First of all I’d like to thank Shahbaz Bhai(@shahbaz17) for helping us conduct the Coaching Training and taking upon himself to communicate and manage the scheduling. Since we are at such different time-zones, it would have been difficult but we still made it work!
Here, we discovered 4 Cases in less than an hour. These cases are where the Coachee has a certain question and how do we approach these questions as Coaches(Mentors) and guide them to be more successful as Reps. I’m happy to have done this with Kristi(@kristiprogri) & David(@davidgb1), both experienced Reps with great outlook towards the Community and its people. Here’s the recap of what we discussed:
CASE 1: The coachee is a part of a small but growing community and would like to know how they can increase their numbers, enable these volunteers to make an impact and make their community visible in the local tech scene.
- Pranshu: Getting some community feedback is always a good point to start. Members in a growing community will know better what their preferences are and what they enjoy most, and what more would they like. We will be able to create a larger impact that way and will be able to create teams and different channels to communicate.
- David: Small activities in their country in their universities, colleges, etc. They can try to do some activity, create a sign-up, invite speakers and take help from developers. Globally, for people who are not developers, designers, creating a small channel to make themself visible on that platform. Can have weekly meetings and whatnot.
- Kristi: OKR method to help the coachee to understand their goals and key results. I would like to discover the key results and metrics and see what we want to reach. It could be based on say, quantity, say 2 new volunteers per week. Create milestones to achieve exactly that. Goal is to let the coachee explore and get the answers from themselves. Explore together what are the best methods to achieve something.
CASE 2: The coachee is an existing member of a community who does activities as the opportunity comes (i.e new campaign, an invitation from schools) making the community stalled sometimes. The mentee wants to learn how (s)he can step up to drive his/her community in a better direction.
- David: Try to carry out the activities they’re already doing in their communities. Look for topics around the Mozilla community, try to do the activities which mixes with the campaigns. Try to explore what opportunities there are which can help their community to explore and do more.
- Kristi: I’d ask the coachee to talk a little bit more, to understand what they think about the better direction. With the material that we have, we need to understand the intentions of the person and the outcome they would like. After identifying, we will discuss what is the best direction for the Community. In this way, we can both have a better look to understand how we can remove the obstacles and take it in a better direction.
- Pranshu: I’d like to link my answer to my previous answer where I said, it is important to take Feedback from the Community. Here, when we talk about the Coachee, they are a link between Mozilla and the Community they serve, and are a part of. In order to achieve the best results, we need to understand what the Community needs. There are different communities which need different directions to give them a kickstart. All the communities have different periods between the lines, but it’s important to understand what are they interested in, what do they want to learn, to build. I’d suggest we understand that and take it forward accordingly.
CASE 3: The coachee is an active functional area contributor who has contributed to a couple of projects but this is the first time (s)he’ll be involved in a community. (S)He wants to learn how (s)he can reach out to people inside and outside the community to grow and make quality contributors.
- Kristi: The first thing I’d do is to explore together what is the best way to reach out to the people in the Community. Translation team, other teams, we can start by talking to other people for the projects and recruit people who would like to join us. One good way would be to reach out to different universities, hackerspaces, where people know that we are contributors and people can join us. One advice I’d give would be to, be as close and helpful to people for knowledge and help them understand that this is also something new.
- Pranshu: As Kristi said, this is a very common situation for anyone joining the Community after it’s inception. I personally like to set Communities in a way where they have proper channels to network, FAQs, introduction, etc. I’d suggest the new contributor join weekly meetups. I have a very personal approach to help someone to integrate them into any local community. I’d ask them to make a friend who can help them understand how things work in their community and do more from there.
- David: I can say to the coachee and start making friends within the community, and it’s a good starting point. I’ll try to understand their skills and interests e.g., they are developers, designers, etc and understand how they want to collaborate. Help them participate, and put them in touch with people and try to join people and do some activities to be a part of the community.
CASE 4: Being a new rep, the coachee wants to be more involved in being a leader in his/her community. His/Her community had a lot of achievements before, but it all stalled as community members slowly became inactive due to organizational changes, community conflicts and shifting priorities. (S)He wants to learn how (s)he can move forward as it feels like a big task to him/her that (s)he isn’t even sure if (s)he can do something about.
- Pranshu: Whenever this happens, my go-to response is to fill a space where a leader is required. Anywhere there is conflict, a person who wants to ignite an inactive Community should get in to make new friends and not go headstrong into “making a change” but to start from a new end. While they will move to make the Community active, they might not know what’s up ahead which is why you take things up to just the next event, next meetup and next call. It’s not about what’s happened in the past, it’s about what you can bring to the Community through your initiatives and after a few of those activities - you are bound to have a tight knit group of contributors who can start taking charge with you.
- Kristi: The first thing that I’d ask is to identify something that has gone right in the whole organization. I’d suggest to focus on the positive changes, and focus on what’s mentaly positive and that’s when we’d be able to give our 100 percent. We will try and understand what their priorities are. I would still say and suggest to focus on what they can improve in the whole process to make them feel good and others. That is what shows great leaders, not to put anyone down but to put a negative situation into a positive one. I would definitely say that the person will find them as a leader, and people will appreciate their presence and have a good time.
- David: They can find who still know the community and try to do activities together with positive thinking. These need not be big events, it could even be meeting and trying to motivate yourself and try to lead them and also by doing technical and non-technical activities. Focus on what can improve, and what can change for better. That could help them to be a better leader.
As Shahbaz Bhai said after we covered all the cases and I quote, “There is not one single way to approach all of these problems, some could be more right than wrong and it all depends on the context”. I think it fits very well here, and it’s important to understand these contexts to help people better.
Edit: I hadn’t added my answers, added those.