Nowadays, coaching is becoming an important profession; coaching specialists allow people to better establish and reach goals in numerous areas of their lives (Kimsey-House, Kimsey-House, Sandahl, & Whitworth, 2011). In this paper, I will discuss a coaching session I had with a client who faced certain complications as a team leader at his work. After explaining the situation and the decisions about the client’s behavior and its intended impact, I will consider several issues related to the effectiveness of the session.
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During the coaching session, I provided coaching services to a customer who was having problems with the team that he was in charge of. The customer stated that he had allowed some team members to work remotely, from home, to make work more convenient for them. However, these employees seemed to take advantage of the remote work; their productivity decreased significantly, and it was apparent that instead of working, they simply tended to attend to their businesses most of the time. The client felt that it was necessary to return their performance to high levels, but he was unable to do.
He engaged in discussions with them thrice, and their productivity seemed to increase for a short period after these interactions, but then dropped again. Simultaneously, the client did not want to take the privilege of being able to work from home from his subordinates, for this opportunity had been provided to them because of their prior outstanding performance. The customer, however, expressed his fear that their underperformance will anger the rest of the team, who tend to view the days during which the employees work at home as extra days off; besides, the customer was concerned that their poor performance might undermine his position as a team leader.
As a result of the session, we concluded that the customer should change his behavior; in particular, he ought to stop perceiving the members of his team mainly as his friends, and should address them as primarily his employees. Therefore, he should talk to them about the parameters they should meet while working remotely, and discuss the repercussions of not meeting them. The intended impact of this was that the employees (who may also have believed that the days of remote work were something similar to a day off and that this had been their reward for their outstanding performance) should realize that they are still at work, even though they are not at their workplace, and that by displaying poor performance they may let down not only themselves but also their team and their leader.
It is stated that during the coaching session, the coach should focus on their client as a whole, and take into consideration not only the problem that the customer is faced with but also their thoughts, emotions, and feelings (Kimsey-House et al., 2011). It is important that coaching takes a person-centered form (Blakey & Day, 2012). To do so in an efficacious manner, it is paramount to establish deep relationships with the customer.
I believe that I was able to create such a relationship with the client, which allowed me to successfully elicit the goals and expectations of the client’s seeking advice (to return his team’s performance to high levels, and, importantly, to modify their views about their remote work); the customer also expected to understand how to do that, and we agreed that he should view his subordinates as his employees and not just friends. It was also implied that the customer should remind his subordinates that they are employees who are supposed to do work.
It may be possible to state that during the coaching session, I was able to acknowledge the client’s needs and feelings and allow them to articulate them. The client himself, as well as the observer, pointed out that the session allowed the customer to explain his problems explicitly, which also permitted him to clarify them, understand them more deeply, and find a possible solution to them. We, therefore, agreed upon the bottom line, that the client should explain to his workers that they are primarily employees at work, and discuss with them the possible repercussions for not complying with the parameters of their work.
I did not intrude much into the client’s flow of speech, mostly listening to him, but it seems that I was able to intuit what he needed and, by asking questions, give him certain hints which allowed him to arrive at the conclusion (which was also noted by the observer) and create a plan of further actions. We did not, however, carry out brainstorming, which might have been useful for arriving at alternative solutions.
The actions that the client was supposed to take after the session were related to the increased accountability of his employees; it had been challenging to him to talk to them in this way, but after the session in which he inquired himself he changed his attitude to this situation and started viewing what he had to do as a part of his and his subordinates’ work, not as his upsetting his friends.
Thus, it is possible to assume that the session was rather successful. By asking leading questions, I allowed the client to arrive at the decision and to change his attitude to the situation. Even though we did not practice brainstorming and did not create alternative solutions to the problem, it is felt that the decision which was made was capable of helping the customer to efficaciously address the complications he was faced with.
Blakey, J., & Day, I. (2012). Challenging coaching: Going beyond traditional coaching to face the FACTS. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
Kimsey-House, H., Kimsey-House, K., Sandahl, P., & Whitworth, L. (2011). Co-active coaching: Changing business, transforming lives (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.