Maria was an old acquaintance of mine and we reconnect in a cultural dance club meeting. We shut down together and start sharing our last years’ personal and professional life. She was working as a journalist in a regional newspaper, the last 17years. I acknowledge her for being so successful and well known, and i told her that i really admired her for succeeded so much until now. There, i understood a reluctance to accept my positive comment, because immediately she changed subject. After a while and catching a word she said about the newspaper, i described her a little about what is coaching and how it could be a help for a person. Coaching is an unknown word in my region so she smiled dispiriting and stop the conversation.
After this meeting had passed almost a month and one morning she called me, to ask me to excuse her for stopping the conversation so abruptly. I reassure her that i didn’t take anything personal and i thanked her for remembering me even for this reason. Then she hang back to continue, so i asked her if everything is alright with her job. That question just opened the of worms and she started to share with me her need to talk to someone and if i could help her with her problems. So i asked her to have a face to face meeting to clarify some things about the procedure.
Maria had took a notice of dismissal from the newspaper 4 months ago and she would be out of work in almost 30 days. She felt confused, angry and insecure and she couldn’t handle her emotions. She wanted to understand WHY? And also she didn’t know what to do next, because she was doing this job for 25 years, in radio, in tv and the last 17 years in this newspaper, and she really liked it.
- Condracting - Goals and Expectations of the Client28/07/13
In the beginning she felt awkward. Reassuring her that everything will be confidential , we come to an agreement about what the procedure will be, how often we were going to have our sessions (we started with weekly meetings), and the time duration of every session. Also there was the possibility to talk by the phone if there was an immediate need and not more than 2 times a week and just for 10-20min. I sort out to her, that there will be no consulting and she will find her answers, with me near her to support her.
Then after questioning her what she want the outcome to be, she distinguish, one after another her goals.
- She wanted to understand why they chose her among all the others.
- How she could manage her attitude the next 30 days, according to her boss and colleagues.
- What she could do after these 30 days.
- Where she could find another job in this period of economic crisis.
- What will be her income until finding a new job?
- She felt like a loser and like she had lost her proud, and she didn’t want to feel like that.
We agreed to start from what she was wondering more, “why did they chose her”. I asked her if she could think of some reasons and if she would like to share them with me verbal or written in our next session. Also i asked her to list down her strengths and her weaknesses, as she thought of them, and another one as a familiar person who cared for her would have listed them. We finished our first session inquiring how does she felt during this new procedure and if it was easy or hard to keep the same way in our next session. She mentioned she felt awkward and she couldn’t be certain on how to proceed. So we left it for our next meeting.
The week passed, wasn’t easy for Maria. When we met she described how did she felt all these days, and how difficult was to talk to her boss and her colleagues. She was devastated, and she told me she didn’t want to go to work next day. I asked her if that was an option, and she responded that she had the legal right from the labor legislation not to be present for 2 days a week, just to have the opportunity to seek for another job, but she felt obliged to be there because there were too much to be done. (!) I acknowledge her for being so responsible even on a situation like this.
We continue finding who she thought could be the colleagues who could continue in her position. After that i if she had done the lists, even the one with the reasons. She accepted the fact that this newspaper had already financial problems the last 8 months and there was a delay in their payments. Also that she was the one with so many years in this job and her salary was the biggest one. After that, we got the lists with her strengths and weaknesses. Among her weaknesses was that she had lost her energy all these years , being in the same place again and again and that she didn’t move even in her personal life, giving her free time to prepare “homework” for the next day .
She started to feel pity for all these “lost years” and for her colleagues as well, understanding that there will be other layoffs in the future. That was a relief for her and gave her confidence, brought by the awareness that her dismissal wasn’t a matter of her capabilities but it came the most from external reasons. She agreed to think first what she could do in the days remain until the last one and then look at the future.
Third Session & Fourth Session
- 11/08/13 & 17/08/13
Even if she had understood the reasons of her layoff when she was in the office she felt unpleasant and nervous. She tried hard not to have those bad thoughts and feelings but with no result. The good thing was that she had started to have some increased energy level in thinking ways of evolution. She decided what language will she start when she would have her compensation , and she also prepared her CV . She was searching for advertising entrepreneurships and seeking for details about their structure and customer base.
We worked a lot on her confidence level because even if it was increasing, it had also its’ ups and downs, depending on the underlying beliefs structured all these years.