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March 21, 2019

Coaching For Tech Workers: Building Communication Confidence and Cultural Competence

Has training not worked? Let's try something different, more personalized with more long-lasting results: Coaching.

Let's talk about coaching for tech workers! 

Coaching is not training or content delivery. No more boring PowerPoints or sitting quietly in the back of a packed training room. Virtual, online coaching is a dynamic interaction - candidates actively participate in customized one-on-one coaching conversations that build a host of soft-skills that lead to workplace success (brainstorming, critical thinking, problem solving, prioritizing, time management, team building and team dynamics, taking initiative).


Coaching for global tech workers

We specialize in working international career professionals and business people with 3-30 plus years in their fields, holding a variety of job titles. While a majority of our clients are English as Second Language (ESL) speakers, ideal candidates are moderately to completely fluent in English, and are looking to polish Business English, Global English, English with US Americans or build conversational fluency in day to day work related situations and networking events. A majority of our clients also look to build cultural competence, especially in working with US Americans from offshore or while staying or living in the US.

Our coaching process builds communication confidence and cultural competence for offshore and onsite tech workers on global, remote teams and skilled immigrants and international students in the USA. 

Let's look at the steps involved in our process. This process has been written from the viewpoint of a start-up or company sponsoring a candidate for coaching. However, for those reading this wanting to self-sponsor themselves through coaching, we are happy to work with you as well! 





Step 1: Requirements Gathering & Planning
In this strategy session, we analyze the scope of our work together to design a personalized coaching roadmap.

Collecting User Stories
Stakeholders, along with the candidate, identify professional development goals for the candidate, creating 'user stories' as ideal outcomes of coaching.

Fill in the blanks:
As a [job role], I want [to achieve some goal] so that [ideal outcome].


Prioritizing and Managing User Stories
We look at all these 'user stories,' prioritize them and break them down into manageable chunks (iterations) to start working on immediately. From the intake meeting itself, we work on project management!

Coach will maintain a log of goals, meeting notes and time keeping.

To make the most of this strategy meeting, prepare in advance.


Step 2: Coaching Iterations
The chosen candidate meets with us 30-60 minutes every 2-3 weeks for several months, via Zoom, Skype, etc.

Structure of sessions:

  1. Mini Stand-Up: Candidate Check in and accountability
  2. Coaching conversations, brainstorming, role plays. We can say we work on the "project backlog" during this part of the meeting.
  3. Recap, Identify awareness and skill building exercises.
Notes:
Recordings of actual client calls and/or email threads can be shared to assess client facing skills.



Step 3: Testing Out and Deploying
In between sessions, candidates will deploy their identified solutions as the situations arise.

Based on their test runs, candidates will tweak their skills and approaches to work more effectively with their clients, stakeholders and team mates.

Steps 2 and 3 will continue between 2-3 months in an ideal situation. However, as we know project work gets busy, and client demands can cause schedule changes, in many cases, steps 2 and 3 can continue for 4-5 months.


Step 4: Monthly Stand-Ups
Once a month by email or call, the coach shares with the stakeholders what we:

  • Have completed 
  • Are currently working on
  • Are planning to work on
  • Roadblocks or additional information needed
The Project Manager will share feedback of progress seen with client facing communication skills.


Step 5: 3-Month/ One Cycle Evaluation
Typically, one cycle of coaching completes within 3 months (4-6 sessions). At this time, we meet with the candidate, project manager and any stakeholders to assess progress, assess anything remaining to work on (backlog) and next steps.

Depending on the outcomes of this conversation, we may return to steps 2, 3 and 4 for several more sessions, or we may opt to stop coaching sessions.



Step 6: 4- Month Check in
A month after we decide to stop regular coaching sessions, the coach will check in with candidate, Project Manager and any stakeholders to assess the skill application and scope for further coaching.

*We respect your privacy and confidentiality. A confidentiality form like this one will be discussed and signed. 

It is this time, a mutual decision is made to continue coaching with the same candidate or select another candidate.



Your coach, Jennifer Kumar, born and raised in the US, has lived in India twice (Kochi and Chennai) for almost 10 years. She has earned her Master's in India, started her business in India, and worked with over 3,600 professionals, totaling over 1,800 coaching and training hours since 2011. Her expertise and approach builds teams like yours with outstanding results. Rather than read lofty words, let's jump on a call and talk more about how we can help you or your team today! 


Skype: Crossculturalcoach
LinkedIn (see a list of our client projects): https://www.linkedin.com/in/authenticjourneys/
Contact form 

Related Posts: 
Soft-Skill Training Needs in India 
Characteristics of Successful or Ideal Clients 
Why Skilled Immigrants, International Students, and Expats in the US hire me 
Business English and Career Guidance Coaching for Keralites and Indians

Tips to Prepare for H1B Interviews
 

External Resources and Experts That Agree Coaching Works!
If your CEO has a coach, maybe you deserve one too - from qz.com
How tech professionals can use virtual career coaching to boost their skills - from techrepublic.com
Photo credit: Masa Israel Journey

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.