Coaching The Unknown

Moving from an individual contributor to manager role, there a period of pain as you give up expertise power and learn to concentrate on developing, supporting and clearing obstacles for your directs.

I've found the best writing on this phase to be some of the chapters in Gerry Weinberg's book 'Becoming a Technical Leader'

Wanting to know how all the technical things work lingers though and has been difficult over the past months as I try and keep an understanding of the cool work my directs in our machine learning / data science team.

When I've properly gotten myself in to a hole, I refer back to core guidance when it comes to coaching, summed up as "you don't need to be an expert in something to coach someone on it"

This four-step cycle:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Brainstorm possible ways to learn about that skill or ability
  3. Come up with a plan
  4. The direct actions the plan with the manager acting as support staff