Coaching Case Study By Sindhuja Kandasamy
(Life & Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
Coaching for Hannah
The Client was feeling that work was taking top priority in her life and she was feeling burned out. She needed help to align her priorities so that she can have a more meaningful life. By balancing her goals and priorities better, she wanted to achieve better money-meaning balance and feel happier with her life.
As a start, I presented the coaching agreement with her. This was to assure her that all discussions would be treated as confidential. I also informed her that I would not be providing any advice as part of the coaching sessions but will work with her as a partner on her concerns. She understood what coaching means and we were ready to proceed with the sessions.
I discussed with her what she needed from me as her coach – she was expecting to identify her top priorities and set action steps to help achieve the same. She also wanted an accountability partner to keep her on-track and motivated as she tried to reach her goals.
To help identify her top priorities in life, I asked her what where her top most concerns – she mentioned these: relationship to son, relationship to mother, job adjustment/alignment, health concerns, reaching financial stability, leisure time, developing her hobbies, spending time with friends.
After discussing & drawing the wheel-of-life, we identified that her top most priorities were – health concerns, relationship with son and job adjustment/alignment. So we decided to focus on each of these, one area at a time.
I asked her what her specific health concerns and goals were. She mentioned that she was 10 kilos higher than her ideal body weight. As she was approaching her late middle age, she wanted to maintain her cholesterol and blood pressure at acceptable levels.
To reach these goals, I asked her what action steps she could consider doing. She wanted to reduce the carbohydrates in her diet and eat more protein, fruits and vegetables instead. She mentioned she could walk as much as possible in a day. She also wanted to join some exercise classes.
So I asked her to list down some action items she could consider doing on a regular basis. She suggested the below:
- She would reduce carbohydrates to 1 meal per day and eat more protein-rich food instead.
- She would consume more fruits and vegetables instead of snacks throughout the day.
- She mentioned she would also drink a lot of water to help hydrate herself well.
- She wanted to walk at least 6000 steps a day.
- She wanted to exercise at least half an hour every day.
- She wanted to monitor her weight, BP and cholesterol every day.
- She aimed to lose 0.5 kg per week, hence reach her ideal weight in 5 months’ time.
As the accountability partner, she wanted me to check with her on the progress of each of these items in each of our coaching sessions. She had initial trouble keeping up with her weight loss and health goals. So she wanted me to help motivate her to keep at her action items.
We decided to try the visualization exercise. I asked her what really motivated her to consider health goals as her topmost priority – what is her real motivation behind it? She shared with me that it is her dream to donate blood every year. It is her late father’s wishes of her. So she felt very strongly about it. Hence, she wanted to maintain her BP and cholesterol at acceptable levels for it. So I asked her to visualize herself being fit and donating blood every year. She felt energized and motivated by visualizing this dream. She mentioned that she will revisit her vision to draw inspiration from it every time she felt she needed motivation – which eventually helped her to keep motivated to reach her health goals.
Relationship with son:
I asked her what were her concerns regarding her relationship with her son. She mentioned that he was growing into a teenager – he was more independent than before and did not like too much interference. She wanted to maintain a close relationship with him over his teen years so that they can bond and relate well and she believes this will help him develop well overall as he grows into an adult.
I asked her what she enjoyed doing with him – she mentioned she prefers to have dinner with him every day and also likes to take him out on weekends. She feels this helps to relax and bond well with him.
She was already doing these action items. So I asked her to further identify what else she could do to enhance the quality of their relationship. She thought about the below action items:
- She wanted to come home in time from work (at least2-3 days per week), spend the evening with him, cook dinner and eat with him.
- She intended to plan activities with him every Sunday so that they can go out to his favorite places and also eat his chosen lunch. She says she wants this to be a friendly bonding time with him.
- She also wanted to take him on vacations every year.
I asked her what she meant by job advancement/alignment. She mentioned that her current job role by nature is quite hectic and she is required to take night phone calls as well. She wants to consider moving into other roles in her industry where she may be able to balance her job and personal priorities better.
I asked her what steps she needs to take to move into these potential other roles. She mentioned she needs retraining – she needs to attend some courses to help her make the switch.
So I asked her what action steps she thinks she could take to proceed further. She identified the below:
- She could evaluate training courses that were relevant for her (over the next 2 months’ time).
- Once she identifies the right course, she would plan to join the course.
- She mentioned that she may have to adjust her work schedule a bit to accommodate this or consider studying over Saturdays.
Over a period of 6 weeks of coaching –
- Client was consistently losing weight as per her goals and her BP and cholesterol were at good levels. She was also exercising regularly. She had recently joined Zumba classes to further help with this goal.
- Her son felt more comfortable with her as she was not being interfering or demanding – but was trying to be friendly and more open with him. She is planning to take him to Korea for vacation this year as per his choice.
- She had identified a few retraining courses that were relevant for her – she was checking which training institutes offer the best course content, opportunities and cost-wise affordable with a good reputation. Once she identifies the best option, she intends to join the course.
- She also mentioned that she felt more energetic with the new exercise schedule and reduced weight, and was more inclined to take up new challenges and was confident that she can do very well in her new training course, job role etc.