Formal and informal coaching

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Feb 2023

Leaders & managers are responsible for continuously up-leveling their teams through effective learning and development. They must strike a healthy balance between informal and formal coaching to achieve this.

Formal coaching includes structured programs such as training programs and presentations. These provide a systematic approach to learning and development but do not create lasting sustained growth by themselves.

Informal coaching encompasses the less structured elements of learning and development such as impromptu conversations among peers and discussions of best practices through code review. Leaders can support this by promoting unstructured discussions, creating informal forums for learning, and prioritizing knowledge sharing outside of formal presentations.

I find informal coaching to be highly effective because it is personalized, organic and self-correcting, and I try to encourage it when I can.

Paraphrased from Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.