Case Study – Feeling Like The Odd One Out At Work

Case Study: Overcoming Fear and Building Confidence in a Remote Work Environment

Objective: The objective of this coaching engagement was to help a client overcome fear, boost confidence, and navigate the challenges of working remotely in a new department. The specific goals included addressing moments of crisis of confidence, providing accurate advice, reducing fear of being “found out,” and improving communication with colleagues.

Presenting Issue: The client, who had recently joined a new department located 200 miles away from her office, was experiencing feelings of being forgotten and left out. Communicating primarily through online conferencing, she felt disconnected from her colleagues and doubted her ability to contribute effectively. Additionally, the client was on probationary status, adding to her anxiety about her performance and the need to prove herself.

Coaching Process: The coaching process involved exploring the client’s fears and triggers, identifying negative thought patterns, and implementing techniques to change her mindset and behaviour. Initially, the client expressed scepticism about NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and preferred traditional coaching methods. However, with her permission, a combination of NLP and traditional techniques were tested and used to address her concerns effectively.

Number of. sessions:  Four

Key Findings and Strategies:

  1. Identifying Triggers and States: Through discussions, the coach and client identified specific triggers, such as unexpected phone calls, challenging emails, and overwhelming communication volume. The resulting states included worry, overwhelm, imposter syndrome, and a fear of not having all the answers.
  2. Challenging Beliefs and Building Confidence: The client had negative beliefs about her own abilities, frequently thinking, “I’m not good enough.” I used NLP techniques to help her reframe these beliefs and visualise a positive state of confidence. The client gradually gained confidence in her expertise and started believing in her ability to handle challenges.
  3. Practice and Role-Playing: I conducted role-playing exercises to simulate scenarios triggering fear, such as opening emails with potential problems or receiving phone calls requiring immediate answers. By practising alternative approaches, the client gained practical strategies to handle these situations, including time management techniques and scripting difficult questions.
  4. Productivity Methods: The client’s overwhelming inbox, with over 4,000 emails, added to her stress. The coach helped her develop an organisation system and prioritise tasks, enabling her to manage her inbox efficiently and reduce the feeling of overwhelm.
  5. Follow-Up and Implementation: Between coaching sessions, the client implemented the strategies discussed and experimented with them. During the follow-up meeting, she reported positive outcomes, feeling more confident, and achieving better control over her work. She shared that she had successfully emptied her inbox, developed methods for dealing with new emails promptly, and learned to postpone overwhelming tasks until she could approach them with clarity.

Client Feedback and Outcomes: The client noticed significant positive changes as a result of the coaching process. She felt more confident, stopped doubting herself during moments of crisis, and exhibited improved body language. Additionally, her ability to provide accurate advice increased, and she no longer felt the need to “blag” her way through answers. The client also expressed satisfaction with her progress in building trust and rapport with her remote team.

Conclusion: This coaching case study demonstrates the effectiveness of a tailored coaching approach in addressing fears, building confidence, and supporting professional growth in a remote work environment. By using a combination of NLP and traditional coaching techniques, the client successfully navigated her challenges, improved her performance, and gained a sense of empowerment and self-assurance in her new role.

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