Coaching Case Study By Catherine Law
(Life Coach, SINGAPORE)
My client Swee Cheng (Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the client), she is 46 years old and has two daughters aged 15 and 19. She has stayed with her father for six months after she sold her flat. She has to cope with tight work schedule, managing her two teens and lately, she could not get along with her brother, who also stayed in the same house. She complained of recent sleepless night. She mentioned that she felt guilty, stress and frustration.She asked me to coach her so that she can perform well both at work and home.
It is important to build rapport with my client. At the start, my client observed to be tensed and seemed to be reserved in expressing her issues.During the coaching sessions, I tried to employ active listening to build rapport and ensure understanding of her issues. I maintained good eyes contact with my client and leaned forward at time to show my attentiveness on the issues when she sounded emotional.
For better understanding of my client’s concerns, I asked open-ended questions to generate discussion and get insights of her issues. My client as a working mother expressed emotionally of her needs to juggle between work and at the same time managing her relationship between her subordinates, her teens and her brother. I facilitate my client to categorise her issues into four main focuses. Firstly, her relationship conflict with her brother. Secondly, her expectations on her teens. Thirdly, hertask at work that will be assessed on her capability and performance. Lastly, she has to deal with a difficult subordinates.
During the coaching session, I applied the GROW CoachingModel framework,to help my client to establish clear goals and leads to action rather than just exploring her feelings with no specific outcome. GROW stands for Goals, Current Reality, Options and Will (or Way Forward). In my coaching session, firstly, I aimed to assist my client to establish her goals. Next, allow her see her current reality. Following that, we worked on the options available including exploring other possibilities. Finally, I motivated her to commit her plans.
I also used the Wheel of Life as my coaching tool to assist her to rank her level of satisfaction in her various area of her life in a visual way. My client was able to understand where was her gapsbetween her current reality and her goals.Knowing her gaps, she could better develop a plan that will help her feel in control and looked forward to achieve her goals.I also managed to get my client to visualise her future, she has envisaged.
Overall, Iwas able toencourage my client to discuss about her thoughts, feelings and the issues she wished to work on first. I managed to challenge her unrealistic beliefs such as “I must be strict with my teens, otherwise they will turn bad; My subordinates really hate me”. These unproductive thinking patterns can either hold her back or driveher in some negative actions. I assisted her to reframe these unproductive thoughts by using power questions such as, “How do you measure your success as a mother by the quality of the relationship, or by how effectively your ability to control your teens; What evidence is there that your subordinates really hate you?” My client paused for a while when such question was posed to her. Following which, my client was able to focus on her issue with a different perspective.
By the second coaching sessions, my client shown effort to think of different ways of achieving her goals and advancing herself by sourcing for courses on personal development. This was encouraging as it showed that she has steppedout of her comfort zone to explore new possibilities. In addition, to assist her in finding peace and joys in her daily experience, I encouraged my client to be mindfulness of her daily life what was her grateful experience.
For accountability of my client actioned her plans, I asked my client to work on the following;
- Gratitude Journal. Create a gratitude journal and note down daily on anything that she was grateful for, any great experience or events that made her happy.
- Personal Development Courses. Source for the available management courses that could level up her management skill.
- Bonding with subordinates. Source for available Team Building workshop for better bonding with her subordinates.
- Quality Relationship. List down the quality of the relationship she desired with her teens and her brother. Explore new possibilities and perspective in achieving her goals.
My challenges as a coachwere to keep an open mind and maintain active listening. An open mind is to listen without judgement and not jumping to conclusion when client shared her issues. However, at time I tend to assume too quickly to generalise that the reason of her issue but was incorrectlypostulated.I have to be more conscious to prevent any misinterpretation. I also need to reinforce my active listening skill. During the session, my concentration got drifted and missed important key points or words. I must develop curiosity to see conversations as some opportunities to discover more insights.In summary, I must make conscious effort to listen by reinforce my client message that may help me to stay focused.
My client responded well that she started her to exercise, continue her gratitude journal and sign-up course through Skills Future Singapore website on Personal Development. She was able to focus short term goals that will encourage her to look forward to achieve herlong-term goals.
My client is working hard to achieve her goals. She seemed more focus, smiling more and looking forward in her next action plan.Her relationship with family is better and mentioned that her teens are sharing their issues with her. As for her work, she was able to motivate her subordinates in working small achievable goals. She mentioned that she was happier with their small accomplishment compared how hard she has tried previously to breathe down their necks to get things worked.
In conclusion, as a coach, it is my responsibility to help my client to gain clarity on their issues, step out of their comfort zone, enhance their performance and empower them with confidence to move towards a brighter side of life.