And finally, Coach guided the discussion into the area of accountability and staying the course. How would John know he was on track? To which John’s immediate response was to ask the Coach to perform this role. Coach assured John that he would always be available but encouraged him to create a system of accountability for himself. And so John started the process of putting his plan of age 65 and the milestones into a clear document. He agreed to publish it within the week and keep Coach copied. But before that, he wanted to discuss it with Founder. It also meant a different work approach – John estimated that he could work at the firm for only 3 days a week and would need the balance time to devote to his other priorities. One of those was enrolling at the music school where John was so impressed by a young teacher half his age that he immediately signed up.
As they came to the end of Session 8, although John was keen, Coach suggested that they reduce the frequency of their coaching conversations to once a month reviews. It was part of Coach’s plan to ensure that he did not create any dependency. Over the prior two months, he had come to admire John’s many qualities and felt proud to count him amongst his friends. On John’s part, he felt happy to have met Coach and looked forward to being associated with him in some way or the other.
Attached: Appendix I: ICF Competencies displayed in this Case Study
Appendix II: Client Insights
Appendix III: Coach Insights
(Please scroll down)
Appendix I: ICF Competencies
|Serial No.||ICF Competency||As exhibited by Coach in this Case Study|
|A||Setting the Foundation|
|1||Meeting Ethical Standards & Professional Guidelines||Ethically sound.Confidentiality maintained.Explained difference between Coaching & other branches.First free session with no obligation.|
|2||Establishing the Coaching Agreement||Prior discussion about what Coaching is.Discussion on terms etc. followed up with written document.Proceeded only after Client gave go ahead after Chemistry session.|
|B||Co-creating the Relationship|
|3||Establishing Trust & Intimacy with the Client||Respectful of Client’s time.Meets commitments made.Shows commitment to Client’s progress.|
|4||Coaching Presence||Flexible in adapting to the changing needs of the Client.Dances with the Client and yet keeps conversation on track.Willing to explore emotions and confident when they surface.Seeks client’s permission for any exercises.|
|5||Active Listening||No agenda of his own.No judgement or prescriptions.Stayed with the context rather than getting drowned in content.Questions that kept moving the Client forward.
Effective use of mirroring to ensure full understanding as well as to give the Client a chance to review what he said.
Ability to manage silences and give Client time to think.
|6||Powerful Questions||Short questions; to the point.Focused on better understanding.Focus on emotions not just transactionalForward looking at all times.|
|7||Direct Communication||Specific and easily understandable.Non-threatening, yet direct.Clear explanation of what was being done|
|D||Facilitate Learning & Results|
|8||Create Awareness||Helped reframe perspectives to make Client aware of his true desires.Able to probe inner feelings & emotions.Effective use of appropriate tools e.g. Empty Chair & Visualization to facilitate Client understanding.|
|9||Design future Actions||Lateral thinking to arrive at possible actions.Focused action planning on priorities.Gently guided the Client to plan for all his priorities, not just work related.Holistic; ensured actions were in touch with values e.g. consulting Founder.|
|10||Planning & Goal Setting||Clear milestones that were measurable.Eased the Client into thinking specifics.Alternate resources e.g. other practitioners accessed.|
|11||Managing Progress & Accountability||Documented Action Plan with milestones & dates.Regular check on progress – monthly sessions.Creation of support structure – Founder, other practitioners, network of contacts.|
Appendix II : Client Insights
The Client gained substantially through the 8 session coaching. He was able to relate easily to the Coach. At no stage did he feel threatened or that he was being judged. He was also happy that the Coach did not offer him any prescriptions or advice on what to do.
The Client gained clarity on:
- Larger picture of his life plan
- What areas gave him joy as different from what he was doing
- Why he was reacting in a certain manner to what was happening around him
- Differing working styles & preferences of others – and these are not necessarily wrong just because they are different
- Priorities for his life ahead
The Client was able to construct a simple yet powerful action plan that was SMART ( Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) with milestones. Different from other plans he had made in the past this plan also had a support structure spelled out and a system of Accountability.
Appendix III: Coach Insights
The Coach felt blessed to get a Client like John. He was open, cooperative, willing to dig deep within himself and willing to change.
The Coach’s key insights were:
- Spend time understanding the issue rather than jumping to possible solutions
- The real issue is often different from the stated one
- Focus on emotions & feelings. This sets the coaching conversation apart from a mere transactional conversation
- A silence is a good thing ; it means the Client is reflecting
- Short & to the point questions are effective
- Suspend judgement completely. This is possible only by being completely attentive to what the Client is saying
- Do not be afraid to use tools when appropriate. However, a tool is not a substitute for listening to the Client
Some areas the Coach felt he should improve upon:
- Better appreciation for the efforts and progress that the Client was making.
- Celebrating small wins. In this case the Client was sufficiently motivated but in other cases the celebrations could be a big motivator.
- Getting the Client to summarize key takeaways at the end of each session.
- Start each session with asking the Client to report on actions agreed from the last session.
Appendix IV : Coach application of GROW model
|GROW Model||Application by Coach in this Case Study|
|Goal||Clear Goals established at start of each session.Outcomes defined by Client & finalized only after issues were clarified|
|Reality||Coach spent time to understand the organization.Coach explored the nature of feelings for Founder (respect). This became a given for future discussions.Operating style of founder was also established.At the same time, Coach ensured that he did not get mired in Content and stayed focused on understanding the Context.
|Options||All possibilities were explored.Client clearly wanted to continue a relationship with Founder. Hence a flexible work approach was worked on.Other priorities in Client’s vision were also progressed.|
|Will||Once clarity was reached on the way forward detailed action planning happened.Support structures were built.Accountability mechanism was created.|