Coaching for Product Teams

Why the hardest thing about product development isn’t the product

Reggie James
June 1, 2021
Blog
I just did a google search on the top coaching programs in Melbourne and Sydney. What I found is that the majority of these programs are aimed at managers, senior managers and executives. Besides becoming a life coach, very few of these programs address the need for coaching at every level.
I think that's a real problem.

Coaching isn’t just for managers in the organisation. Coaching is for anyone in a role that requires working with others to get a job done. I believe that covers 90% of most corporate jobs!

We believe coaching is only useful at the managerial levels because managers are meant to develop talent within the organisation. This, however, is a major fallacy and a huge barrier to self-organisation and self-management.

Individuals within a discipline should be encouraged to manage their own growth and the growth of their capability within the constraints of the organisational goals. Coaching is a key skill that enables that development.

Personal benefits of coaching

At the very core of the coaching mindset is a daily heartfelt look inside.

Self-awareness.

How do you manage conflict? How well do you communicate your thoughts and feelings? As important, how well do you listen and make others feel heard and understood? How strong is your ability to resolve and move past difficult situations?

Answering these questions is the basis of any coaching practice and sets a foundation for high performance in product delivery teams.

Product Delivery benefits of coaching

Products delivered by teams with the coaching mindset generally outperform equivalent teams without the skill. That’s because teams without coaching skills are often mired in grid-locked conflict that affects both productivity and motivation. These teams are often not self-directed, require a lot of management overhead which makes product development expensive and inflexible.

The key difference here is that teams with a coaching mindset understand their decisions will have lateral as well as downstream consequences. They have successfully acquired the skills to manage and minimise the impacts of their decision making and utilise conflict as an opportunity for growth.

Rather than resorting to gossip or problem avoidance, teams with the coaching mindset encourage and support one-another to resolve conflicts with fellow teammates.

Organisational benefits of coaching

Teams with the coaching mindset effect organisational change by looking after each other’s growth and development, regularly providing each other with feedback and looking for opportunities to grow and develop their capability. In large agile organisations, these groups are often called chapters or communities of practice.

Product Development at Beaker & Flint

At Beaker & Flint, we develop exceptional products and experiences because all of our product development is underpinned by the 4 pillars of The Reinvent Model.

We expect each of our team members to cultivate a coaching mindset as apart of their own personal leadership. We deliver better products and experiences because we emphasise “doing the thing right” through understanding people.

Our model requires personal growth and development and the ability to find opportunities to foster’s those skills in each other.

If you’re interested in cultivating the coaching mindset for yourself or your team speak to us about our coaching workshops.

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