Updated: Jan 7
Transcript from Interview
Harrison is the co-founder of MaestroQA who's mission is to help companies build better customer experiences by providing modern QA software that powers customer loyalty. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I'm the co founder and CTO of MaestroQA, where I lead our engineering teams and have worked really closely with our design and product teams. In an ever evolving journey as we have grown from being two to five to 20 to 60. Over the last couple of years, I'm really passionate about Engineering, and I also spend a lot of time and energy training for triathlon. I recently got married, actually, during our time coaching together. So I've been through a big life journey over the past, you know, year and a half, through a lot of change.
What was going on that made you feel that coaching might be a valuable tool for you?
Yeah, so there's two things, one coming from athletic background, I ran in college. I found leaving the structure of college, the training group that I joined after college and kind of going out on my own, I found I was having trouble with consistency and achieving the results that I wanted on my own, and thought there might be, you know, strong parallel there, in the work and life world as well. I've definitely found that while I think I have a lot of the tools to accomplish what I want, consistently applying them and metering that energy and an approach to things was an area that I thought I could improve by getting some extra help.
Was there anything that you felt that I could help you with based on either my background or with what you were navigating coming into the sessions?
I didn't have one criteria that I was looking for, you know, I wasn't ultra specific, more coming in open mind and look for someone I feel like I could have, you know, a good dialogue and conversation with I didn't want someone to give me a rigid structure to follow, or someone that was going to not push me either and challenge my thought. So I was looking to find that balance with someone to have an ongoing conversation with.
Do you have any moments or situations where you felt supported through a key challenge that you were going through or anything about the moments that you'd be willing to share?
Yeah, absolutely. I think for me, one of the biggest things has been in bringing the right clarity of thought to some of my challenge and bringing consistent stability to my challenges in the sense that I don't think I've ever faced any one challenge that seemed insurmountable or anything that on its own, where it was too much or too, too crushing in any way. But putting all those things together and tackling all the challenges of life in concert was was probably the biggest area of focus for me in making sure those things, while on their own were fine, didn't bleed over and cascade and cause issues.
Did you feel free and have enough autonomy to bring up what was that was pressing for you in the moment?
Yeah, I definitely find myself to be the type of person that I will typically have one to two big challenges that I'm wrestling wrestling with, in the back of my mind that I'm thinking about, as I go for a run, or just sitting down that kind of inner space time, that may span one day or a week or a month, or more. And those are the types of questions that I found most helpful to bring forward and discuss about not you know, what is the biggest challenge of today, but more, what are those things that are, you know, consistent, whether they be stressors, or big decisions that need to be made, or ways of addressing problems that are consistently occupying my mind, those are the areas that I've found, exploring those to those helpful.
What did that free up for you to be able to do that thematic analysis and discussion?
The number one thing for me has been improving, letting each challenge be addressed and resolved with it's the appropriate emotional energy and communication techniques that are needed for that moment, and not cross applying, you know, whether it be stress, or a certain approach between different problems in a way that would be detrimental to how to solve each of those problems. I think that's something that I found through some introspection was happening. And having a little bit of a system to both recognize that and try to improve on that, I think, has helped me bring the right mentality to the various different challenges which need different styles of communication or work.
Did you see any impacts to goals to be more attentive or more strategically attentive with your team, and team development?
Now, I think there's there's multiple types of developments. Some of this has been about how to find it, identify the right people to bring in and the bigger piece of it, I think, has been how do we better organize and structure internally within our existing team to get the most out of the most of what we're doing, and what we can perform on. So I think that by bringing fresh clarity of mind, and especially between those two problems, which are, which are quite different, has been has been really helpful to coming up with creative solutions, as well as being kind of emotionally present for both types of very different types of communication.
Has there been any mindset shifts for you, throughout our coaching process, or anything that you think is material or significant?
The biggest thing for me is recognizing, and there's many things but the one which I apply on a daily basis, is recognizing the need for myself to not just pick up on on my issues, but I have a few tools which I can draw upon to reset in between things. So they're, I guess, I'm sure if the right word is psychosomatic or physical cues to use to basically not just recognize, I think was phase one of, of speaking, when minds getting in certain state, but also to address and reset back to a positive state.
What would you say to that person that we're in conversations with about why, or what is valuable about coaching?
So I think everyone's journey with coaching is, is probably a little different. But for me, the big unlock was taking observations that I was making about myself and speaking through why I thought those things were happening, and be having some challenges on the true reasons for those things happening. And then having someone talk through and present some framework, some of which I think you apply really well from, and some of which I don't use, but having some techniques to try and to have, you know, consistent reinforcement of over a period of time to try to improve. So I think, you know, taking introspection being challenged on the validity of the introspection of that, and then working through tools to consistently address the things raised through introspection would be my process.
How did you make that and keep that commitment to the engagement itself?
There's definitely some times where I looked at the calendar and I was like, you know, it's, it's already the end of the day for another Zoom meeting. is a little much for today. But I definitely found that you know, especially when we kind of took the time to really take a root level, you know, assessment of how things were really going across, you know, business life work, all those things. that I came out more energized. And I went in, and I just had to remind myself of that going into it. You know, and some of the busy weeks that if I, you know, I'm present and I built my best self, I can come up more energized than going even though it is, you know, another Zoom meeting in the world that we live in today.