I had no idea what she was talking about.
I was working at a London startup, and it was my first taste of a continuous delivery environment. I was definitely out of my comfort zone! I was learning loads: continuous delivery practices, the demands of a quality-focused team, native app development, the list goes on. I even got exposure to AI & ML! I was finally getting the technical experience I craved! But my contract ended soon, and I wasn't sure it would be extended.
Please let me get extended!
My friend, also my Boss, took me aside and delivered the bad news. She wasn't going to extend me. There was nothing wrong with my testing work, but I wasn't adding enough value. I was crestfallen, but I got it. Decisions must be made regarding who and who isn't on the team. However, then she asked me a question.
Boss: Do you realise how fast you bond with people?
Me: Er... Sorry... No! What?
I was baffled! She explained that I bond with people very quickly and rapidly build trust. Impressive but also added I didn't do anything with it when I did. Then she asked...
Have you thought about coaching?
Befuddled again! I hadn't considered coaching before. However, the more she explained what coaching was and wasn't, I became more interested. I got the first inklings of where my success derived from and where it could take me in the future.
Don't downplay your existing strengths.
Unconditional positive regard and active listening. That's what I seemed to naturally "do" with people. I couldn't quite see it alone at the time. I needed someone to help me see it, which is a central pillar of coaching - helping folks gain a new perspective on themselves.
Sound familiar? What strengths might you be downplaying in yourself?