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Bouncing ideas off a trusted thinking partner (reflection on my journey)


- Sep 07th 2022



“This is a new role for the region and Learning & Development is not my cup of tea, so I wouldn’t be able to provide you much guidance about the way forward. You will need to ensure that you establish the role in the region as well as establish yourself in that role.”

This was the conversation I had with my line manager on the very first day in this role as the Regional Manager – Talent and Development, South Asia. She was a brilliant person, an excellent mentor and had always provided me the support I needed. However, in those 50 words she had orchestrated her expectations from me as well as the challenges that I am going to embrace for next few years. Ironically, it was also my first role in the learning & development arena. I moved to this role as a part of my professional development plan.

Not knowing much about what to do, I reached out to my counterpart in the East Asia whose situation wasn’t much different than mine. We both agreed to help each other through peer coaching. We continued with our peer coaching journey for about six months having fortnightly sessions. In our last formal peer coaching session, we tried to reflect on our learnings and achievements in last six months. To our amazement, we both realised that the journey was quite rewarding as it helped us not only to define the shape and size of the role in our respective regions but also to find our feet in the role.

The peer coaching experience helped me to realise the value of coaching in solving problems and learning new things. Of course, none of us were professional and trained coach but we realised that still we can support each other as peer coach if –

  • we understand the philosophy of coaching
  • we know how to ask questions and listen actively
  • we have a relationship based on trust and we don’t judge each other
  • we help each other to find solution of their own problems and don’t just give advice

My peer coaching journey gave me the opportunity to –

  • talk about my challenges confidentially with my partner who then helped me to find my own solutions
  • hold myself accountable to a set of actions that I had to deliver
  • find a sounding board which was very important to stay motivated in an isolated role like this
  • hone my coaching skill which I then will be able to transfer and use in different settings

I wouldn’t claim that it was only the peer coaching that ensured that settled me down in the role well. There were other things that had also contributed to the overall success. But back of my mind, I always knew that it was my pursuit of finding solutions to the new challenges and problems through the entire peer coaching journey that helped me the most in overcoming the initial obstacles and to conquer the unknowns.






 Author Name: Faisal Obaid

Title of the Blog: Bouncing ideas off a trusted thinking partner (reflection on my journey)

About the Author (a short description of yourself): I am an HR professional with more than a decade experience in different HR leadership roles.

Program Attended with CTT: ACC (L1)

Reason for taking this program: Wanted to become a professional coach and go beyond my comfort zone.

What worked for you: Opportunity to learn from an amazing mentor coach and support form peers.

What benefits you got: Realisation of my own potential as a coach and confidence to go beyond my comfort zone.

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