Case Study:


The coachee was a manager in a medium-sized company. The first session clarified framework, expectations of the coachee, role of the coach as opposed to that of a consultant and the general way of working together in a coachng relationship.

The coachee wanted to enhance communications with the employees. Frequent misunderstandings and unclear instructions resulted in team conflicts. The director and the sales manager did not share the same views on personnel management.

Structure of the coaching session:

My coaching followed the EAGLE model designed by myself. The letters E-A-G-L-E correspond to German words, the translations will be given in brackets:

  • E instieg (start): re-establishing the relationship and connecting to the last session
  • A nliegen klären (issue clarification): for this session, developments since the last meeting
  • G emeinsamen Weg gehen (working together): support coachee to reflect and develop
  • L ösungen finden (finding solutions and next stepps): coachee then develops solutions or alternatives and defines a plan of action. She/he commits herself/himself to follow the plan
  • E nde (end): wrapping-up and details for the next session

Coaching Sessions:

Two main issues were defined: first, clear communication and feedback; second, define own view of personnel management and clarify differences with the director. During the first session the situation, as it was then, was rated. The coachee sets parameters for this rating which let´s her/him reflect and focus on goals for the coaching. The coachee was then asked to rate his satisfaction with the present situation on a scale from 1 to 10. This method helped set the starting point and gave a good overview of the present situation.

This process set the issue for the first session. The coachee identified his own share of the problem, looked for possible changes and worked out a plan of action for the time until the next session.

Methods used in the coaching were systemic questions, listening on different levels, clarifying and demanding, to support the coachee in his reflecting process. For homework the coachee was given a question to think about and so fulfilled the coaching circle of Issue, Identification and Action.

According to the Co-Active Coaching, the coachee was given challenges to encourage crossing self-imposed boundaries (e.g. "I cannot do this"). These challenges lead to defined actions and the agreement upon when these actions are taken satisfactorily and by when.The coaches experiences with the challenge are always talked about in the next session. In this case one of the challenges was to introduce a daily morning meeting and openly talk about all problems which occured the day before and find ways to solve and avoid these.

Next sessions:

A systems constellation showed the coachee's position in his working environment. Questions were asked according to the systemic modell of a social systems (rules, development, behavioral patterns, subjective interpretations, people, system). We developed a feedback questionaire for the employees which was used for self-reflection and to diminish the insecurity about how the coachee was seen by others.

During our work the main issue was clearly identified as being the relationship with the director. Elements of Rational Emotive Therapy (Albert Ellis) helped find and deal with irrational beliefs. The coachee worked on blockades and perceptions, e.g. with reframing. Before the last session we did a half day of shadow coaching. I watched a team meeting and individual discussions with employees and gave immediate feedback.

During the last session the coachee again rated the parameters set in the first session to find and reflect development. We agreed upon a 30 minutes phone follow-up in 6 months.

Reflection of the Coaching Process:

Co-Active Coaching holds the coachee to be creative and having all solutions. The agenda is determined by the coachee, the coach accompanies him/her.

The coaching process helped the coachee recognize the relationships within the system and his part in it. Therefore his attitude and behavior towards employees and director changed. He no longer avoided actively dealing with conflict. This led to a more trusting atmosphere and more openness. Difficulties were addressed more openly and solutions were enacted instead of searching for a guilty party.

Following the rating I asked the coachee to estimate which percentage of the change was due to coaching. This was needed to calculate the Return On Investment (ROI).