Reading and training work well for some ideas and techniques. They work especially well for when learning skills or techniques for solving technical problems. However, when dealing with other people and organizational dynamics, or when you're required to stretch your abilities in a very short amount of time, you might consider bringing in a coach. Coaches can add introspection, dialectic, goal setting, and shared personal experience to the learning process.
Coaching styles and arrangements vary. For individuals, you typically meet with your coach one to four times each month, either in person or by phone. For teams, those meetings typically revolve around regular meetings or scheduled windows of time. You can set up any arrangement that works for you. Remember that when you work with a coach, you're in charge. The coach is there to ask questions and provide guidance, you're the one doing the work and you're the one who knows how you best learn.
If you're considering a coach, here are a few things to think about:
- Recognize that you'll do most of the work.
- Know what you want to accomplish.
- Know the difference between a facilitator, a trainer, an expert, and a coach, and make sure what you need is a coach.
I have two different coaching arrangements:
Focused on software testers, test managers, or independent consultants.
Focused on teams and oragnizations looking to move to agile development and implemnet agile development practices.
Contact me if you’re interested in finding out about availability or specific coaching services.