Why professional coaching?
You are a software developer on a cool team with a great manager and you’re wondering why would I want professional coaching? You have weekly one-on-one time with your manager, and your team rapport is good. The work itself is good, great projects with fun and engaging co-workers. Who needs coaching for that?
Or maybe your manager is always busy and you’re not quite sure how you stand with them. Your team is backlogged with feature requests, or worse, incident responses, so everyone is in a constant state of grind. And occasionally there are team members who are unpleasant to work with. What exactly can coaching help with all that?
Professional coaching is useful in both good and bad experiences. It provides you with practices and methods to navigate friction and enable your upward growth. It’s time dedicated to your well-being. We all aspire for better, no matter if that’s in our career path or simply in our daily experience of work. It doesn’t have to be focused on the bad stuff. In fact, it is often just as important to receive coaching during the good times.
External and unbiased
External feedback is valuable because it’s not tightly associated to the relationship you have with your manager or teammates. Things like friendship, camaraderie and shared goals can cause us to blur our eyes to our own needs. These are biases that can sometimes get in our way when it comes to our own happiness and satisfaction from our jobs. The feedback you get from your manager could very well be good, but it also comes with some forms of bias. This isn’t the managers fault either. In business it’s important to assure everyone is focused on building the right things, and in some cases your manager is focused on that more than they may be focused on you.
Sometimes your own personal biases can get in the way too. We all have unique needs but sometimes we hold team happiness or manager appreciation over our own. This isn’t a bad quality, but it can be if it becomes too strong a bias. Professional coaching is a way for you to learn whether or not you’re paying enough attention to your needs. It’s an external feedback that helps you balance your needs alongside others.
Everyone benefits from practice, especially when it comes to working with others. Even for those who don’t get nervous or intimidated, it’s valuable to have someone practice conversations, presentations, conflict-resolution, and even giving feedback with you. It provides you an opportunity to make sure you’ve thought through everything, and can help frame the interactions for you. Especially if you want to provide critical feedback, it behooves you to bounce it off someone beforehand.
Practice means more than rehearsal or repetition. It means you have patterns and methods that you know to use to improve your role, and ultimately your career. Coaching can help you build habits that are positive. It’s easy to say to ourselves “I can just do this …” and it’s an entirely different thing when coaching provides us accountability. It forces you to grow these habits and expand your toolset.
External feedback and practice are just a few reasons why professional coaching is good. Attainable is dedicated to helping software developers improve their day-to-day experiences and grow their careers. Being focused on software development makes it even better - developer helping a developer.