pro-social behaviors. Feeling bad I gave the bird some more biscuits.

Before my Uber arrived I spotted the other bird across the street in his hiding spot. He was fighting off a swarm of birds all vying for their tiny piece.


Ennis Lynch

Ennis Lynch

Ennis Lynch is a Professional Coach Based in South Florida. His primary area of coaching focuses on coaching Software Engineering Leadership. On occasion he does Agile Transformation work as well but prefers coaching at the Team and Individual level vs. the organizational level.


If you have ever wondered: is professional coaching right for me and you are a Software Engineering Manager, Director of Engineering, Director of Software Engineering, VP of Engineering, or CTO reach out for a free initial coaching session. See if coaching is right for you. Initial coaching sessions are the real deal, no hard-sells, no "here is what you would get if you paid". Individuals that receive a free coaching session will get a normal private professional coaching session of 90 minutes (30 minute onboarding + 60 minute coaching) and it will be up to you to follow-up if you want to continue with help on your journey.


Ennis is always gathering research through a team building exercise called the Ball Point Game. If you are interested in a team-level exercise and want to participate in a research project to further the field reach out. The exercise is free in South Florida (and really fun)

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