A Personal/Life Coaching Case Study: Coaching Maree

Maree enquired about life coaching after reading an article by Belinda Merry in an industry magazine. Initially, Maree found it difficult to spend the coaching session time talking about herself and often tried to turn the conversation on to her coach. It was gently explained that coaching is about the client and, in this specific working relationship, discovering and designing a healthy WorkStyle. After a couple of sessions Maree came to understand this and loved being able to talk about herself, guilt free, to someone who listened generously as previously she was used to being there for others.As an executive assistant, Maree is extremely organised and manages her time well.

Why she engaged a coach was to assist her through a time of turmoil that she knew was coming up – moving house, house sitting in a number of different venues, and finally purchasing her own home. To support Maree in her vision of smooth moves, she was held accountable for her health routine, no matter where she was living. This stretched her as she indicated that she would have usually stopped exercising until her living arrangements were more stable. This one accountability flowed through into her diet, her sleep and thus her energy. As Maree took more responsibility for her energy she found that the smooth moves were in fact a reality, not just a dream as she had first thought.

Another area focused on was Maree’s involvement in her professional association. She was keen to apply for a residential scholarship but did not feel that she had the qualifications to be selected. Each week she was encouraged to take another action towards completing and submitting her application and eventually this was completed. Unfortunately, she missed the cut off date (a printing error, no fault of her own) and she was disappointed that this had occurred considering the amount of work she had put into the application.

This situation became an opportunity for Maree to practice her negotiation and assertiveness skills and the coaching conversations were guided so that she could herself see this possibility. She commenced negotiations with the industry body to seek an apology and, eventually, received a written apology from the president and could now lay the matter to rest. Concurrent with her scholarship application, Maree was nominated and subsequently voted as her region’s Branch Manager and she was delighted with this outcome. Coaching conversations around boundaries and‘principles before personalities’ gave her some extra tools to use during her this time. Maree subsequently wrote a follow-up article in the same industry magazine that Belinda’s article initially appeared in.

Here is an extract:

“I was very nervous at the thought initially, but Belinda immediately put me at ease. We had instant rapport. Our initial session was to set goals for myself and talk about what was important to me, both at work and at home. The questions asked truly make you think. I was also given a comprehensive program. When completed it is clear what is perhaps being neglected in your life that you may want to work on (and make as a goal).

When I undertook this coaching I was going through enormous personal and professional challenges. We worked through these challenges step by step so it wasn’t all so overwhelming. As a life coach has no personal agenda, the advice provided was always honest and unbiased.

It was also strange for me to talk about myself for a long period of time, totally selfish time, but it was also extremely uplifting. While I have always been a goal setter, one of the main things I took away from life coaching was to celebrate when I achieved milestones and success, instead of blindly going to the next one. It helped me slow down and smell the roses!”

(Belinda Merry who wrote this Case study can be reached at belinda@belindam.com, her web site is www.belindam.com)