Case Study

When coaching will not work

Case Study

When coaching will not work

by Ivana Bozicevic

Coaching always makes an impact but sometimes in doesn’t work towards agreed goals

Find out when coaching definitely will not work

Coaching will work if there is a good understanding, coaching ‘chemistry’ and trust between a client and a coach. Even more so, it is crucial that the client has a desire for professional and personal growth.

Here is when the coaching doesn’t work:

Participating only to please coaching sponsors: their superiors or human resources
Sometimes clients need a bit of a push from coaching sponsors in order to give coaching a chance. This is normal and I still work with some clients who were sceptical to start with. However, continuing coaching just to please the norm but not participating wholeheartedly will not work for the client and will put a coach in a difficult position. Not matter how experienced the coach is, it takes time to distinguish between a client taking time to trust and connect and a client that is not committed.

Participating only because others are
If a client agrees to coaching because their peers are being coached too but doesn’t want to truly work on their development, the coaching might bring some benefits but will not work in the long run. The impact of coaching is directly influenced by the client’s engagement, dedication and involvement in the process.

Participating only to give an impression we are willing to change (when we are not)
Early on in my coaching career, I had a client who agreed to coaching although he knew he wanted to leave the company no matter what. Both myself, his immediate boss and human resources believed he was committed to working on his professional issues. He happily went along and gave the impression that coaching might help. However, during coaching sessions, he went to great effort to stay superficial and would not discuss issues in depth. My lack of experience at that point meant that we continued with his coaching although I intuitively knew something was not right. He left the company within 3 months and I learned a valuable lesson. Since then, I have improved my initial screening sessions and trust my intuition much more.

Coaching instead of therapy
Coaching is for individuals who are emotionally and psychologically healthy and who want to move forward by learning and making changes in their lives. Coaching is not advice, therapy, counselling, consultancy or mentoring.
It can, though, be done in combination with therapy and mentoring. Currently two of my clients are doing just that.