Executive and Personal Energy Coaching



One of the best ways to see how coaching is applied in practice is to look at actual circumstances that have been addressed by my clients. All of these cases are true, and the names have been changed to respect the privacy of the people involved.

Dealing with Redundancy

Out of a rut into promotion

Deciding on what to do next in career

Transition from negative view of the company to a bright future

From top manager desperately searching for work to top manager with offers to choose from

Deciding what academic options/subjects/examinations to take


I received a telephone call from a man who was 48 years old.

He is a research physicist, and had been with the same company for 28 years. He had been told he was to be made redundant in a week's time.

He was angry, sad, bitter and resentful of the company that 'had taken his best years and was now throwing him on the scrap heap, after all he had done for them'. He was also fearful that he would never find another job 'at his age'.

Feelings get in the way of thinking clearly so I listened while he vented his spleen about his situation. Having done so, his thinking became clearer.

I then took him through a transition process that recognised the value of his experience and contributions to the company and allowed him to 'grieve' for his past life there.

Through open-ended questions I helped him define, in considerable detail, what he wanted out of life and work. During this definition process he began to reframe the redundancy as an opportunity to do what he always wanted - to run his own company bringing highly technical issues to the understanding of 'ordinary people'. He went on to work out how he could get there with the help of his wife and payoff money.

He is now doing exactly that.


Nigel, (a chartered engineer, MBA and a senior manager), came to see me saying he was in a rut. His whole career was designed to build up to a CEO job, but because he'd not been a CEO, he could not get a job as one.

He said he was not doing well at the senior marketing job; he had taken this job to get experience in the one remaining area of his "general management portfolio". "How can I go for a CEO job if I can't do the marketing role" he asked.

I got Nigel to define, in detail, what he wanted (which needed him to affirm, among other things, what he was good at and what he liked to do - what gave him "The Buzz"); then to focus on THIS and not what he did not want.

He then looked at what he had learnt from the marketing job and assess his performance realistically.

During this coaching programme, Nigel's down-beat thinking about his prospects changed, and several CEO opportunities arose for him. One of these developed into exactly the job he had visualised.

The coaching programme was completed by him viewing the interview process as a discussion between equals - he had all the skills and experience they wanted and they gave him the chance to prove his abilities, which he did and continues to do.


This person had achieved all the goals they had set themselves five years ago when they were coming out of an all time low state. The goals dealt with all aspects of their life and they had done better than the target they had dreamt about all those years ago.

The client was in a state of anti-climax and had become de-motivated.

I got the client to review in detail all of his achievements and what his current life was like. He was continually looking back and measuring where he is against where he was.

I then took him through some thoughts on looking into the future and that started him thinking about how he would like to be and how he would like to be regarded in the future. This again triggered more thoughts on which he could build a 'future' in terms of his career; and how to get there.

This case study indicates how inextricably linked all aspects of our lives are, and how you need to resolve issues in one part of your life to release the energy to address a different aspect of your life.


Christopher had worked himself into a state of nervous collapse for his company (which was going through a major transition). He had recovered and decided to take a less senior role in the same company. The management team had changed since his breakdown.

The challenge for Christopher was that he was using all his energy feeling bitter about the company and the fact that "they were not recognising that the superhuman effort he had given them, had cost him his health". He was on the point of leaving but did not know where to go.

During the coaching programme, Christopher came to release the past, and realise the value of the experiences and skills that he had gained while working for the company. From this he started to understand what he wanted in the future and had conversations with his boss, not from a place of bitterness, but from a position of what he could now offer the company.

Apparently unrelated to these discussions, there was a reorganisation and one of the new jobs was what Christopher had identified in the coaching sessions as his dream job.

The definitive coaching session was when Christopher changed his thinking from

"They'll never give the job because I've been so much trouble to them"


"That's my job - What have I got to do to get it?"

This session continued with Christopher analysing the job specification against his skills and experience and writing an application (unbeatable in it's contents) which told his employees why it "was his job".

(Note that one of the reasons he gave the company, was that he could give them back all the investment THEY had made in his skills and experience and he could give them his unreserved enthusiasm that comes from being in the job he had realised was exactly what he wanted).

He got the job and is loving it!

This is another example of work out what you want, focus on it, and what you think is what you get.


Angela, a top manager with a public company, had been made redundant as a result of a merger, and had been out of work for 10 months.

She had come to coaching "as a last resort", having been warned by her outplacement consultants that had "reached the end of the road" with her.

Angela's challenge was that nobody, including herself, believed that she would get another job at her previous seniority - in fact nobody believed she would even get any interest from prospective employers.

The energy given out by Angela ("I'll never get this job") was negatively affecting prospective employers. This, in turn, was confirming Angela's belief, and around the destructive circle the whole situation went again.

If you go on doing what you are doing,
you will go on getting what you are getting.

Another energy drain was also at work for Angela. She had worked out that she had five options for her future, ranging from getting her ideal job, through getting any job, to setting up her own business. She was spending roughly equal amounts of time and energy focussing on each of these options.

During the coaching sessions, Angela established which of the five options she really wanted and which were "worst case scenarios". She agreed to select the one option that represented what she really wanted. (There was not any scenario that described exactly what she wanted so she selected the closest, and work that one into a detailed and accurate definition of what she wanted). I got Angela to focus on her ideal option alone for a period that she was comfortable with - this was 1 month.

Through a series of exercises in the sessions and outside, Angela moved her belief that she would succeed in this option from very low to as certain as she could be. Note, it was HER belief in the future that was "certain" here.

During the one month of focus on her ideal option, Angela did everything in her control to make this option happen, including topping up her belief that it would happen if it got a bit shakey. These actions changed the circle of "doing what she had always done".

Within 2 months Angela was getting interviews and offers that were completely in line with and even better than her chosen option. She had the luxury of choice about her work in the future.


Often students have such an exciting array of options they lose sight of what they really want to do and become confused or despondent about their qualification.

This client, in the middle of her MBA programme, was faced with deciding on the elective subjects she was going to study for the rest of the course. She was almost frozen into a state of indecision because there were subjects she WANTED to do, subject she thought she OUGHT to do and subjects she was being told by others she SHOULD do.

This is a very common situation, where a person has lost sight of what they want and is being encouraged NOT to think for themselves.

I took her through a process that helped her to work out what she really thought and what she really wanted to do, and be, after her MBA. Lubricating her thinking in this way enabled her to see, over a few sessions, where the MBA fitted into her life in the future and from this she was able to understand what SHE wanted out of the remaining half of her MBA programme.


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© 2003 A H A Frost

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