This is part three of a series where we discuss the evolution of Commit’s learning and development program. We talked with Commit Engineering Partner, King Choi, about his experiences with our coaching pilot.
To start off with, tell us what your expectations were of the coaching program? Was there anything in particular you hoped to get out of it?
When the opportunity to get a personal coach through Commit was brought up, I was one of the first to sign up. I thought it would be a great way to understand myself more and see what I can do to perform better.
I was of the mindset that it’s better to get help whenever you can. You don’t have to do everything in a silo. I saw that the coaches are geared towards your success. They’re aligned with you in a way that not a lot of other people in your life are. You don’t need to worry about overwhelming them, because that’s what they’re here for: to set you up for success. So that was my expectation, to find ways to maximize my potential.
What were your first experiences like?
The coaching pilot started around July 2020 and I’ve been working with a coach steadily since. I thought it would be a great idea to meet every week, for accountability and consistency. I figured if I was going to form new habits through the process it would make sense to check in regularly. I had initial 15-minute meetings with two coaches, where you kind of test them out and see how it goes. I felt more in tune with the first person I talked to, so I went with the first guy.
I’ve found it extremely helpful to have somebody to talk to who is focused on my performance. Someone who has an outsider’s perspective, who isn’t already connected to me. I found that liberating and quite meaningful.
That’s a good point. Is part of the benefit of Commit’s coaching experience that your coach is from outside the organization?
Absolutely. I think it can feel like a conflict of interest at some companies because HR is geared towards propping you up in a way that benefits the company, versus someone who’s more detached and able to give holistic and objective guidance.
What do you mean when you say your coach is helping you with your performance?
You’ll always run into mental roadblocks that hinder you from achieving what you want to achieve. Or random questions that pop into your head, creating doubt. When you clear out those roadblocks, you get more clarity. You’re able to do your work with a lot more reason, a lot more conviction. That creates performance enhancements, and that’s what I’ve been working towards.
Have you explored goal setting and long-term planning with your coach as well?
Absolutely. My coach finds a way to tailor the process to me. I find that really helpful—there’s this person I can always turn to, who keeps me accountable. It has a sense of urgency and there’s more dependability to help make it happen.
What would you say to other people who are thinking about getting coaching?
You have nothing to lose, you only have something to gain. I guess it depends on the person, but sometimes it’s hard to talk about yourself with people you know well. With a coach you can talk about yourself and how you develop. It’s great to have someone guide you through your thoughts and emotions.
There are a lot of avenues to explore with coaching, and many different types of coaches. Having someone support you in your development, it’s just immensely helpful.
King Choi has been a software developer for nearly a decade, with primary experience in Android and Java/Kotlin development, and is currently expanding into more frontend (React, React Native) and backend (Ruby on Rails, Express.js).
Interested in becoming an Engineering Partner at Commit? We offer professional development, peer-to-peer support and access to exciting startups.