For decades Chief Execs and other senior business leaders have recognised the value of coaching, using it to foster and harness their success. Although it’s common for executives to have their own coaches, senior Technical Leaders and technology professionals have lagged far behind. The tide has shifted in recent years, and we’re seeing that coaching can have even greater benefits for technology professionals of different levels
In many ways executive coaching is comparable to athletics in that, as with elite athletes, the coach helps the executive reach peak performance. In the case of executive coaching, the goals typically focus on bringing leadership skills to the next level and increasing business results. Executive coaches usually meet with clients anywhere from once a week to once a month, depending on the goals and business situations. Clients can expect to see progress in six to 18 months, and specific goals can cover a very broad range of areas. Individuals who benefit most from coaching tend to have a history of success; to be inspired and energised by the prospect of growth and further achievement, and are committed to making positive change.
Coaches are sometimes engaged by companies to work with senior leaders or high-potential colleagues, and many professionals choose to hire executive coaches privately to support their own development. Gone are the days when coaching was seen as primarily a ‘remedial’ activity for performance problems and many companies now include coaching as a perk for their highest-value employees.
Middle Management Coaching
Middle managers are often caught in between top-down strategies, often contributing to digital strategy themselves and are scrutinised for performance at detailed levels. They can often be within agile teams or managing teams of teams.
Coaching can be directly about agile or can be about the complexity of the leadership skills that surround working at a middle management / leadesrhip level in organisations that are forever upping the pace at which they work.
Front Line coaching
Coaching can benefit those moving from technical roles into management and leadership roles. We know technical skills are missing so staff can find themselves coaching staff towards greater levels of technical mastery.
Our QA perspective
Effective leadership is always challenging; however, technology professionals often face much more daunting obstacles. Rarely can a technology professional of any level rely on ‘left-brain’ analytical and execution skills. They need to become adept at right-brain capabilities like leadership presence, business strategy, political savviness, and emotional intelligence.
At QA we often work with all levels of staff in ethical, productive and appropriate ways with different goals. Technical staff can need a voice as their impact broadens into every other functional area and every source of business value. Building productive relationships across their business and with other departments; effective leadership presence and staff performance management; achieving a better and more visible connection between business priorities and technology goals, establishing the technology organisation as a critical value driver rather than an enabler or an order-taker/cost-centre.
Contact us when for coaching The short answer is that coaching can be helpful when you find yourself stuck. When you recognise that there are opportunities to achieve more, the skills you’ve developed in the past don’t seem to be enough and you’re not sure what the next steps should be. Technology leaders might consider coaching when:
- They’re moving into a significant new leadership role
- They’re seeking a promotion to the next level
- There’s been a significant business change that’s changed demands on the technology organisation
- They find themselves struggling to gain influence in the broader business organisation or to effectively communicate technology’s value
My advice is to be open to exploring what shifts you can make in your current process, or what new coaching approaches you might employ to better connect with your objectives. For more information, see our latest coaching courses.