2. Coaching Presence :
Having created the relationship and reinforcement of trust between the coach and the client helped the clients and the coach to be very open and be present with each other during the interactions. At times, when the coach felt that the discussions are going out of the objectives set, he was flexible to provide the space and time for the clients to freely express themselves… completely.
C) Communicating Effectively
1. Active Listening:
This was the most critical part for the Coach. He was present completely during the discussions and focused on what the client is saying, which words are being used and what information is being shared. Providing the clients and “total body listening” has given a very positive outlook to the discussion.
There were consistent and congruent expressions and empathy from the coach to re-affirm the client that he is with the client. Where ever felt necessary, the Coach re-phrased his understanding of what the client was saying and at times acknowledging the initiative the client had started displaying. It re-enforced the rapport build over a period of time and was a clear expression of the coach’s interest in the client’s agenda. At some point in time, the coach expressed his desire to take notes with the permission of the client which was readily agreed.. one of the expression from the client that they trust the Coach and that they find the value for them being associated with him.
In the course of the client sharing his feelings and sharing information the coach asked various open ended and exploratory powerful question to seek information or clarification to ensure common understanding.
For example when the Client was sharing his disappointment about his relationship with one of the Top Team Members, the Coach asked:
- “ I hear you saying that you are disappointed with this relationship. What according to you caused the disappointment?”
- “ I understand that you have largely contributed in the area of eye health as you said. What way you think you can contribute more? In what way?”
- “ What role you think you can play in the growth of your organization?”
- “ What are your expectations from your contribution?”
- “ How do you think your organization has recognized your efforts and achievements?”
Each of the above questions were capable to open new window for him and look at the new possibilities which challenged the earlier pattern of thinking filled of guilt, disappointment and negativity. It compelled him to think with more positive lookout, new possibilities and hope for the future. It further strengthened the relationship between the client and the coach. The questions came up clearly, direct and with re-assuring confidence. It not only helped the client to build confidence in himself but it also developed trust in the process.
D) Facilitating Learning And Results
At the core of interaction, self-awareness was critical to the success of this engagement. The client went through an intense emotional journey. He held on to himself and empathized. Once you are aware as a Coach, you can build in the awareness in client. This was displayed in reality as the coach, with the permission of the client, took him through a visualization, to see that he is enjoying being with the Top Team members, there is a respect and candor and he is being posted at Canada… what do you see and can you describe? It was used to bring in the awareness to the client and challenge the pattern of thinking. It also helped the client drop excess baggage of emotions he was carrying with him. Midway, the client had started saying that he has started feeling the value process of coaching is adding up to him and he is feeling very energized as stated by the client.
2.Designing Actions, Planning And Goal Setting
Once the client was aware and was ready to consider options developed by him, he was asked by the Coachas to how does he wasn’t to act on his alternatives. The client stated that he would like to take initiative in coming up with the action plan to discuss with the Managing Director his willingness to reconsider his decision of resignation and also if he could be considered to head the innovation center in Canada. He also stated that the journey was full of learning and that he has now understood himself better than what he knew about himself earlier.
3.Managing Progress And Accountability:
Throughout the coaching sessions, the coach stimulated new dimensions for the client to explore. This helped the client to re energize himself, focus on his objective and explore further once the direction was set. He then was willing to take action and look forward more positively.
The client not only took the resignation back but also was assigned the responsibility of heading the Innovation center in Canada in addition to his existing responsibilities in India. He was offered a choice of operating either from India or Canada and he readily accepted the proposal from the Managing director. He also presented the complete new product development plan to the Top Management Team of the Company to seek their buy in. The CTO expressed his gratitude for the encouragement provided to him by the top team and also felt respected. As of now, the Innovation center in Canada is inaugurated in the month of June 2012 with the support from the Federal Government of Canada and is fully operational.
F) Learning and Conclusion:
A structured approach with the understanding of ICF competencies made a large difference in this case. It was very sensitive and deep issue for the individual client and the Organization at large. The time spent on creating personal rapport and creating a safe and non-challenging environment was indeed valuable. I learnt the importance of setting foundation and therefore could experience its positive impact throughout the engagement.
One of the biggest take away for me was the understanding and importance of self-awareness and suspending judgment. I think, it provided me with an opportunity to test my understanding of the coaching elements and its application in the real life situation. I also experienced that it is very empowering for both the coach and the client.
While the client was going through the emotional journey of expressing rejection and guilt, I found it was difficult to hold on. However, being in the awareness that you are experiencing the clients feeling itself helped me to hold on and empathize.
The powers of self-awareness brought out the best of me in asking powerful questions and communicate directly and clearly. Being with the client and being very active in listening helped build on the information and data which could be co-related to discover new dimensions. This also helped the client to create an action plan with his sole ownership and initiative.
The learning that you can help client create solutions for themselves through the process of exploration and experience rather than being prescriptive is a immense learning and take away for me.