If you’ve played the role of a people manager, you know how rewarding it is to mentor, coach, and groom the next set of leaders. But coaching people is hard as your direct reports come from a diverse backgrounds, experiences, aspirations, and their is no one-size-fits-all approach to coaching. Hence people coaching ends up being a lot of art and then some science, and often an exercise in patience and perseverance.
Although I’ve done a fair amount of people coaching over my career span, in this article I will share some learnings from a recent experience working with 4 direct reports (all in product management discipline). My intent for sharing my learnings and perspectives is to help make you more aware and effective in your people management responsibilities. There may also be a few new tips/tricks for you to takeaway. Hopefully, you will find my experiences relatable and valuable. BTW, the names of people I am using are completely fictitious but they will make it easier for you to follow my narrative.
Lets start by briefly introducing my direct reports –
Lets now get to the people coaching approach I took for each of my direct reports, along with some outcomes –
Just like we bring high curiosity for our customer and market needs, we must bring the same curiosity for our people and really understand their motivations and needs. This way we can help design the best professional experience and outcomes possible for our direct reports. This, in essence, is the true calling of an effective people leader.