Coaching Case Study By Nawar Touzani
(Confidence Coach, FRANCE)
1. Who are the main players in this case study
The main player in this case study is my client Laura (name changed for anonymity). I have been working with since a couple of months now.
2. What is the core problem or challenge you applied your coaching skills to?
Laura could not move forward in her project of getting certified as she has developed self-doubt and a sense of guilt around her procrastination. She found difficulties to focus on getting the work done since her wedding a couple of months ago and the guilt come from the fact she is an achiever and action taker in nature. Being in that procrastination mode makes her worried and fearing she won’t be able to get back to the rhythm she had before.
She wants to feel more confident, understand why the fear is still there and what she can do to start taking action now as she truly wishes to achieve her goal by end of year.
2. What specific coaching skills or approach did you use in this case?
For this 45 mins coaching sessions I have used different skills after establishing the coaching agreement including the following:
- Creating trust – the client mentioned could not have been able to bring up the topic with another coach
- Coaching presence and Active listening -
- Powerful questions – client has experience different gradual shifts and was challenged to think further and look into the uncomfortable direction to see that actually there is a potential for her in there
- Visualization using metaphor
- Designing actions / goals settings – client felt comfortable designing action as the road blocks have been removed with the questioning process
- Accountability client has committed to take action the same week and has communicated detailed deadlines for each action
More importantly client believed that this is possible and doable, as a result the action becomes an easier step to take …
3. Explain your process in detail
My coaching process was based on my IMPACT Coaching MODEL that I have developed.
i. Initial story
From her initial story, I heard multiple times words such “fear” and “scared”. I wanted to learn more about those feelings to get into her emotions and what are triggering those limiting beliefs that triggers procrastination.
ii. Misalignment in her current Mindset
As digging into the feeling she said she was feeling a lot of acidity in her stomach due to her anxiety. The fear did not allow her to look at that direction, the direction she want to head to.
She was event feeling sad as she knew she is such an action taker and she usually has no difficulties in committing to something and working toward her goals as she is an achiever and result oriented.
So I asked her “what would you need to do to move past the guilt and anxiety you are feeling?”
She said she wanted to remind her self that being uncomfortable in certain situations like this one pushes you to do something about it, it can be a motivation factor.
iii. Powerful awareness
Laura started already looking at those negative feelings or thoughts as something that are not against her.
I reflected back by saying “I hear from you then that these thoughts are here for me and not to me or against me, I wonder what come to your mind when you hear this”.
Laura started opening up and I noticed a pick in her energy.
She stated that she feels now she is OK looking at that direction and that she has to go there anyways.
Laura started already shifting her fear to a more empowering feeling that yes she can do it and she has chosen to not listen to those fears and to look instead towards the direction taking her to accomplish her project.
I wanted to dig more into that feeling to see if the blocks are removed and get Laura into a more confident state.
iv. Activating the shift
My next question was ‘What would you find if you looked at that direction’.
She had the awareness that if she started looking at that direction she will notice there are different ways of getting rid of those negative thoughts and she can lay down what are the possible next steps.
It feels to her that there is now a road which leads to different possibilities. However she feels the fears is still there and it is telling her to keep delaying the things as the self-judgment is going on in her head. She realised that she was focusing on the “What if I don’t graduate instead of what if I graduate”. She realised that she had been anticipating bad news.
I share the feedback that she assumed already she will not succeed.
Activating the shifts are the core of the work with the coach and needs to be done respecting the client’s rhythm, giving him a safe space to express and show up.
Next thing was to invite the client to face her fears in a positive way. I have asked Laura ‘When this judgmental belief or voice comes to you, what would you like to tell to this voice?’
Laura realised there were many options to explore here. Her first step would be knowing what needs to be done. And be willing to take the road towards actions. She mentioned that she realised she was not traveling towards that road because she was seeing a bridge and she was afraid of that bridge.
Using that metaphor was eye opening for her. After I reflected back to her what the bridge is she was already noticing the change in her own body language. We were having a call conversation but at that point Laura was having a breakthrough and she stopped there to share how much she is filed up with energy. Instead of holding her head in her hands like in the beginning of the session, she is now sitting straight and she is looking up!
She shared she is feeling better physically and that “this does not look bad anymore!” “I feel better looking at that bridge, the road till the bridge is now doable for me”.
I wanted to capitalise on that energy, the conviction in her voice that shows she feels more confident on taking action.
Next step in the coaching process: get her to write a new story where she feels empowered and clear about what she needs to do and how to handle potential challenges.
v. Clarity – Craft your own story
The help Laura craft her own story, I have asked her the following: “It seems that you see some speed bumps that can challenge you, how do you expect to deal with those speed bumps down the road”.
And she had a powerful answer to share! “Next time I will see a speed bump I will I might say to myself oh no! However I will be very mindful to get back on track and stick to the plan. I will set a date and won’t keep postponing it. So as soon as I come across a road block I will commit to myself and start solving it. This is the first thing I need to do. I know that once I am back to action I can do it, I can commit”.
At that point of the coaching conversation, Laura was gaining the energy and the commitment to work pass her road blocks. In order to increase her confidence Laura realised she needs to be taking actions as it drives her motivation and self-esteem.
The coaching process needs to make sure the confidence will stay there and that Laura will be able to deal with her limiting thoughts in the future.
So my next question to Laura was “what can potentially stop you?”.
She referred to the play of fear and guilt is the only thing that can stop her ad now she needs to find actionable ways to deal with this thought.
My next coaching question to her was: “what would you say to the guilt when it comes to you?”
Laura’s answer showed all the awareness she gained about her situation and how she wanted to take control now: “I would say to the guilt that even if I have not finished what I am supposed to do I am doing it now and I feel ok about it. I will focus on what I can do from now and start taking action NOW.”
Laura has taken herself from guilt to action and felt empowered to see her potential and started believing in it.
vi. Transformation, towards actions
Laura also realised that she was assuming she will not succeed and that she first needed to stop taking those negative assumptions about herself. This awareness lead her to rewrite her story.
“My new story would be: stop saying no I can’t. Let me try first and assume that I will be successful. And all those fears and anxiety feelings are just assumptions to what might happen. And the probability that I will not succeed is very low at this point of my project”.
I have asked Laura to connect back with her feelings, she felt much confident and better and decided to write down a new story as a powerful affirmation she will read to herself everyday.
Last step is to make sure Laura is in the state of taking action and believing that she can do it.
The coaching process will take Laura to remind herself how successful she was in handling similar situations.
So I asked her “What things have you done in the past that reminds you, you will maybe not have to face those road blocks?” Laura shared how she successfully handled a very difficult project in the past that seemed unachievable in the beginning.
I have suggested to Laura to think of the qualities she used to achieve the successful results. Laura mentioned she was persistent but more importantly she did not give up. More importantly, Laura now has reminded herself that she handled such situations in the near past, and if she has done it before she can do it today. She realised that anxiety about the topic comes again she will remind herself of that and move forward.
In order to invite Laura to think of her potential next steps to help her take action, I have asked her “What it looks like for you to not give up?” And she said “If I see a road block, I will allow myself to take a break, analyse the situation, commit to a time to get back to it, look at the different possibilities and think what my options now are x or y or z”.
After speaking her voice, Laura designed for herself a strategy, a system that will help her tackle road blocks in the future:
- Take a break when it is too overwhelming for her
- Commit to a time to come back to it
- Look at her options
- Feel and remind her self she can do it
- Make a decision
- Move forward
- And repeat if needed
Now that Laura has a clear system of dealing with her limiting beliefs or road blocks, I have invited her to design her next steps and agree on an action plan.
Laura came up with key actions to take the same week of our coaching including collecting the data about her current situations, looking at the options and laying down the first steps to move towards her goals.
Laura committed to send her action plan across after the session. I have provided the option for Laura to be held accountable in case she felt the need of further support and Laura decided to commit to give me regular updates on her progress.
4. What were the results of your process? Was your coaching/program effective? Why? Why not?
The client felt so much lighter after our conversation that she decided to take action by implementing the steps she designed for herself. She was able to overcome her limiting thoughts, to overcome her procrastination and her sense of guilt, she has got responsible in taking control over her fear and enjoyed taking action instead of avoiding them. And when it got overwhelming again she learned to take a break release the guilt and get back to it to move forward by looking at other options available to her.
5. What are the top 3 things you learnt from this experience?
- Creating the trust is the first key to a successful coaching session as it helps the client to open up, feel comfortable to explore their beliefs or fears and gain new perspectives on themselves.
- Never hesitate to ask challenging questions as it helps the client trigger shifts in her/his perception.
- The power of using metaphors to crush the limiting scripts and the impostor syndrome.