Coaching? The First Pre-Requisite Is To Like People

do you know what the absolute first pre-requisite for being a software development coach is? you have to like people.

sometimes we get so involved and committed to method, or technique, or whatever current flamewar rages around the building, it can be really easy to lose track of this fundamental requirement.

  • i am not talking about being an endless fount of loving kindness, a rainbow-farting unicorn drifting amongst the few fluffy clouds that just serve to highlight the great beauty of every day.
  • and i am not talking about being an extrovert — one who gains energy more than loses it by being around other people.

anyone who knows me knows i am neither of those two things.

i’m talking about *liking* *humans*. their quirks and tics, their style, their hopes, their worries, all the stuff that make us people and not machines. i’m a pro. i never work with a team without finding something nice to say about them. and i admit, sometimes that’s something like, “gosh, you folks just have the *best* shoes!”

but i actually really enjoy the people i work with. i like learning about their weird-assed hobbies, their night-coding project, the path that led them to geekery, how they met their SO, and on and on. i just like people. we’re such a mess, and we try so hard.

so let me ask you this: do you play favorites? Good. Play more of them.

remember what it’s like to be attended to, smiled at, to get help and to give it, to be asked, to be regarded kindly. remember how *strong* you feel when those things are happening? dig it. do more of that.

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