Coaching Case Study By Tan Kok Chuan
(Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
James works in an events management company. His role is task to draft proposal for his superior. He had no problem managing his requirement for a start however for the recently 1 year, he gets to work overtime almost 3 to 4 times a week. One of the main reason also due to workload increase as one of his colleague’s resigned and company never intend to increase manpower.
Overtime makes him tired end of the day from work, no drive to exercise, no motivation and weekends are busy with taking care of his 8 and 10 years old children for enrichment classes. Often times he did not sleep well, no confident in losing weight. Daily routine goes on day after day.
James undergo his yearly health checkup in last year December 2018. From the medical preview, doctor found that his cholesterol was very high compare to a year before. He had been advice to start doing some exercise regularly, keep a close watch on his diet.
He hopes manage his work better at the same time he wants to keep his cholesterol level low. He wants to lead a healthy lifestyle.
As James gets comfortable pouring out, I bring out to James on why not gives coaching a try. As James have never been coach before, I elaborate in details to James on the definitions of coaching, what coaching is about and what coaching is not. How coaching can helps him in finding out what is important to him and through collaboration, I support him to achieve his goal when he puts in commitment to it. I also give assurance that his identity shall be kept confidential.
For a start, I explored deeper on what lands him this job. James share that his interest in events management, the passion in him organizing a successful event brings him fulfilment and meaningful. Getting to widen his social circles too. The reason why he stay on this current jobfor almost 10 years is also the reputation of the company, good welfare benefits,and good career incentive yearly. He gets along well with all the suppliers.
Throughout the conversations, based on the observations, I ask questions to challenges his underlying belief in 2 areas;
Challenges at work he faces, I ask him questions to ponder;
- What have you explore to manage your superior’s expectations and at the same time let your superior aware your expectations? Managing each other expectations?
- Who in your team or colleague are specialize in the task you are handling? Have you share with any colleague or explore ways your colleague can help you in?
- Have you share your health conditions with your direct superior?
- Which would happen if you neglect your health and condition worsen which you will be unable to contribute?
Lack of the drive to exercise after work, I ask him question to ponder;
- What is the worst case scenario if your health condition worsen, what burden would it bring to your family?
- Have you explore ways nearby your neighborhood for any brisk walk activities?
- Have your thought of having an exercise buddy to walk along side by side with you, spur you on?
- Supposing you done your 1st exercise, ever thought of rewarding yourself?
- Have you heard of Health steps challenges by the Ministry of Health and eventually when you complete certain steps, you can exchange voucher for grocery shopping which contribute to your home marketing needs?
Surprisingly at the end of the conversation, James mentioned that it’s his pride which cause him to keep himself close that lead him to stress himself. He decided put his pride aside, take a different approach to look at different angle, keep his communications channels. By doing so, his beliefs that his superior will gets to understand his expectations and vice versa as James works to comprehend too. As well as his colleagues will also chip in to work together as a team to get things done in a shorter time frame.
As for exercise, it strike an important message on James that he will bring burden to his family as he is the sole breadwinner with a teenage son. He decided to bring his main focus on the importance of exercise to stay healthy, exploring activities from the community centre nearby his home. He intend to mix with his block neighbors together for a brisk walk around his neighbour for a start. He also decided to take stairs instead of taking lift on his way back home.
What I took away during this coaching journey:
- Be patient with a calm mind, provide sincere active listening, note on the key issues the client is facing by being present. This will enhanced client trust and more comfortable with you, therefore open up the knot to the problems.
- Ask relevant open ended questions in the perceptions of client’s situation, challenge the client to think in depth. This helps the client to dive into his comfort zone to ponder the pros and cons of being in that domain.
- Paraphrasing my client voices is always a challenge as I remind myself to put in a holistic/tactful approach so that the client will not feel offensive, discourage or anger. But instead putting efforts to focus on the solutions rather than problems.
- Create and brings awareness, this allow clients to visual “flying” out of the comfort zone and look from a helicopter point of view.
- Always let client take charge of his commitment at the end of the coaching session with an action plan. That’s accountability of agreement fulfill.