Coaching Case Study By Rula Sammur
(Business Coach, KUWAIT)
Sara is an HR Generalist who used to work with one of the biggest Business Consultancy Firm in the Middle East. She was headhunted by another Leading Bank in the region to support the Management Team in the transformation of HR function to be Business Partner.
Sara assessed the situation from the below perspectives:
- What is the value added to her career
- What is the value she will add to the business in her new role
- Will is the career path and development opportunity
Based on her assessment, she decided to accept the new challenge and started with the bank as HR Manager. Her first assignment was to manage the implementation of the new HRM system, and hence, she has to mobilize team members from different functions of HR.
Coming from Consultancy background to Industry Based Organization, carried lots of challenges impacted the way Sara managed her relationships with her Peers, Internal Clients and Management.
She was perceived as aggressive, pragmatic and difficult to interact with, she was target oriented Manager rather than a Transformational Leader who plays the role of Change Catalyst. Playing the role of Change Catalyst is crucial to manage staff’s worries, confusion and to ensure buy-in and engagement.
It was extremely shocking for Sara when she heard the feedback from Cornel, HR General Manager. She thought she was doing a great job progressing with the agreed project milestones. HR General Manager stated very clearly to her that, he valued her input and contribution to the team, however, her management style made it very challenging to progress in her career. Sara discovered that what supported her progressing in her career is no more valid for the next step.
Sara decided to approach an Executive Coach, Jeon, to support her in her career journey. Jeon noticed that Sara is very serious person and very target oriented; she started exploring her underlying believes toward work and other aspects of Sara’s life.
Jeon discovered that Sara took the responsibility in her young age to take care of her bigger family, parents, to a degree that she forgot other aspects of her life. Sara was focusing mainly on her career to secure herself and family financially, no other life beside work, even her readings were about her career and how to gain more certifications. She was approaching her job based on fear of losing it and not out of passion.
Although the above belief has supported Sara progressing in her career for certain level, but started to, negatively, impact her progress to leadership level and the sense of fulfillment.
Sara was very committed to the coaching sessions and, by listening to her, it was obvious for Jeon to figure out the underlying belief. Jeon asked Sara to assess the other aspects of her life by using the “Wheel of Life” exercise and it was an eye opening for Sara.
Jeon capitalized on Sara’s strength being:
- Target oriented
- Good in setting goals and achieve them.
Hence, jointly, they have translated the result of the “Wheel of Life” into set of action.
Sara committed to:
- Exercise Routine 5-6 days a week
- Meditation Routine
- Practice her hobbies: Long Walks during week-ends, Writing and reading books
- Discover new place/cousin once a week
During this discovery journey, Sara discovered how she was deeply insecure and scared of losing her job, she was scared losing the status she had built given that she has no one else to support on financially, she was always the support but not supported. Sara started capitalizing on the aspect of her career that she was very passionate with: coaching, hence, she started taking serious steps toward offering her services as Free Lancer beside her full time job.
The above has put on the surface the soft side of Sara and her way of interaction has changed which has a positive impact on her career. Sara was promoted to an Executive Management level after 2 years from adopting the new changes which becomes her new life style. Sara is about to launch her SME shortly.
The below skills and tools were used during the above coaching sessions:
- Power Listening
- Powerful Questions
- Setting Action and Follow Up
- Appreciative Inquiry
- Wheel of Life
A skilled coach can help a client get to the root of her fear to find ways to show her passion, enhance the quality of her relations and reduce the level of the stress. A good Coach can support the client by distinguishing between the sign/symptoms and the disease (Root-Cause) which will make the discovery journey tougher but worth taking.
Capitalizing on the client’s strengths rather than weaknesses, make it a safe place to consider “What Could Go Wrong” and “The Worst Scenario” , look into other aspects in client’s life to consider best choices, visualize the desired life , is a key to build the trust and to start the journey.
Of course, this approach is not right for all clients and their emotional state must be taken into consideration.
Important questions to ask:
- What is your vision?
- What are your values?
- What is your definition of success?
- What will stop you?
- What is your current status of all your aspects of your life (Wheel of Life)?
- What is your desired status of all your aspects of your life (Wheel of Life)?
- What is the new: Thinking, Skills, Talents and Behaviours required reaching your desired life?
- What will motivate/de-motivate you?
- What are your resources? (Who, How and When?)
- What are your goals?
- What are the measures of success?
- What is your Action Plan?
- How you will celebrate?
Good Tools/Methods to use:
- Wheel of Life
- Taking Action
- How to build a trustful environment for your client to reveal and disclose all his/her fears and worries?
- How to listen carefully and ask the right questions to reach the root rather than the symptoms?
- How does it feel to think of “What Could Go Wrong?” , “Worst Case Scenarios”, “What-If Scenarios”?
- What is the important of honest feedback and how you can give it without be judgemental?
- What is the trigger that you may read as a Coach that your client is ready for such feedback?
- How your will assess the readiness of your client?