Coaching Case Study By George Goh
(Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
My client, Lena, works as a Human Resource Director in an International school in Taiwan. Aged 40, she is a divorcee with a 8 year old son. Lena worked in big corporations for many years as a HR Director. She left her high paying corporate job in June 2016 to join the school because of health issues due to work stress and to spend more time with her son.
After 10 months in the school, Lena realised that she was losing out on her corporate experience and market value. Her current job scope had stagnated while her peers had moved ahead career wise. She earns much less now, with no opportunity for promotion.
Coaching Skills Applied – GROW model
Goal – Lena’s goal is to be a corporate HR Director by mid 2017. I asked her to visualise her goal – working in a corporate setting, feeling confident and relaxed. We then discussed the various pathways to reach her goal. Her motivation was to pursue her passion in HR talent development, earn a higher salary and have a sense of achievement.
Reality – As Lena spoke about her situation, I listened intently, with powerful questioning, paraphrasing, trust and empathy. She had 2 underlying beliefs, fear of failure and the guilt of not spending enough time with her son, that prevented her from taking action. Using the Wheel of Life tool, Lena listed the top 3 key areas in her life and rated the current vs ideal level of satisfaction for each area. This helped her prioritise what she wanted in her life. The top 3 key areas (in rank order) were Career, Family & Health. We also discovered Lena’s strength – an Achiever who works hard, have a sense of purpose and is productive.
Options – After exploring all possible options, Lena came up with an action plan, with milestones and timelines, to achieve her goal. These included contacting headhunters and her previous bosses/colleagues, improving her CV and interviewing skills and searching the job portals. Lena also planned to spend quality time with her son every evening. To manage stress, she will exercise regularly and work in moderation.
Will – After a lengthy discussion, Lena finally garnered the will to commit to her action steps because of her motivation to realise her career potential, regain her sense of achievement and do what she is good at. This will help her overcome her “fear of failure” underlying belief. She also desired career success to better provide for her son financially.
Results Of Coaching Process
Lena was very confused initially, not knowing what she wanted in her life. By reframing her thinking towards an empowering perspective, she connected her strength as an Achiever to her top life priority – Career. That was her “Ah Ha” moment. She finally realised that she could overcome her underlying beliefs and pursue her corporate career successfully, spend quality time with her son and manage work stress, all at the same time.