Coaching Case Study By Yin Leng Choy
(Career Coach, SINGAPORE)
Siti used to love what she was doing in her job working for a non profit organisation helping people who lost their job to look for new alternatives. However, recently, she was overwhelmed with a lot of paper and administrative work. So much so that she even had to bring work home. She has 2 young children and the extra hours working at home not only drained her mentally, her role as a wife and mother also exhausted her physically. Her husband was not happy and gradually, there was rising tension between husband and wife.
I set the foundation by explaining to her the coaching agreement and make her understand my role as a coach was to work hand in hard with her on her concerns. I also assured her that all our discussions would be kept confidential. She understood what coaching is and I began by asking her what she would like to address in the first session.
In order to establish trust with her, I listened attentively while she related her concerns. She wanted to achieve a work life balance in her present job so that she could have her own family time after office hours.
I asked her to visualise what would it be like when she achieved the work life balance. The many happy moments and creative time could be spend together with the family. This would become the goal in which she hoped to achieve.
Next, I began to question and probe her to think of different pathways to achieve her goal.
She began to think of various ways she could do in order for her to achieve her goal.
Reduce the frequency of bringing work home by:
- setting her priorities
- Empowering her other colleagues to be self reliant by providing training to them.
- Simplifying some process and stream down unnecessary or non value added tasks.
- Set a measurable and reasonable time frame.
2) To establish a common understanding between husband and wife
What is she going to do to achieve the above? She thought of having a heart to heart dialogue with her husband to seek his understanding and giving her time to adjust.
Siti took home the above steps to further streamline into baby steps so that she could follow to advance towards her goal.
The second session, I had with her was to help her analyse her strengths finder. Some of her strength was responsible, developer and positivity. She was too responsible and many a times, she took it upon herself to do many things. This led to her colleagues being not so hands on in retrieving data. Hence, very often her colleagues rely on her to help them look for data. This left Siti not been able to handle her own job and as a result she needed to bring her job home.
After identifying this, I coached her to turn these strengths into real talent and strength so that she could use them to her benefit. Besides being responsible, she is also a developer. She could recognise and cultivate the potential in others. Coupled with positivity and responsibility, she decided to train her colleagues to look for common data. This would relief her of the time in office to concentrate on her own job and hence, reduced her chance of bringing her job home.
She agreed to work on this and she mapped up her training schedule for her colleagues. At the end of every session, I end it with action plan and accountability agreement between us.
By the 3rd session, she came beaming with joy that although she was still in the process of striving a work life balance, she had succeeded in reducing the frequency of bringing her work home. She was determined to continue to work on this till she totally do not need to bring work home.
Personal Reflection and learning point.
- To establish a coaching agreement is important at the beginning of the session to agree upon the expectations of both the coach and the client. It is important to explain to the clients that they are accountable for their own actions and explain what is required in the specific coaching interactions and to come to agreement with the client about the coaching process and relationship.
- To be able to create trust with the client is very important. Once the trust is established, the client is at ease and open and willing to share with you all that were troubling them.
- Powerful questioning is also very important. I told myself to be as inquisitive as possible so that I can learn more about the client’s situation. By so doing, I am able to discover more about my client and understand her better. This will greatly enable me to coach her easier.
- I have to constantly remind myself to hold back any suggestion and advice. Instead, probe her to think about any possibilities of doing things differently.
4) Always end every session with action plan and accountability agreement between the coach and the client.
I was glad that by applying some of the coaching competencies, I was able to help Siti.