What is Career Coaching? 

What does a career conversation look like and how can we develop the skills to do it well and do it often? Interview with Darren Peiris – Head of Talent and Capability – International at The Kraft Heinz Company

Occasionally I come across an individual who embodies the qualities of an outstanding leader, who demonstrates skill, knowledge, and proven capabilities in developing people and that is how I would describe Darren Peiris. Darren is Head of Talent & Capabilities Development – International at The Kraft Heinz Company. When I first sat down with Darren over five years ago to pick his brains on his thoughts on career and in particular ‘early career’, I was struck by the calm and compassionate manner in which he approached his job. I was curious to know more about his approach and the results that it produced, as it was evident that he held his people in high regard and believed in their potential. Darren articulated his job as being the coach who helped people realise their potential. He was able to describe his coaching process with clarity and confidence and it was evident that Darren was a star, and a star that embodies humility and empathy which is of course the best kind.

Five years on I wanted to touch base with Darren on his current thoughts on career conversations and developing careers and his response again demonstrated skill, knowledge and a passion for developing people.

“A career conversation should be done regularly (at least minimum once a month) and it should be focused on asking the employee the right questions to get to the answer themselves (think the good old GROW model). An employee should take ownership of the conversation as it is after all their career and the leader should use the conversation to shape opportunities where the employee can focus on development on the job, learning through others and through appropriate learning experience. Learning the skills to drive a good career conversation is regularly practicing asking the right questions of people (a great coach never gives their own advice, but rather asks the most creative questions to allow their coachees to have their ‘aha’ moment, which is what ultimately drives the change.” Darren Peiris Talent & Capabilities Development – International The Kraft Heinz Company

The focus on career development in organisations like The Kraft Heinz Company is exciting and with people like Darren leading the way, the future of leadership development is even more promising. I look forward to continuing to follow Darren’s career and his work at The Kraft Heinz Company and thank him for sharing his thoughts on his work.

More from the Blog