A Research Paper By Adrian Secolof, Business Coach, ROMANIA
Coaching for Creating a Better Life Session
Georgiana (not real name) has recently been appointed in a management role, managing a team of 3 people and a keeping tight professional relationship with most of the management team. She was really a hard worker spending lot of time fulfilling her tasks and coordinating her team.
One day, she found out that her team members are not offering the required support needed and this rolled up in getting a poor job in managing the relationship with her management peers. At the same time, her direct report was getting complaints from her peers that she is not supportive as she used to be. Despite spending overtime hours, her output was below management expectations. Her life was changing as she was spending less time with the family, she was very stressed and put weight as a reaction to stress.
Due to too many complaints from her peers, her manager was advised to fire her.
Studying already for almost two years ICA and having practiced over 50 hours of coaching and as a matrix manager of her, she was reporting to me on a dotted line, I noticed all the situation and offered to her direct manager to coach her for a couple of months and wait for the result and maybe she will flourish gain.
During our first meeting, I was trying to make her aware of the current situation and I made exploration around the real situation. What was really interesting was that she was aware that she is not delivering as she used to but she was not aware of all the complaints her direct manager was receiving from her peers.
- What do you want to explore in our sessions?
- Based on the priorities of your team, what would you like to focus on today?
- Based on the amount of time we have available what would be your ideal outcome?
- What do you want to achieve in our session to be useful for you?
- What is important for you?
- How can our session today help you with the current challenges you are facing?
The Real Challenge
Georgiana has to identify the issues is having and what is important to her for starting to make changes to get out of this unpleasant situation.
What We Did
We created a trustful relationship, meeting in a private meeting room, and also, we made sure effective communication was established by applying Active Listening and Powerful Questions techniques.
- What are the issues you are facing?
- What have you already tried so far?
- What needs to be addressed to make a change toward the desired goal?
She was very open and after a couple of sessions, after she also got used to coaching, creating a good trustful relationship, she decided and looked determined to make a change. This is where I planned a session for the FlipIT lab.
Preparing for a FlipIt Lab
First, we have identified the 4 steps framework for change:
- Find it > Identify your issue or challenge
- Feel it > Work out how you feel about it
- Frame it > Choose your current perspective
- Flip it > Flip it for a better future
The purpose was to change her perspective from a disempowering one to an empowering one. Ideally to make her conscious and make a change towards how she perceives the whole situation she is dealing with. The ability to reframe the whole situation can provide a new perspective and new possibilities to make the change. If we are unable to change our circumstances we have to change the perspective.
The purpose of reframing for the client is not to pretend that everything is right for her but to it is an invitation to see the problems in different ways that she is facing and find new ways to meet the challenges. The goal is not to change her mindset it is about creating a shift in consciousness to help her see things in a new way. This shift requires that she will accept and have the will that there is more than one way to look at the problems faced.
“Trying on a new perspective is like trying on new shoes; you need to walk around in them for a bit and see how they feel.”
I have asked her to identify the issue or the challenge she was facing for which she wants to make a change and for which she is ready to change. When using the image card, she selected the lady putting her hands in front of her face. I asked her to think and dig deeper into the issue, what does she see in that picture associated with her challenge? She mentions she feels overwhelmed by the tasks she has to fulfill that she reached a level where she does not care what happens to her job and she is following blindly this direction.
We have moved to work out how she feels about it.
It is important to connect with how you feel about that issue you are facing, asking her: What is the actual feeling associated with your challenge? Frustration?
I asked her to select a couple of feelings from the ICA feelings/values cards.
She selected exhausted, anxious, upset, and powerless. From the values card, she mentioned she values honesty, respect, and integrity.
We are looking at our world through our perspective, our own frame. We have to challenge our own frame or perspective we use to see the world. Having the ICA power tools cards I have asked her to choose the most closely perspective that she is using to see her issue?
She was looking at the cards and she picked up a disempowering perspective – DELAY.
We have to make sure the selected perspective is the one very close to describe her challenge.
So, I asked her to offer details what made her choose this perspective and what makes it the most appropriate for her challenge?
She then described that she realizes she made a couple of bad decisions, a couple of her team members were not really doing the proper job and because she is very self-determined and never wants to fail in anything, she was taking over the tasks by herself and this placed a big burden on her shoulders. This made her stay long hours in the office trying to cope with the deadlines and meanwhile there was other stuff she was supposed to do which was draining into other delays. I asked her: how the long overtime affected her? She replied she was stuck between having to complete the work and having time with the family. All this concluded with the fact that family was putting pressure on her to come earlier and spend time with the family and on the other hand, her work peers did not receive what was requested from her and they started to complain all around. This is what made her feel stuck, exhausted, anxious, and upset.
Now the most exciting part of the FLIPIT process is to show the empowering perspective.
So, I pressed the button and flip it from the DELAY perspective to the ACTION perspective an empowering one. ACTION is the commitment to the steps required for the achievement of your goals.
Flipping the card to ACTION, I explained to her what action really means and I asked her what does she think about it?
She felt enlighten as she was really trying to protect her team and not taking action she was moving into a delay status that made all these bad things happening to her both on a professional side but also on a personal one. She strongly believes she should have taken action on addressing the issue with her team members and really not taking over the work. I asked her what are your next steps?
She mentioned that she will go back and discuss all the issues with her team first, then she will explain the whole situation to her direct boss and her peers. She will try to gain a bit of time from all parties and push back the work to her team members and offer guidance and support. She will not stay alone overtime but involve her team to finish the work. If members of the team will not cope with the task, she may consider taking further actions to change some of them to cope with the professional work.
Her smile was back on her face and a change of perspective was exactly what she needed to move on from this issue.
During the coaching session, the FLIPIT process, we have explored the issue of finding the challenge really making sure what the challenge is, looking at the pictures that better describe the challenge, feel it, identifying her feelings and values, and then identifies her current perspective of how she is looking at the challenge. We framed it. The most exciting was the empowering exercise by flipping the perspective.
Finally, Georgiana’s progress was monitored as we have met a couple of times more in coaching sessions and making sure she was better to focus on achieving her goals – being back efficient at work and going back to her personal life.