Coaching Case Study By Andrea Bruns
(Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
The main players in this case study are my client, Louise (not her real name), and myself, as the coach.
Louise is an expat spouse, who moved with her husband and 2 little children from France to Singapore on a 3 year expat assignment. Louise resigned from her job in France and was looking forward to explore her new life in Singapore, especially having more time to spend with her two children. Family is really important to her.
When Louise first came to my coaching session she had been in Singapore for 8 months already. I started with an introduction and sharing what coaching is and is not. I explained to hear that this is her time and space and that everything she would tell me is confidential.
When I asked Louise about the topic she wanted to be coached on she told me that she was not satisfied with her current life and that she is longing for something she was not sure what it was. When I started listening to her, showing my empathy and using active listening skills, she continued talking and telling me that at the beginning she really enjoyed her time in Singapore a lot. She explored many of new places with her children, felt really happy to have them around and enjoyed the “mums expat community” where she could exchange so many experiences.
But after 6 months she felt that she missed something. She became more and more dissatisfied and stressed out by her children and felt like a “bird confined in a cage”. At the same time she felt guilty and upset about her feelings because family always was most important for her. After I gave her the space to tell me her story I asked her what she wanted to get out of this session.
Then I started to ask Louise questions to explore what was driving her unsatisfied feelings and we began to explore her values.
I helped Louise to define her values by asking powerful questions like:
- What is important to you in life?
- What is present when life is most alive for you?
- Where is that value showing up?
I told Louise to think of a recent incident, which made her very angry, because most of the time anger arises from some violation of a value we hold.
I also invited her to a visualization exercise about a time in her life when she felt fulfilled and satisfied.
While we worked on Louise’s values suddenly she detected “freedom” in terms of space and time for herself as a strong value that she was not aware of before. When I asked her how she had honored this value on a scale from 1 to 10 in the past months she also realized that during the time in Singapore she has not honored this value at all. There was a definite shift in Louise’s energy when she became aware of that. She started to understand that even if family is a strong value to her she needs at least some freedom (time/space) for herself.
After gaining awareness of her values and the importance to honor them I asked Louise the question what action she could do to honor and integrate “freedom” in to her current life in Singapore. With her new powerful energy Louise had some ideas in mind and was able to set some action steps. She felt a new positive energy and seemed more energized, relieved and satisfied.
This coaching shows the importance of living and honoring our values. Values define who you are and how you relate to the world around you and the people in it.
When we live and honor our values, we feel content, happy and satisfied. But when we do not honor them, because we sometimes are not even aware of them, we start to sense dissatisfaction and negative energy can grow.
For me as a coach it is really important to help my clients to align their life to their values in order to live a fulfilling life.