Coaching Case Study

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It is quite a challenge to allow you the experience of coaching without you really having a session. Here I can share a case study or even a video link of a live session and remember any coach worth their money will be happy to offer you a taster session to see if you click.

The case below is not a recent experience and all names have been changed.

Mary called me about a year ago and told me that she was feeling so fed up with her life that she felt like running away. Every day she was expected to look after her elderly mother, run her own house and still hold down her job working in a local bank. At 40 years old she was divorced, single again and childless and felt that there was nothing to look forward to. “I have been on the hamster wheel or is it a roller coaster, for too long and the most I see of the world is a two week holiday normally with my mother.

“I rush around to my Mother’s before work, make sure she is awake and dressed .She hands me the shopping list for the day, moans about the weather and reminds me to be back before 6pm as she wants to lock the door. I get to work, deal with the public all day, dash out at lunch time to pick up the supplies and dash back to sort out Mother again before 6pm. Weekends, I do my own housework, shopping, and general catch up and then go to Mother’s and do the same.”

“I see no friends unless it is on Sunday, have no social life and so no new partner. I can’t leave my Mother to fend for herself as she is losing her sight. I feel guilty if I don’t see her everyday and I feel so bad for complaining about my life. I hate my life because it is a safe, boring rut!”

I am sure that many of you have similar feelings when your life never seems to measure up to the way you think it should be. I am confident that most readers feel that they too are trapped in a cycle of duty, caring, working and getting ready for more. Young mothers who are looking after children and juggling other responsibilities might relate to the sense of disappointment in the way they live.

Here are the main points that Mary became aware of in her Coaching Sessions;

  • She is an adult who is responsible for her own life, her choices and decisions
  • Guilt does not serve us well, but rather teaches us what we are already conditioned to by the way we have lived our life so far. Parents, teachers and society teach us our beliefs and values, however as an adult we can step aside and look at what is the best for ourselves and others
  • We live in a country which has resources to assist those who are in need. That is why we pay our taxes, join charities and raise money for worthy causes
  • There is no shame in asking for help, paying for help or asking for support
  • Her sense of duty was admirable but losing her own health through worry and self pressure did not mean she could offer the best that she could be

Remember there is a difference between being selfish and genuinely selfless.  We need to find a balance between selfishness and selflessness. I cherish win-win solutions that allow self and other to be cared for with mutual consideration and respect. The people I respect most are those who take good care of themselves. People who take good care of themselves don’t need to manipulate others into taking care of them, and when they give, they don’t rip their hearts out to do so.

Coaching- What you will not get from Coaching– and what is on offer

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Continuing on the theme of what will you receive from coaching, I promised to outline what you will not get from coaching. There are always myths and misunderstandings about any profession and to save time here is what you will not get. It is easy for you to decide if your expectations are set along perhaps another route.

  • It is not up to the coach to tell  you what to do, give suggestions or teach you new skills
  • Coaching does not delve into your past issues and seek meaning in what has happened
  • Coaching is not consulting, counselling or psychotherapy
  • If you think that a coach will hold all the solutions to your problems-  sorry not a chance

However, if you are forward focused and tired of how things are now, then keep reading.

  •  A Coach will  help you look at the present, acknowledge the past and plan for the future
  • A Coach will listen to you, ask you questions which will allow you to think and see things in a new way
  • Coaching will allow you to explore, reconsider and find clarity in how things are today
  • This then allows you to plan for the changes you need to make
  • You can design your own changes, make your own choices and be totally free to lead your life the way you choose
  • A coach will make you the priority, keep confidentiality at all times and champion you to take realistic risks
  • A coach may share a wealth of resources with you, but only if you agree
  • Even in the work situation, your coach will not divulge anything about your coaching sessions to your boss or line- manager
Here is your chance to send me your thoughts, comments or questions.
If this is useful to others, please share with a friend or colleague.


How do you choose a Coach?


Where do you begin to find a coach that will really be able to help you?  There are all types; life coaches, health coaches, executive coaches and even divorce coaches. How do you know whether they are well trained? Are they experienced or are they charlatans with only a weekend’s training and are combining coaching with some other bizarre career? It can be a maze of websites, qualifications and pricing structures and indeed quite a challenge for anyone to wade through the vast amount of information.

In the UK there are now so many trained coaches and many, many more people now filling university courses since having been made redundant or making a career shift. So how on eath are we meant to know whether someone with an University degree is a better coach than one who has worked over many years evolving and adding quality professional development.

The coaching profession is no longer new. It has been over 10 years since coaches were able to train in the UK. It has always been possible to establish yourself as a credentialed professional and there is absolutely no excuse for the coaches of today not to be working towards accreditation with one of the Professional bodies. So here are  a few helpful hints to allow you to make a suitable choice.

  • Ask if the coach is credentialed by one of the following;  the International Coach Federation, Association for Coaching or the European Mentoring Coaching Council
  • Credentialed coaches have been through a robust, scrutiny process depending on the number of hours coaching experience that they have had. This gives a real stamp of approval and is not an easy process.
  • Decide whether you want to hire a coach who can work on professional issues as well as perhaps career topics or workplace challenges. The main divisions are Personal Coaches and Executive Coaches. Executive coaches are capable of working in an organisational setting working with clients in their work context. This may include personal challenges, communication styles and leadership skills. A Life or Personal Coach is trained to help you achieve more or make changes in your lifestyle.
  • Decide whether you want to meet face to face with your coach or whether you would be comfortable having telephone or skype sessions
  • Decide on your budget. Personal coaching prices can be between £30 per hour to £150 per hour Executive Coaching from £150 per hour to £300 per hour.
  • Always meet a prospective coach for a discussion before before beginning.
  • Ask for details of how they coach, what their style is and what you should expect from coaching with them

Next time- What coaching will not offer you.