Coaching Case Study By BengHock Lim
(Transformational Coach, SINGAPORE)
In the beginning…
Clark (not his real name) was working in a very bureaucratic organization, where the organization would rather priorities process (overzealous audit check and balances) over success / results. This was in stark contrast to his previous roles, where success is the top priority. Naturally Clark was thrown into the RED ocean, it comes natural to Clark to adapt, though deep inside Clark was not happy (he knew that he is NOT the “process” type of staff). Clark struggled with this “handicap”, several colleagues “ganged up” to pick on his supposed “handicap”. Cleark was told that that “you are NOT management material!”, “why did the boss hire you?”, … etc.; (FYI. Clark was managing regional teams in his previous roles); the behavior of Clark’s colleagues bordered on the line of “bullying”. Clark started questioning his identity and his propose in life, Clark was depressed and considered leaving the company (without securing the next role)
Call to adventure and Refusal
Clark was lost and he started looking for direction. To keep himself sane, he signed up for a course, where we met. Clark was skeptical initially on the effectiveness of coaching as it was relatively new in this part of the world. At the back of Clark’s mind:“Who is B.H to “coach” me when he was not even there to witness the bullying?”. I invited Clark over for a casual chat.
Meeting the “Master”
I explained what is coaching and how it can help Clark, that coaching followed an established code of conduct (by ICF); that there’s confidentiality and trust in a coaching relationship. I shared with Clark my story and my “roller coaster of life” that I have has been on. Like Clark, I have my fair share of similar experiences thro’ out my life and that Clark is not alone in his journey.
Crossing the Threshold
Clark decided to engaged me as his coach. He shared his woes with me, I Listened Actively, patiently and withholding any judgement. Thro’ a series of powerful questioning, I paraphrased Clark’s statement; as Clark reiterates his statement, he started to realized that his problems seem trivial to a 3rd party. His choice of words reflected his view of the situation, his reaction was due to his perception of the situation (circumstances).
The InMost Cave
We started to work on to figure out the “I” in Clark. Clark took several psychometric tests (e.g. strengthfinder, MBTI, … etc.) and the results revealed a part of Clark which he never knew existed – there were many limiting beliefs. We worked on discovering his talents and the underlying beliefs that resulted in his behavior and “unhappiness”. At the back of Clark’s mind, he knew that he sensed these talents, most of them were latent and not fully developed.
As we worked on his limiting beliefs, Clark become “self-aware” of his blind spot and draft an action plan to “manage” his blind spot. Clark realized that these blind spots would be his “kryptonite”. With his blind spot well managed, we proceeded to work on his strengths / talents.
We worked on strengthening the muscles of Clark’s talents, he is more “Self-aware” of the “I” in Clark, he started to see the world in a different perspective; he was able to identified and claim his talents, he is able to call upon his arsenal of talents and use them to come up with creative solutions to the various obstacles (tests) in his life.
Clark soon realized that he was using several of my talents unconsciously, that B.H. is the “master/guru” bring out his hidden talent and guided the student to a greater height.I guided Clark on his vision, clearing his self-doubts and restoring his confidence level. We worked on his problems, motivation, strengths, stereotypes and core values. Clarke became more self-aware of his talents and blind spot.
Ordeal and Reward
With his new found (rediscovered and strengthen) talents and a well-designed plan, Clark faced my challenges / Frenemies @ work. There were battles won and lost; he sliced and diced his problems, he stood up to his adversaries and problem; Clark survived, he thrived and was having Fun. Clark was given new roles and responsibilities that leverage on his talents and he loved it. Like Hercules, Clarke have his 12 challenges; like Hercules, Clark have his “mentor/coach”, he was glad that I was there to challenge and encourage him; in his words, I’m his “accountability partner”.
The Road back and Resurrection
A valuable lesson Clark learnt in his journey is the application of his talents, not all situation called for his talents (at full strength). He was applying his new-found talents @ full force for almost all situation, he was tempted to use all his talents @ full force all the time.
We worked on the application of his talents and Clark realized that he do not need to be a super hero all the time, even if he were to in superhero mode, he does not need to apply his talents (superhero strengths) in Full. Clarke realized that he need to adjust himself to the situation, there are times when he need to be “Superman”, there are times for him to be “Clark”, … etc. his arsenal of talents is at his disposal and should be used appropriately with the right intensity. Clark realized this, he was reborn “ordinary”, he sought forgiveness from those who were “hurt” by his full force talents, Clark found his balance and was @ peace with himself.
Up and away…
Clark is blissfully engaged in his career and life. He realized that his journey has only just begun and he would be meeting other superheroes who need that “Midas touch” to transform the ordinary to a hero and back. Clark decided to embark on a journey of being a coach to play it forward, Clarke started to coach his sister. I did not meet Clark’s sister, I am sure that this pair super hero siblings would achieve great things in their life time.
The era of ordinary heroes have arrived.
- Every hero needs a coach.
- Super hero lifts other super heroes.