Coaching Case Study By Paula Sgarbossa
(Business Coach, AUSTRALIA)
Michael in his early 40’s, married with a baby due in a few months
Michael moved his family to another city for a work project 18 months ago to further his career and income. Now due to a downturn in the economy it looks like the project will be coming to an end. His big break looks to be over and is concerned about his future career options especially with his current employer and is also concerned that his income will drop. His wife is keen to move back to Brisbane where her family live especially with a baby on the way.
Why is this a problem:
With the pressures of a new baby Michael wanted the project to go ahead so it will give his career a boost to the next management level and higher income that goes with that. If he returns to Brisbane, his income will drop and he is unsure what role he would go into with his employer.
There was always a level of uncertainly of whether this project would continue, but it has only become more clear the last month that it looks like the project will be wrapped up and the team here sent off to other roles.
The biggest fear is the level of uncertainty about the future income and role for Michael. He feels it will impact his chances for future promotion and he may have to take a step down in his management level.
He was counting on his current income so they could buy a house in the next year.
Through asking a series of powerful questions to explore what was driving the uncertain feelings towards his future, Michael identified that his drive for career growth was more about his ego rather than what was best for his family. We began to explore his values. He expressed how important the overall happiness of his family and especially his wife are. His wife was unhappy with living away from family and the benefits of living in Brisbane and saw the ending of the project as an opportunity to move back to Brisbane.
As Michael began to change his perspective and take a look at the big picture, he could see that the move would make his wife happy and he would also enjoy being back around family and the lifestyle they could create in Brisbane. As a coach I asked Michael: What were the benefits of the move back to Brisbane for him and his family? What are the benefits of having a less stressful and busy role in his work? How can he and his family benefit from a more relaxed work life in the next year? What can he do to add more challenge to his career when he is ready?
Michael could begin to be grateful for the big change ahead of him and get excited about the life he could create in Brisbane. With his wife also much happier, he realized that no amount of career success would be more important than having a wonderful and happy home life. He also acknowledged that with his current level of skills and level of determination that he would create the career success he was looking for back in Brisbane, even if it didn’t happen right away. Being flexible in his thinking and approach was critical.
By acknowledging what he was currently grateful for in his life and gaining clarity on his values, Michael could see that family and a happy lifestyle was higher on his priorities than work. Michael acknowledged the value of his existing skills and that he was of high value to any employer and that the right role would come along if he was willing to be flexible in his role and income. That in time a better opportunity would come along that would fit in better with his high family life values.
There was a definite shift in Michael’s thinking and energy. He became excited at the new opportunities and we set some action steps to help him to look forward to the changes ahead. In the next few weeks Michael began looking at houses to buy in Brisbane so he could buy a house for his family and get settled. He also arranged a meeting with HR and his boss to work out a career plan and a time frame for the move to Brisbane.
Outcomes as a coach:
As a Coach I could see first-hand the value of helping clients discover their values. How helping them live by their highest values can help them feel more satisfied and make a decision that is fulfilling.
By identifying what a client has already to be grateful for in their life, can help them see their situation from a different perspective. That makes new changes in life a more enjoyable process and something to be excited about rather than feared. When the client has that new found excitement, it makes taking action towards their goals enjoyable and rewarding.