Coach: Susana Leite
Duration: 55 min
Flo is from Angola. She wants to perform better at her work as a maths teacher and she asked me to focus our session on the setting up an objective for better work performance as well as to develop an implementation plan to pursue it.
I followed Cristina Magalhães NLPC-INCTA‘s coaching techniques from a Coaching workshop taken in Porto, Summer of 2018, namely the SOSOPA, and because Flo had a clear objective in her mind, I used the SMART – PPEE to clarify the objective and set a plan to purse it.
S – Sintonia Inicial / inicial tune in
We started our session by getting in tune (sintonia inicial). I started by asking how she felt about our meeting and Flo felt enthusiastic about it. I started by asking what the objective for our meeting was and she expressed the vivid desire filled with an emotion of missing out on helping others. She wants to go deeper in motivating her students by helping them actively, so that they don’t stop going to school. She explained that her students are adult students. We immediately built rapport as I’m also a teacher with a nearly 20-year-career in education, despite now working in tech. I could also have said that I too mirrored her fear of missing out (FOMO) for working outside of my community, but I stopped myself as we’d go. Flo’s time was now, and I’d set myself up for being there for her. Surely the fact that I know what she might be feeling helped me create powerful questions. Before starting the questions, I thanked her for the explanation of her desire, I explained what the plan for the session would be, and asked for authorisation to take notes during the session. She agreed upon that. An interesting fact is that we did the session over WhatsApp.
O – Objetivo – objective
Flo had already expressed her main goal in the previous phase, so now I repeated it back to her to gain agreement over what I understood. “So your goal for today is to better your performance at work, correct?” She agreed to it. I then said that it would be a too broad goal, and that we needed to specify it. She said: “I want to motivate my students.” (Eu quero ser melhor a motivar os meus alunos) . After that she rephrased it, “I want to have teaching experiences with motivated people.” (Eu quero ter experiências letivas com pessoas motivadas.)
We clarified that this goal is not only dependent on her. So we needed to extract that action that she could take on her part to have that motivating experience with her students and the time to achieve this. It might take too long, but the results should be visible by the end of the semester. – she said.
Then, I clarified the objective back to her with the time frame. “If I understood you correctly, your objective for this session is set up a plan in order to have more motivating experiences with your students that should be visible by the end of the semester. Is that correct?” (Se eu compreendi bem, o seu objectivo para esta sessão é então definir um plano de ação para ter experiências mais motivadoras com os seus alunos até ao fim do semestre, correto?)
We gained agreement.
Then I clarified why she wants to reach this objective. Flo wants to live her life mission, and she feels it is to guide people, namely her students in her community. She wants to be more of service.
I also clarified what she expects to reach by ways of the objective. She then told me that she expects to have more motivating teaching experiences. She reckons that maths is hard, and that students don’t know why they’re studying it. So she wants to show them, and play a role in the motivation.
I clarified what motivates her personally to keep pursuing it. She said: “No-one has ever thought I would be anything in life, but I did, and I want to share that I did it and play as a role model for my students, and therefore pass the message to others that they can do it too.” (Ninguém dava nada por mim, e eu consegui. Se eu posso, eles também podem.)
I clarified that we would now finally put this objective into the bigger picture to guaranty the ecology of our work and asked what impact reaching this objective would grant in her life. Flo said that it would make her feel more successful, of service and connected to her life purpose.
We drew a grid of losses and gains to visualize the impact.
If I manage to stick to the plan, I sacrifice some extra time to prepare the meetings with her colleagues
If I don’t do it, I lose happiness.
If I don’t do it, I don’t use my skills of empathy and happiness to guide students.
A major sense of collectivity and community.
Feeling more connected to her students by knowing more of what they need.
Feeling more of service.
Opportunity to better her self-esteem.
Reach the students, and by supporting them, motivate them.
I remember who I am: by (re)living my motto (no-one has ever thought I would be anything in life, but I did, and I want to share that I did to work as a role model, and therefore pass the message to others that they can do it too), I pursue my life mission.
S – Situação atual / Current situation
We went on to depict her current situation in relation to the objective of bettering her work performance through being of service, in others word to feel replenished.
I asked her: What do you already have? Flo stated that she already has a clear mission. She also already feel empathy with her students, mainly with those that don’t reach good or sufficient results, those that struggle. She also already possesses happiness (alegria) and strength. And finally she believes in herself and in that everyone can succeed.
“That’s pretty positive” – I thought, and how powerful!
“What other resources do you need? Flo said she can’t move the whole community alone. She needs her colleagues at school to help her, and mainly coachable students. Other people, with other resources, support (financial support as well), especially to co-drive the project if she fails, or might miss something, a partnership with her colleagues. She said she also needs more patience. And she needs to get to know the students better and feel a major connection to them.
O – Opções / Options
I asked her :
What could you do to reach the objective? What solutions do you envision? What are options do you have?
- Flo said that she could book more meetings with her colleagues only to discuss the students as people: to discuss what they need, and how the teachers, the school and the community can serve them better, so they can keep going to school.
- She also said that she could write a book as an alternative. It would still get the same impact, and would make her feel proud, and better her self-esteem, while helping others by being a role model.
- She also said that she could create an association to fund the students in need and through that be of service.
Level of participation: Flo was highly engaged, described well her situation, her wishes and her mission.
It was on the whole an inspiring conversation and a wonderful intercultural exchange on the settings of teaching in Angola. We share the Portuguese language, and therefore all the emotions that Flo felt and expressed acquired a sense of home, of empathy, and even “saudade”. I learned a lot about the teaching practice in Angola. The students are mostly adults, but they come very far in order to attend the lessons. They have to study and work, and most have families that are dependent on them. They must keep the faith and they can’t give up studying. Most of them live far, they travel quite a long time. Also, she talked about a special community agent, the soba, which is usually is
P – Plano de ação / action plan
What steps are you going to take in order to pursue the objective of perform better at work, feel a sense of self-esteem and be of service to the community? – I asked.
She stated, she would like to have periodic meetings with colleagues to discuss the student’s needs.
How are you going to manage that? – I asked.
She said: “I’m going to talk to my colleagues at first. If they accept the idea, they will agree on a schedule for the meetings, time and place. Then, they will brainstorm around how they can motivate the students, mostly through checking on their needs, and Flo will share her ideas (writing a book and creating an association to help them).
When will you start working on this plan? – I asked.
When exactly? – I asked.
On Thursday, we’ll have a general meeting.
Alright! Now, on a scale of 0 to 10, how much are you confident that you’ll execute the plan? – I said.
8 to 10
What will stop you from doing this?
Nothing. I may forget it.
Set up a reminder on your calendar. And don’t forget to report it back to me once you’ve accomplished the talk to your colleagues.
You can write me an email or send me a WhatsApp. – I stated.
A – Autoconsciencialização final – creating final self-awareness
How did you feel during the session? What will you take from here? Did you find out something special about you? Or did you learn something?
This session was above my expectation. I loved it and I feel motivated to pursue this first step.