Coaching Case Study By Adran Ang
(Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
Client is looking for job rotation within the company for career progression, however felt that the current boss is biased and not supportive of her. She kept to herself and does not mingle with her colleagues, she feels lack of interpersonal relationship within the company. The two issues were discussed in a span of six sessions according to Client’s decision on the topic to focus each time. (The coaching had not conclude at the point of writing) No true name was reflected in the case study
Jossie is into her 3rd job and she enjoys her work which provide consultancy to companies on sales process and workflow optimisation. She often took up roles that her senior colleague rejected, beyond her required job scope. She felt that she had achieved good results for her clients and put in more efforts than her colleagues. However, she felt that her current boss is biased, not appreciative of her results and not supportive of her career progression.She also mentioned about not being able to interact with her colleagues and peers beyond work-related matters.
As there were two issues, permission was seek to separate the issues and addressing one at a time:
- Career Progression &
- Interpersonal relationship
With the two concerns determined, Jossie then determined the goals to be set for each of the concerns:
- Career Progression –Jossie wants to gain recognition by her boss
- Interpersonal Relationship –Jossie wishes to improve on the relationship with her colleagues
Active Listening & Powerful Questioning
Paraphrasing that she had mentioned good results in several occasions and asking“how did she define good results and how did she understand of her boss’ expectation of good results”. Jossie affirmed that there was no occasion that they discussed about expected results, however she is aware that her boss is concerned about sales numbers and good presentation, while she is focusing on the real hard work and neglected the presentation of the outcome. Further questions led to her realising that she is not aligned with her boss in this aspect.
She also mentioned that during one of the business trips, her boss took her presentation time and made her seem redundant at their client’s office. She admitted that it could had caused her to react negatively towards her boss when I paraphrased her choice of words and tones with questions on “how had this affect her”
Jossie also mentioned that she lacks interpersonal relationship with her colleagues. Upon inquiring, Jossie shared that she felt betrayed as there was a couple of incidents when she shared with Colleague A certain issues, the other colleagues also know about them. She then started feeling that nobody in the company can be trusted, hence disconnecting with the colleagues. When asked questions like “how did the other colleagues treating her”&“how often did this happen when Colleague A wasn’t involved”, Jossie admitted that she too realised that the occurrences were only because of one or two personnel, and that the rest were general nice people.
Reframing Perspectives & Moving Forward
Throughout Jossie’s sharing and me asking certain questions along the way, she started to realise that she might not had understood her boss’ true expectation on a good result. She was working towards her own good results and expecting appreciations from others. In fact, she might had not understood her boss’ true intention of certain plans and acted oppositely.
Jossie planned to discuss with her boss and understand what would be considered good results and works towards the results for better recognition from her boss. When asked “how would she be intending to initiate the discussion”, she was able to differentiate the pros and cons of an informal discussion versus a formal meeting, and decided herself that it would better to start with informal talks with the boss.
Jossie also admitted that the particular business trip was affecting her and that she was not working professionally as she had understood that her boss had to “shine” in her first visit to the client. She had made promise to let go of the incident in order to be able to move forwards.
Jossie self-admitted that due to few unpleasant incidents, she began to distant herself from the colleagues, including the few nicer people whom she had knew since start of work in the company. It was concluded by Jossie that while “gossips” were inevitable, she could had taken cautious when engaging certain personnel instead of avoiding contact with everyone else. She had planned to initiate conversations instead of waiting for others to approach, although she will take note of the right things to comment for a start until she got to know better of the individuals.
Appropriate acknowledgements and encouragements to her self-realisations and decisions had given her the motivation to create action plans to address her situations. It had aided me in assisting Jossie to understand the cause of the issues, and be able to provision to move away and improve on these situations.
End of Sessions Feedback
After each session, Jossie remarked that she could understand more of her concerns better and realising sometimes it was only her perspectives that might had hindered her and made her believed things were not okay. Upon knowing the possible causes, she was then able to consider how to improve the situations.
At the end of our six sessions, currently Jossie had spoken to her boss on several causal occasions and their working relationship seems to be improving, whereas her busy schedule had not allowed her to interact more with the colleagues, and she intends to join the next colleague dinner after her project submission.
Active listening to the tone and hesitation during the conversation led to discover there might be more than alignment of expectations, further questioning managed to uncover that the unpleasant incident during the business trip also contributed to Jossie soured working relationship with her boss. By addressing this underlying problem, Jossie could communicate better with the boss, and be aligned with the boss intention when handling tasks. This could possibly increase her chance of career progression.
Using of acknowledgements to her self-realisation encouraged Jossie to go on and make decisions to improve on the situations. These are simple yet power tools that can be applied in everyday life.