Different people have different personalities. In any cases, there are features of our personality that we would like to change. An individual's personality is sometimes influenced by the environment in which he or she was brought up. People tend to emulate the most influential people in their lives as they grow up. This can be someone's father, mother, and siblings or even the house-help given that they spend a lot of time with little children (Passmore, 2010). Therefore, for my conversation with Andrea, I researched and read extensively about the factors that shape people's personality. I wanted to be able to know what made her so much of an introvert such that she had a problem interacting with other people. Through reading, I learned that personality consists of behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and values that are associated with an individual (Passmore, 2010). I also know that they are developed through interaction with one’s family or the society at large.
Given the level of my preparedness, I was not surprised by what happened to be the reason for Andrea’s problem of interacting with others. However, I was surprised by her attitude and desire to change. In most cases, people with her kind of problem wouldn’t like to change because they are used to keep to themselves (Passmore, 2010). In her case, she was the opposite. She was shy but willing to talk and share her displeasure with the situation. I learned that Andrea has interactions problems because she has lived an isolated life most of the time. Apart from her family members, she has not had much interaction with other people during her early life. Even when she was doing her undergraduate program she used to go back home immediately she was through with classes. Her father was strict and always instructed her to stay at home and only leave when necessary. Another problem that she currently has is language, her English though comprehendible, is not very good. The fact that she is shy to speak broken English in front of other people was a major problem.
The most challenging thing was to convince her that her spoken English was not poor and that people will appreciate her efforts whenever she used it given that it wasn't her first language. The coachee's goal was very clear, as a business student; it is important that she can interact with people (Robbins, 2009). According to Tomlinson, (2004), business is not done in a vacuum and very soon or later she would have to interact with others and share her ideas as well. The reality for her was that she could not stay isolated for the rest of her life. She needed other people in her life in order to succeed. Therefore, she needed to raise her self-esteem and deal with her shyness (Rubin & Coplan, 2010). The goal of the coaching process was to be able to interact with others and share her ideas.
The options that we explored was frequenting social events, participating in face to face class discussions, forming a study group, joining an activity club like drama club or choir, seeking professional help from a psychologist etc. (DecisionWise, 2013). These would help her speak up and interact with people from different walks of life (Rubin & Coplan, 2010). The coachee committed to seeking a professional help as she was able to accept that has a problem. Accepting that one has a problem and Andrea was on the right course. She was also willing to join small class grouping and participate in social activities organized both in school and outside.
The exercise has helped me realize that I can get my personal fulfillment from helping others. The experience may have lasted a short while, but I was able to learn from Andrea and continue my personality growth.
Connection with the coachee – 7
Andrea felt comfortable talking to me, even though, one of her problems is talking to people. I managed to keep her at ease and let her talk.
Active listening ability – 9
The coachee was able to speak out because she had someone to speak to and listen to her. One of the means of communication is through listening, and I was able to do that. We shared the time equally in speaking and listening.
Ability to ask questions – 7
As much as I asked her a number of questions, I did not ask as much as I would have wished to avoid making her uneasy. Introverts do not like many questions especially when they are personal.
Result of the coaching – 8
The fact that in the end she accepted to seek further help from a psychologist and to take part in extracurricular activities implied that our conversation was productive.
DecisionWise,. (2013). How to Coach Based on Different Personality Types. Retrieved 28 April 2015, from https://www.decision-wise.com/how-to-coach-based-on-different-personality-types/
Passmore, J. (2010). Leadership coaching. [London]: Association for Coaching.
Robbins, S. (2009). Organisational behaviour. Cape Town: Pearson Education South Africa.
Rubin, K., & Coplan, R. (2010). The development of shyness and social withdrawal. New York, NY: Guilford.
Tomlinson, H. (2004). Educational leadership. London: Sage Publications.