When I first met Bob he seemed like a savvy business consultant with all the right answers. He was a guy in his early 4os, well-presented, well-spoken, and he appeared confident. I suggested he would benefit from some short-term change fitness coaching but he showed little interest at first. He later told me he wasn’t interested in being coached because he thought his change fitness was fine – he had no need of that, or so he thought.
After some time, Bob approached me and said he was curious about the change fitness coaching program I had talked about, and said he had decided to give it a go. He didn’t think it would help him much, but he liked the change fitness concept and he wanted to learn more about it. So, I enrolled him in the Personal Change Fitness Program (PCFP).
At the beginning of the PCFP, we always give people an initial assessment to see what strengths and limitations they have. This helps the coach understand the person’s needs and where they require most support. We don’t usually tell the person their score. Bob took the assessment and the results showed that Bob had really low change fitness (significantly below average). On the surface, he appeared confident, but the results of the assessment suggested this may not have been the real story. I didn’t tell Bob his result, but he began working on the Program.
A fresh perspective
About 5 weeks into the 12-week Program, Bob looked at me and said, “You know Steve, I wasn’t sure I needed to do this Program because I thought my change fitness would have been high. But now I can see my change fitness was low. I never knew that. I am learning so many things and this Program is really helping me.” He was beginning to see himself for the first time. He was beginning to change the way he thought.
A resolved problem
Bob continued to make good progress. Not long before the end of the 12-week Program, Bob paid a visit to a family member with whom he’d had a story relationship for most of his life. This person had shown Bob little respect in the way he spoke to him and he’d often try to belittle Bob. Bob didn’t like this, but had always felt intimidated by the relative and had never been able to stand up to the person. But this time was different. Bob felt more self-confidence – not the appearance of confidence, but a real strength inside himself. He spoke very directly to the relative and said he didn’t like the way he was spoken to and he wouldn’t accept it. He felt so empowered saying that, and the relative was shocked, but also impressed. The person apologised and things improved very quickly. Bob was glowing as he told me what had happened. He felt he had made some real progress.
A big improvement
When Bob took the assessment at the end of the program, his change fitness scores showed a very big improvement. He seemed like a different person. A few weeks after Bob had finished the Program, I got a call from a woman who had known Bob for years. She said she’d noticed a huge change in Bob and, based on what she’d seen, she wanted to do the Program too. I coached her through the Program and she, too, made significant improvements.
I didn’t hear from Bob for about 9 months after he finished the PCFP. Then, one day, I received an email from him. The thanked me again for the Program, and said he was making really good progress. He was engaged to be married, he’d been accepted into a part-time university course, and he was starting a business. He said without the PCFP he would not have been doing any of those things.
Bob made great progress in the Program and he applied what he learned to his life. It’s great to see Bob moving ahead. Not everyone makes the progress Bob made, but everyone gets something positive and helpful from the PCFP. And that’s what counts.
Written by Steve Barlow