I first understood the value of coaching when I became a UX team lead over five years ago. I had no ambition to lead a team before, but for the first time I enjoyed the creative aspect of the work and the team members were top notch. I had no formal management or coaching training, so I just used my instincts and the values I believed should be part of healthy team. After doing this sometime and focusing on people's strengths I realised by using carefully phrased question people would could reach realisations and help themselves. This was a powerful insight for me and I decided to dig deeper into coaching.
Not long after this, I started to play with the idea of becoming certified as a coach myself and began looking at different coaching programs. If you have ever done this you know there is a wide variety and understanding the difference was difficult. Since part of becoming a certified coach, you need to have a coach yourself, I decided that this would be a good first step to understand the differences and in the spring of 2018 I met my first coach.
There are many types of coaching and I chose a method based on value identification through a (sometimes rigorous) ‘co-creation process’. This last aspect is not small and means there is considerable investment from both sides which was sometimes that was at times quite uncomfortable for me. I won’t go deeply into how the coaching worked but it used a series of methods to facilitate conversations and thinking for me in order to make some honest and constructive conclusions.
I approached these first session with a very analytical mind - trying to reduce the process down to some distinct parts that would give me benefit (my perception) and a timeline. I was gently encouraged from my coach to ‘trust the process’ at which point I realised this is something I have been teaching for years in my various Design classes.
‘The real value of the Design process is the conversations and insights you have along the way - not always the artefacts’ - me
For the first time I could put myself on the receiving end of that advice which gave me unique perspective that I will carry with me for some time. Manage the ambiguity. Complex issues (by the fact people are involved makes most issues complex) cannot effectively be solved from an analytical perspective only. Yeah, I got it now.
I think one of the more beneficial parts of the coaching was the identification of my values. This is something one typically does not go around wondering - ‘I wonder what my personal values are?’ so having someone help you really makes a difference.
After a good bit discussion this is where I landed.
Overall I am pretty happy with list and will be revisiting it on a frequent basis to make sure things in my life are supporting this.
Thanks Coach J