My experience as a coach started in 2014 when we started Mozilla Community in Kashmir region of India. Being one of the first FSAs, I started with self-learning and sharing what I know with friends and like-minded people. I started my contribution with design, code, SuMo, MozStumbler, and localization. I was recognized as one of the Senior FSAs which encouraged me to contribute more to the community and share what I know with other people. It took me a lot of time and effort to understand how Open Source works and how we can be a part of it through communities like mozilla and I felt a need to help those who struggle to get into the community to learn, share and use their skills for the good. So, I started organizing small meetups to help enthusiastic and passionate people in the community and most of them became part of our small team which eventually was called Mozilla Community, Kashmir. In the beginning, our community was mainly focused on imparting skills and awareness among the students in the region and encourage them to contribute to the open source projects especially mozilla. Workshops, the audience, recruiting new members to the community and the learning process reminds me of the 3 levels of listening paradigm which I can totally relate to. Self development, focusing on passionate students, listening to them, their expectations and enthusiasm to join the community and making sure most of the participants are being listened to and their feedback and queries are not ignored.
Following the GROW model, we used to hold meetings (offline and sometimes online) to discuss past initiatives, their impact, recruit new members, give them tasks considering their expertise, plan future strategy, events, and the roadmap.
After moving to another region (New Delhi) in 2016 and as a Rep and Regional Coordinator for Campus Clubs, and a member of Mozilla Community, Delhi (mozpacers), I used to hold meetings with the members to discuss the activities and help them recruit new members, enhance their skills and devise their plan for future events and initiatives keeping in view the focus, goals and programs of mozilla community in general.
I feel the better way to coach someone in the community like mozilla is to be friendly with them and not to show any kind of superiority and follow ‘Learning by doing’ paradigm. Having a fruitful meeting once or twice every 2-3 months is better than meeting every week without considering the schedule and workload of the trainee. As a rep, regional coordinator, member of mozilla’s largest community (Mozilla India) and as a mentor, I believe a coach must be a good listener, honest, available and approachable and must be willing to share what s/he knows that could benefit the trainee.