Coaching Case Study By Kean Hoe LIM
(Life Coach, SINGAPORE)
Background & Challenge
Jack has been in this line of work for the past 10 years of so after having left the corporate life. In the term of free lancing and coming out on his own he has faced challenges on time management, finance management and priority engagement. He seems unable to focus on what is deem the right time use for each of his engagement and seems to take on more due to financial needs. In fact to this time we met, he has taken on 2 other assignment due to his inability to say no and also seems to think that he is able to manage due to sometime gaps that he has on his hands. To top it off, he is also about to embark on as a grab driver too.
His many task hassled him to question his calling and capability of being able to do the work required of him. He has too many items at hand and the inability to prioritise has led to failing to meet commitment for some of his task.
Key points that was highlighted during our first meeting:
- Being upset that he was not able to manage his time well.
- He feels that his is not functioning at his best
- Being frustrated that his passion of being creative, therefore copy writing is not yielding the desired results.
During the time spent, 1 to 6 meetings, we laid down ground rules on how to keep the main item the main item. How to focus & what to discard. Jack realise that his inability to have an active to do listing, which is meant to focus what task he had then to place them into his calendar with date & time to complete it, seems to be freeing up time for him but in actuality, by not placing it into his calendar, his activities appears invisible to him resulting in double & triple booking his time. His has also impacted his time with his family.
Therefore this has to change.
Coaching Skills Employed
- Shared with him that his time with me is a safe haven
- Focus on the here and now
- Active listening
- Asking powerful questions
- Repeating to him what he has shared to validate and confirm
Coaching Process and Models Used
Using the GROW model in my subsequent sessions, Jack begins thru out what were his barriers, limiting beliefs, and saw opportunities that can turn his situation around.
Barriers that Jack raised were:
- Income –urgent need of it
- Ego – thinking he can manage & do more than able
- Time accountability –not having any
- Family Time
We then start to isolate all the issues he had at hand into bite size items. He had to create a goal directed path and what he was willing to let go off in order to achieve it. While Jack may have plenty of passion, energy and time was something that was limited by all human standard. Therefore he would have to choose his time well & determine where it should be spent. Here he is to set up a good and clear to do list and immediately place it into his calendar so that it would not be missed out or not give the impression that he has more time when there is none.
He is committed to work this out and will continue to pursue all his work load to determine if this tool is to work. Improving the quality on time management and family time, he would then be able to focus better and produce quality work.
Jack’s goal was to manage time meaningfully and expand his portfolio with his given skill set to be more productive. In this arena he also need to ensure that he spends time on the thing that has higher priority and not be chasing down work that is of a lesser importance. This will then allow him better time allocation to family needs.
His clarity of his mismanagement of time shows that he needs to be more focus so that he can build himself a better brand. With a better personal brand he then would be able to gain higher quality job and not having to pursue all that was knocking on his door. He can now turn away the lesser opportunity. Having the right time setting will therefore improve as well his financial standing as in the past, he would lose payment due to poor quality work and late delivery.
With a clear picture of having his time-table laid out, placed into his action calendar, he can exercise better options and determine if he is moving along the right path on his career plans to be the most sort out copy writer among other writing opportunity. This is therefore a loop. Having a clearer view on time management, he can then decide how much time he needs to allocate to have the main work load stays as the main work load. Now if a smaller job that does not add value or financial gain, he is able to decline it.
Keeping to the allocated active time table is also taking a toll on him as he is not used to it. I shared that every habit is like a muscle. The more it is used and practiced; soon it will become second nature. He needs to continue to take active steps even when he does not feel in the mood to plan a detail schedule. No matter the feelings, the action is needed. He struggles with this new changes but I am glad that he can show me his planned calendar on the last 3 session that we had.
My personal reflections and learning’s:
- On coaching, it has shown to me how powerful questioning methods can support and help move a person forward and make them accountable for what they have agreed to. This differs from the days when I was a manager and had to mentor my juniors. In mentoring, I shared what needs to be done, how and by when. Here, in coaching, I have to bite my tongue and wait for him to come to the desired outcome.
- listening and being fully present is not easy as when I listen to what Jack had shared, when it mirrors my own, I wanted to speak up but have to remain aware that I am here to listen.