Coaching Case Study By Kai Mun Timothy Wong
(Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
Sharon (Not the client’s real name) joined a new start up 3 months ago as an Event planner in a non-profit organisation. Sharon has to get work done through volunteers.
Some volunteers have recently complained that they were not aware of what is expected of them, there was many overlapped in the roles and responsibilities. Inaccurate information was passed down to wrong people. This has led to lots of confusion in the execution process and unhappiness among the volunteers. As a result, volunteers begin to lose confidence in Sharon’s leadership and a few has chosen to leave. If this persists, it will be difficult to find new volunteers and even the reputation of the organisation is affected.
During the coaching session, 3 steps coaching model is used:
Get to know the client by active listening to their story to determine the right questions to ask.
Clarify goals and outcome of the coaching session.
What needs to be done to move the client from the current position to where the client wants to be? Goals are then break down into manageable steps and priorities them accordingly. Identify any possible obstacles and how to overcome them.
The coaching session is based on ICF core competencies framework and the following was achieved:
- Sharon understood the differences between coaching, consulting nor therapy after my briefing. Sharon has been given the coaching agreement 1 day beforehand so that she can read thoroughly, signed and returned on the day of coaching.
- Rapport was built by ‘pacing’ with Sharon as she speaks. Listening with nod, making encouraging sounds and gesture.
- Sharon was informed at the start of the coaching that the agenda is “Yours” and “what do you wants to discuss today?”
- Practiced to be active listener. This means to focus completely on what Sharon is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of her desires, and to support her self-expression.
- Open questions are used to make Sharon’s stop and think. These thought processes help her to find insights and answers from within herself. Questions should apply the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle and avoid questions that are too wordy as well.
By using some of these questions as a guide:
- What is the real challenge for you?
- What areas do you want to strengthen, improve, or develop?
- How is this issue affecting you/others?
- What tells you that you are lacking in this skill/knowledge?
- How does this support your/the team’s larger objective?
Results of the coaching process
Sharon has come armed with her goal to improve her leadership skills at her workplace. However, through the coaching, she realised that it is a communication problem instead of leadership issue on her part. She mentioned that to manage the volunteers, there needs to be a two-way communication so that volunteers can seek clarification on their roles and on the expectations. It is important as well to share her vision for each event with the volunteers so that the objectives are aligned.
Sharon and I have worked out together to draw out some of her short term goal to improve on her communication issues with the volunteers.
Sharon has made me her accountability partner to check on her progress over the phone once a week to ensure that she stayed on track.