Coaching Case Study By Laure Demerson
(Life & Transformational Coach, SINGAPORE)
Who is the main player in this case study?
The main player in this case study is Erik, (fake name), the client. Erik is a 30ish-years old French adult.
What is the core problem or challenge you applied your coaching skills to? / The client brought into coaching?
Really dig into this problem, use these questions as a guide:
- Why is it a problem?
- How long has it been a problem?
- What is the worst thing about this problem?
- Why has no one been able to solve it so far?
Erik just resigned from his job in France in a multinational company, effective beginning 2018. His plan is to follow his girlfriend in Singapore where she is working since a year. They were previously living together in Paris. His intention is to find a new job in Singapore. The subject he brought into was to work out how to a new life balance in Singapore after having left all, job, friends, activities, family, in France. This subject of reflection was quite recent for the client as he had resigned 2 weeks earlier and was just starting to think about his future life. His concern was that he was about to abandon a life that was in his point of view rather balance in terms of work and social life. Only the situation of his couple was not balanced, but actually that was the purpose of his resignation and moving to Singapore, to be with his girlfriend. His main concern was to be at ease with the fact to potentially spend several months without a job, and not to be bored. He could not imagine himself having an unbalanced life, which he defined as being alone, not having activities, not having anything to do, not seeing people during the day. He expressed some deep worries about not flourishing himself in Singapore, flourishing for him meaning being proud, realizing things of which you can be proud. He wants to be “active”, “having lots of things to do, fairly filled in agenda”.
What specific coaching skills or approach did you use in this case?
The main coaching skills I used during this coaching session were powerful listening and questioning, as well as visualization and creating awareness. I also used the reframing perspective techniques, and appreciative inquiry and NLP model.
Explain your process in detail
The discovery session
I met Erik through my former professional network. He contacted me because I was in Singapore and he wanted to exchange on how I looked for a job in Singapore. Actually, I had not looked for a job in Singapore, I told him that instead I had changed life, and was studying to become a coach. After some discussion about what a coach could bring, I told him I could not share my non-experience of searching for a job, but I would be very happy to offer him a coaching session. Two months later he called me back for a coaching session.
The coaching session
Our coaching agreement for the session was as follows: Erik wanted to get ready to find back a balanced life. What was important there for him was to have a balanced life to be happy. As an outcome, he expected at the end of the session to feel at ease with the idea to spend several months without a job. His way to measure this is for him to imagine the worst-case scenario and to get ready for it, and getting ready meant “to have a clear view of what would be the worst-case scenario in order to be able to anticipate what to do”. He was scared to be unbalanced, which he defines as alone, with nothing to do.
We started the session with the exploration of what means a balanced life for Erik. In his representation, a balanced life is when he would be active, flourished, have a social life, be happy and live with his partner. We then went deeper into these areas and Erik clarified and raised awareness on what each of these areas really meant of him.
Through our exploration, he became aware that to be active for him, means to have lots of things to do in his day, and even more, lots of different things, amongst which he came to highlight: sport, job hunting, networking, discoveries – tourism, culture – animated evenings – bars & restaurants -, learning local cooking…
He also discovered that to flourish was for him to have achievements which will make him proud of himself.
“Be happy” was also explored, and it appeared that happiness for him is to have friends and family, to leave abroad and to have projects. The importance for him to have projects in order to be happy was highly highlighted in his awareness.
During the discussion, there is something that was constantly coming back in his words: he wanted to learn new things, to learn to do new things, whether it was knowledge or knowhow, not necessarily linked to professional activities. He evocated the possibility to do new sportive activities, to learn local cooking, to discover new cultures and a new city, to meet new people.
What were the results of your process? Was your coaching/program effective? Why? Why not?
The results of my coaching process were that the client, who initially was looking for “what worse can happen?” was at the end of the session very excited about “all the good things
that can happen, and all the opportunities that he could get from his situation.” At the beginning, he was scared of not having anything to do, and he finally end up in thinking that he might not have enough time to do all what would be proposed to him.
During the process, I checked in with the client about the fact that we were more looking at the “good” rather than at the “worse” as he expected. His mind had fully shifted to a positive attitude and he did validate the new route we had taken.
Therefore, I do trust that the coaching session was effective in projecting him in his new adventure, and bringing him to become aware of all the opportunities he would then have.
If you could approach this problem again, what would you do differently?
As often, I am only regretting that we did not dig further into some of the subjects that raised during the conversation, which was limited by the time. I still haven’t found a solution to this…
I have the feeling that my client was very happy of this coaching session, that he ended with a clearer and inspiring vision of what the awaited situation was going to be for him. From that point of view, I am very happy of our session.
However, I believe my questioning and listening could have been sharper and this might have led the client to highlight his values and believes maybe more efficiently.
What are the top 3 things you learnt from this experience?
- The importance of powerful questioning and listening
- The importance of giving space and time to the client to live his own journey
- Witnessing awareness showing up in the eyes and energy of the client is such a rewarding experience