Coaching case studies

Insights from selected sessions

coaching case studies

Yes (wo)man?

1:1 Executive Coaching, January 2019

career coaching case studiesSaying “yes” to everything can be a fast track to burnout and getting stuck doing less meaningful work. The more that you say, “yes”, the more your workload can pile up.

But, the real question is: What causes you to say, “yes”, all the time? How aware are you of your pattern, what might be driving it, and when? The path to breaking free is about more deeply understanding your own behaviour. About finding clarity around what keeps you stuck being a “yes (wo)man”. About really taking controlling of both the “yes” and the “no”. So, that you can empower yourself  to decide either way

Career crossroads

1:1 Career Coaching, January 2019

executive coaching case studiesArriving at career crossroads can be a tremendous opportunity to make meaningful changes in your life. But, that requires a deeper consideration of what any new career path is going to give you.

It is easy to carelessly jump from one thing to another without really asking “why?”. We can often neglect our deepest motivations for doing things — our values. The key questions to ask are: What are my values? And, how congruent is what I am doing with my values? What is truly important to me? From there, you can then consider if any career change brings you closer to, or further away from, your values.

It’s almost never “laziness”

1:1 Life Coaching, December 2018

executive coaching case studiesLaziness is rarely the real reason behind not engaging in something fully, be it at work or in a hobby. This is particularly true when you can find examples in your life where you do engage fully, with energy and enthusiasm.

It may have something to do with your degree of interest, (dis)passion or connection to the activity. It may have something to do with situational dynamics or people, but it is highly unlikely to just be a matter of “laziness”. When “laziness” appears as a diagnosis, it is always worth digging deeper. Chances are there is another reason hiding

beneath.

Performance

1:1 Leadership Coaching, December 2018

executive coaching case studiesSelf-consciousness kills performance. This is true whether you are at the podium presenting, leading a business meeting or playing a sport. Performance is directly linked to the strength of your focus. And, that involves keeping the rational brain on the task and not constantly criticising what you are doing.

Because if it is busy criticising your performance, it is not actually focused on the task! You are no longer in the moment and this is when things start to fall apart. Knowing what to focus on is then crucial. And, that will very much depend on the specific activity in question.

 

More clarity, more impact

1:1 Career Coaching, December 2018

executive coaching case studiesGetting the most out of professional interactions, be it meetings or calls, is fundamentally about clarity. Clarity not only about the agenda, but the various (hidden) agendas behind the agenda. About really asking, “What is the purpose of this?” and “Who is it for”?.

Meetings can often feel like dangerous places, where multiple egos are competing to assert themselves. Such behaviour can easily engender insecurity in you and in others. But, the more that you seek clarity and the more that this search for clarity is backed-up by competence, the less you will have to worry about insecurities and egos. And, the more impact you will have.

In a shark tank

1:1 Executive Coaching, November 2018

executive coaching case studiesBeing in a shark tank does not necessarily mean that you have to become a shark. It is more about a deep awareness of your business environment and seeing reality for what it is. In all its ugliness and beauty. With such an awareness, things are less likely to catch you off guard.

You can then make a conscious decision about if you too want to be a shark, the skilled diver that navigates through it all, or out of the tank altogether! The choice is yours. You must decide how you want to play the game. It all starts with a true understanding of what-is. Of self and other.

Different sides of you

1:1 Life Coaching, November 2018

executive coaching case studiesThere are different sides to you that constantly jostle for air time. Different facets of your character that make-up the whole you. Understanding what parts tend to dominate, in which situations and why, can be fundamental. 

What are the implications of having a particularly dominant facet? What does that mean for you as a person and how you live? Could it be pointing to an unhealthy imbalance?

Defining success

1:1 Life Coaching, November 2018

executive coaching case studiesIf true success is about an inner state of contentment, engagement and peace, what is it that stops you from allowing it? What is it that keeps you stuck in a different place?

Seeing the inner voices that distract you with their definition of “success” is crucial. Whom do these voices really belong to? Unconsciously, who might you be trying to please? Success is not something “out there” to be defined by others. It is something within.

Seeing what keeps you stuck

1:1 Exectuive Coaching, October 2018

executive coaching case studiesSometimes, what might on the surface seem like a tactical problem, could have deeper roots in how secure you feel about yourself, regardless of what tactical path you take. Seeing what keeps you stuck in a place of insecurity is often the first step.

The next is letting-go of what holds you back and allowing more trust in yourself to emerge. This is often a far more fertile place from which tactical decisions can be made.

Conflicts

1:1 Executive Coaching, September 2018

executive coaching case studiesWhen conflicts arise, it is easy to be passively sucked into adversarial exchanges. Seeing and acknowledging the pressures that others are under can help you approach the situation with more calm and compassion. Remember that compassion can be very rigorous.

It is not about ignoring bad behaviour or letting people walk all over you. It is rather about setting appropriate boundaries and taking considered action from a place of deep understanding of both self and other. And, yes, that takes courage. It is far easier to unconsciously take on the role of aggressor or victim. But, it is also far less effective in actually improving the situation.

Status trap

1:1 Life Coaching, July 2018

executive coaching case studiesSometimes, you can fall into the trap of giving more value to work that is viewed as higher status by the mainstream, even when it is at odds with your own interests and passions. Such is the nature of social conditioning and status seeking.

Being a ski instructor or CFO of an airline are both equally valid. The question is, what really inspires you? What deeply resonates with you?

Two sides of the same coin

1:1 Leadership Coaching, June 2018

executive coaching case studiesWhen doing anything, whether it is public speaking, cooking or technical diagnostics, be aware of when you lose focus in the moment. Know both the specifics of the activity that require your focus AND what distracts you from maintaining such focus. They are two sides of the same coin.

Say “yes” to the former and “no” to the latter. What we are talking about then is a mindful state of clear focus in the moment.

Fear of failure

1:1 Life Coaching, April 2018

executive coaching case studiesAt times, the very act of noticing and fully acknowledging fear of failure and its roots can liberate you from it. Sometimes though, you have to actively focus your mind away from fear.

Focus on the resources and strengths that might allow you to cut through it. Focus on immersing in “the doing” and finding a mental place where there is then no room for fear.

Opening-up things

1:1 Career Coaching, February 2018

executive coaching case studiesSometimes, in order to get to the heart of a problem, you have to really open-up things. Really take your time to explore different interconnected areas.

The reasons for stuckness can at times be staring you in the face, and you just didn’t see it. But, sometimes the real nub of the issue might be concealed. And, often it is through careful and deliberate exploration that you begin to uncover what is going on. It is about taking the time to look deeper.

Things unsaid

1:1 Executive Coaching, October 2017

executive coaching case studiesEven long-standing and tightly knit teams can stumble. Paying attention to how well you are working together and communicating is as important as focusing on the job.

Nothing fuels resentment more than things unsaid and toes accidentally stepped on. Taking time out to nurture relationships could be one of the most important things you do for your team.

Find your calling

1:1 Career Coaching, September 2017

executive coaching case studiesWhen trying to find and connect with your calling, look beyond the surface manifestation of the possibilities you consider. What are the underlying characteristics that attract you to a particular thing? What are the deeper dynamics that you are curious about?

Example: It is one thing to like the idea of being a dancer, it is quite another to love body movement and yearn to tell stories and express yourself through it.

Closure

1:1 Life Coaching, July 2017

executive coaching case studiesClosure does not always need to come through dialogue with the person with whom you have had a conflict or difficult experience.

It is really about an inner movement within you that acknowledges what was. It is really about finding peace within yourself with what transpired.

In their shoes

1:1 Executive Coaching, July 2017

executive coaching case studiesStanding in the shoes of your direct reports and experiencing what life might be like for them allows you to see more clearly the challenges they face.

The more that you become aware of the ‘hidden’ dynamics and pressures in your team, the more you can empower them and yourself.

Strategic planning

Team Coaching, June 2017

Starting with the future and first embodying having successfully reached your objectives can unlock the elusive “how”.

executive coaching case studiesThe experiential exercise of team members looking back at “today” from the future and together tracing back their steps, can help uncover both the critical path and ways in which the team could work more closely together.

A walk in the park

1:1 Leadership Coaching, May 2017

executive coaching case studiesWhen your thinking and ideas are blocked, getting out of the chair and moving can allow you to access your brain in different ways.

What better place to do that than in the park on a sunny day. Changing your environment and movement can help unlock new and creative ideas.

Voices from the past

1:1 Skype Coaching, April 2017

Lack of confidence in one’s self can sometimes be the result of limiting beliefs that have originated in the past, and which now keep you stuck.

executive coaching case studiesThe stories that you tell yourself about what you can and cannot do, should and shouldn’t do, may be a recurring voice from the distant past. A voice that belongs to someone close to you whom you trust and value.

Goal setting

Team Coaching, April 2017

executive coaching case studiesTransporting yourself into the future and brainstorming in that place, together as a team, can generate new thinking.

This can be an effective way of surfacing, clarifying and agreeing priorities.