Coaching Case Study By Corie Coyne
(Life Planning Coach, UNITED STATES)
Setting the Foundation: The Coach and Client
Peter was a coach in his own right. He knew how the relationship should work. The problem was that it was no longer working for him.
Peter and I discussed his on-going relationship with his formal paid coach. They had worked together over two years, and Peter had begun feeling as if the relationship had run its course. Although he had addressed this concern with his formal coach, she was dismissive, unsupportive, and pointed out more issues for him to address. From his own coaching education, he knew it wasn’t the right response from a coach. It only left him more confused as to what to do next.
He started to feel looked upon as a dollar sign. Her reaction had exposed a greater desire to keep receiving her fee than doing what was best for him. Peter searched for clarity around the emotions he was experiencing and a solution to his indecisiveness.
Getting Clear: The Core Problem
Considering the end of any long-term relationship can result in a mixture of emotions. Our first challenge was recognizing the emotions he experienced – whether conscious or unconscious. Using gentle guidance, we explored his emotions and identified anger, disappointment, and sadness.
Finding Greater Understanding: The Coaching
He knew his anger stemmed from her reaction to his concern. He couldn’t make sense of how someone he trusted for years would treat him in such a dismissive way. Identifying the anger led to a realization of the disappointment and sadness he was feeling when he sensed the relationship had started to sour.
Building on his realization, we used visualization to explore the outcomes of two scenarios.
What would it look like if he continued the relationship? What would it look like if he ended the relationship?
He began with the first scenario of continuing the relationship. Within the first few minutes, he recognized a change in his voice. He acknowledged how this scenario drained him of energy and positive emotion.
The time had come to discuss ending the relationship. It was something that Peter had identified before as giving him disappointment and sadness. Although this time, his tone had changed after being able to see how continuing the relationship wouldn’t serve him.
Peter expressed relief at the scenario of ending the relationship. When I asked what it would do for him, he found he would be glad that he took a stand. He had lifted the weight of his mixed emotions off his shoulders. Once he found a comfortable path, he was newly liberated and found the confidence to move towards action. He was no longer paralyzed by anger, disappointment, and sadness.
Moving Forward: The Result
By focusing on the emotions behind the issue, we were able to bring about Peter’s self-awareness of what was really bothering him. He worked through any underlying beliefs he had about the situation to come to a greater understanding. Just as Peter found liberation from emotion, I found freedom from self-doubt. This session gave me the assurance that I can, not only be a coach, but be an effective coach. It opened me up to continue learning and improving, rather than feeling as if coach training was a fruitless effort.
I channeled my immediate happiness in my notebook by writing in big block letters, “I CAN DO THIS!”
In the end, Peter making sense of his end helped me make sense of my beginning.