Coaching Case Study By Lucy Romao Vandepol
(Wellness Coach, CANADA)
The main player is a female in her early twenties who is living at home with her family and attending a local community college. Client is in her first year of college.
What is the core problem or challenge you applied your coaching skills to?
The problem that brought the client to coaching was that she was having a hard time focusing on her assignments. Client was feeling distracted by things that are happening in her personal life and as a result she could not do her schoolwork. Client shared that she had a number of assignments that were pass their due date. Client was feeling overwhelmed and stuck. Throughout our time, client also had a number of goals that she wanted to work on, one of which was feeling productive with her time. Client felt that she was wasting her time being unproductive and would often feel frustrated and upset by this. Client also struggle with time and was often late for things.
This was a significant problem for the client because it was affecting her success as a student and her confidence.
At the time when client came to see me, this had been going on for a couple of months. The problem continued for over a year.
Client was unable to solve the problem because she felt that shecouldn’t do the actual school work (self-confidence was low), she was distracted by social media and her personal situation, needed to talk things out, and student did not have concrete goals or a plan for achieving them.
Coaching skills and approach used
Listening – Coach listened to client, providing an opportunity for the client to gain clarity with their thoughts. During meetings, I worked on being present for the client to ensure that they felt that they were being listened to, paraphrasing major points back, being emphatic and non-judgemental and moving them to action.
Visualization – Coach used visualization to help the client with setting goals and discovering their “why”. Visualization was also used in combination with role-playing to develop problem-solving strategies.
Values – Reviewed values list with client and client identified ones that were most and least important. Client also identified values that she wanted to strengthen; this was used as a bases for goal setting and action planning.
Goal setting and creating action – Worked with client on identifying and setting goals. Coach invited and support client in reaching action by providing a place and time for client to come up with a plan that they would follow through on. Before action took place there was a lot of failure to act and client realized this at one point, client stopped by to see coach and shared that they hadn’t made an appointment recently because they realized that they were failing to act on their plans and wanted to take time to work through things on her own. Coach listened in a non-judgemental way, acknowledged the student’s realization, and assured student that she is the one in control and that there is no judgement that coach’s door is always open to her.
Focus on strengthsand celebrating successes – Whenever client would focus on weaknesses, coach would encourage them to focus on their strengths. Coach also acknowledged client’s strengths as client at times was unable to see them. Additionally, coach acknowledged client’s successes and encouraged client to celebrate them.
Accountability – Coach worked with client to hold them accountable. Coach would remind client of what they said they were going to do and would follow-up on status. At one point when we were working on punctuality, calling when running late we set up ramifications for being late or not calling. Client would often check-in with coach when they had completed a task.
Creating Structures – Coach worked with client to create structures through mapping the semester and weekly time plans. Explored what student needed in order to accomplish their goals and reflected on how structures contribute to the achievement of their goals.
Acknowledgement – Coach used acknowledgement throughout the whole coaching process. Coach acknowledged client’s progress, learning, growth, strengths, achievements, and struggles. Coach would also regularly acknowledge what she saw and heard. Coach would provide encouragement as appropriate and would celebrate achievements with student.
Creating Trust – Coach established a trusting space by letting client know that this was a safe non-judgemental space. Coach provided client with the space to speak freely by ensuring them that everything they shared was confidential.
Intent – Coach worked with client to set weekly intentions.
Coach established a safe space for client by listening in a non-judgemental manner. Coach worked with client to set intentions for the week, creating action plans and structures that supported their intentions. Coach held student accountable while also acknowledging student’s achievements. During the coaching process a variety of self-assessments were used to help the client have a better understanding of themselves. In addition to completing a number of self-assessments, client would also reflect and journal. In the beginning, coach would brainstorm more frequently with client, with time clients started to do more self-reflection, assert herself, come up with her own plans, taking responsibility and as a result demonstrated an increase in self-confidence. Student started to create action plans on her own, do well in her classes, meet deadlines and times. Student started to ask herself questions, many of which coach would have previously asked.
The coaching program was effective because provided the client with the support that they needed to grow, and helped the client see their growth.
What would I do differently?
If I could approach this again, I would have spent more time with the client exploring intent and structures that block or disempower them. I would also have worked with client earlier on setting positive affirmations.
At this time I feel that I need to reflect more on the use of accountability.
The top 3 things that I learnt from this experience are:
- The impact that having someone to listen can have on a client and their ability to focus.
- It is the client’s journey and it will happen at their pace, maybe even when you least expect it.
- The magic doesn’t always happen during a coaching session.