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Reviewed Piece of SF work: Sirkkaliisa Heimonen

Individual coaching process ‘Building a systematic method for creative work’ (2015-2016)

This coaching process was related to working life, aimed at supporting a client’s professional development and helped him to produce and finalize a new method and product. The coaching process in its entirety aimed at supporting the client’s resources and strengths. The goal of this process was to support the client to build a new kind of systematic approach for artistic work and to study its meaning and effectiveness. The client’s core question was, whether lengthy, systematic and clearly structured process could improve productivity. The client had set a 180 days’ time frame for his work and the solution focused coaching supported his path with seven meetings.

Client Quotes:

Solution focused coaching in a way opened my eyes; setting aims, defining steps and discussing findings helped to find the right direction in my project. In meetings, it was useful to look backwards and at the same time plan the next step. It was great to see the progress. Meetings supported the procedure and felt like a voyage of discovery. They strengthened the experience that my own process was something very unique and I was good at what I was doing. Meeting by meeting the curiosity about coming actions and future grew. We documented the events in a paper which finally gave a structure to my process and offered a source of energy and empowerment.

Candidate’s Summary:

The coaching served as a mirror to the client’s process; meetings were passages in his path and rich dialogue verified meanings and revealed new perspectives. The coaching process was dynamic, lively and inspiring. The client’s own agenda was the guiding principle; he owned and led the whole process. We started by planning a map for the client’s path, describing the vision at finish line and defining concrete steps. As a coach, I concentrated on the client’s values, strengths and resources. Peak moments were documented and learned things pointed out, the vision was clarified and the new perspectives searched for. I learned many valuable things about myself as a coach, about the power of dialogue and solution focused methods, how small steps might be important in the frame of whole process and the importance of being open-minded and attentive. The most important thing was to be available for the client without any pre-assumptions and to respect the client’s views The set time frame served as a good basis for evaluation. It helped to look at things closely as well as from a wider perspective. In every meeting we discussed the current issues and found ideas and evaluated the steps taken. The key points of the coaching process were positive atmosphere, frequent feedback from successful steps, looking at possibilities and new perspectives, having rich dialogue and revealing the meaning of used words and metaphors. I was impressed by the client’s strong motivation and commitment as well as his skillful ability to evaluate the process and his own agency. At the end of this process, the progress was easy to see: the client had found the core of creativity and his own way to be creative. He had learned to trust himself and the process, and the development of growth mind-set was evident. The review process was rewarding and a great experience. It helped me to see the process as a whole and revealed my own strengths as a coach. The first reviewer challenged me to describe the process and my own work as a coach in a more detailed and precise way. This helped me to see the process clearly and revealed completely new layers in it. It also helped me to analyze my own actions and choices. It was very important to receive feedback from the reviewers. I noticed that I had used many methods in a way that really helped the client to leap forward and to find new perspectives. I sincerely thank both Riitta and Mari for their kind guidance and feedback. I want to thank my client as well; it was very important to receive feedback from him about the meaning of this coaching process in supporting his own professional path.

Reviewers Summary:

I admire Sirkkaliisa’s ability to keep up a smooth and target-oriented process. Sirkkaliisa used a broad variety of creative working methods when setting goals and visualizing the Future Perfect. She is very skillful in using flipcharts, metaphors, visualizations, helping to build concrete steps forward and reframing problems. Sirkkaliisa is an experienced coach with the ability to be present, listen, support and inspire the client. She has also great ability to reflect the process. This piece of work is a great example of solution focused coaching in product development.

Second Reviewer summary:

Sirkkaliisa guided this inspiring process with flexibility, creativity and continuously using solution focused tools in a rich manner. I was really impressed how she used metaphors helping to create new insights and steps forward and as a coach maintained the not-knowing-position along the journey building and strengthening trust in the client’s own expertise. What emerged was a great reflective learning process for them both, the client and Sirkkaliisa.

About The Candidate:

Sirkkaliisa Heimonen works as a Sector Manager at the Age Institute. She has a PhD in Psychology. She has special expertise in geropsychology and has worked in this field for over 20 years. Sirkkaliisa’s current interest is mental well-being of old people and ways to support it. Sirkkaliisa has learned Solution Focused Coaching in the Palmenia Center of the University of Helsinki. Sirkkaliisa has used solution focused approach and coaching in training for professionals and organizations as well as a frame of developmental projects.

Sirkkaliisa Heimonen
Sirkkaliisa Heimonen
SFiO Reviewed Practitioner
SFiO Contributor

Sirkkaliisa Heimonen works as a Sector Manager at the Age Institute. She has a PhD in Psychology. She has special expertise in geropsychology and has worked in this field for over 20 years.