When we came out of the session, he asked us how we each had felt. Some reported feeling a sense of heaviness, others said they felt as if they were floating away. One woman couldn't remember a word he had said the entire time. An older man in a Red Sox jersey said he could hear him but couldn't make out the words. “Me relaxing to that degree made me realize how much my body is fighting to breathe cleanly,” the elderly man said. Another woman said she felt as if she wanted to cry. I shared her emotion. It felt as if something was being taken from me.
The practice as it's followed today generally traces its origins back to the 1840s, when Scottish surgeon James Braid built upon the idea of what he called “nervous sleep,” or, more specifically, “the induction of a habit of abstraction or mental concentration, in which, as in reverie or spontaneous abstraction, the powers of the mind are so much engrossed with a single idea or train of thought, as, for the nonce, to render the individual unconscious of, or indifferently conscious to, all other ideas, impressions, or trains of thought.”
Changing the way you think and act is tough even when you have support from others. But when key leaders above or beside you are indifferent, skeptical or hostile to changes you're trying to make, things get exponentially more difficult. Coaching works best when key people in the executive's world stand solidly behind her. They need to provide tailwinds, not headwinds. Coaching relationships in a vacuum of support fall apart before any goals are achieved.
interpersonal communication. They need to deepen the social and emotional intelligence that are so essential in executive leadership roles. They need to pay closer attention to nonverbal communication as manifested in their body language, tone of voice, and facial expression. They need to improve their stress management skills, so that they don’t come across to others as frustrated, irritable, or dismissive.
The popularity of executive coaching owes much to the modern craze for easy answers. Businesspeople in general—and American ones in particular—constantly look for new ways to change as quickly and painlessly as possible. Self-help manuals abound. Success is defined in 12 simple steps or seven effective habits. In this environment of quick fixes, psychotherapy has become marginalized. And executive coaches have stepped in to fill the gap, offering a kind of instant alternative. As management guru Warren Bennis observes, “A lot of executive coaching is really an acceptable form of psychotherapy. It’s still tough to say, ‘I’m going to see my therapist.’ It’s okay to say, ‘I’m getting counseling from my coach.’”
“If you are looking to speed up weight loss, adding 30 minutes of cardio three times per week will certainly help burn calories and body fat,” says Amie Hoff, Certified Fitness Professional in New York City. Short on time? Hoff suggests a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. “The idea is to push your body hard for a short burst with a period of recovery. I like to have people start with a 10 to 15 second sprint (run, bike, jump rope, run stairs or anything that gets your heart rate up) and then back off for 30 seconds to recover. As you get stronger, you will increase the sprint time and decrease the recovery period. A 15 minute HIIT session can be equivalent to a regular 30 minute cardio workout.”
But if there’s everything all health professionals agree on, it’s this: put down the smokes, any way you can, no matter how silly you feel about being hypnotized or obsessively chewing Juicy Fruit or starting talk therapy with a counselor. Don’t feel foolish if you start describing yourself as “smober,” as some NicA members do. It may be corny, but getting sober while continuing to smoke is tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic: a nice way to relieve stress in the moment but an activity that’s still going to take you down.
Organizations must be in favor of and agree to provide resources to support the executive coaching, and recognize that it requires a long-term investment in order for the coaching and change to succeed. “Executives need follow-on coaching and reinforcement in order to sustain changes in behavior. In addition, professionals’ development should be kept separate from performance because the high level of trust and openness required for development would be compromised if these two essential processes are mixed.”
Specialists in this area commonly work alongside other professionals who make up the team support system, such as coaches, trainers, physical therapists and game strategists. In a corporate setting, sports psychologists may be called upon by HR managers or department heads to develop team-building strategies for colleagues of a particular business or organization.
There are certain times when executives are most likely to benefit from coaching. Executives should seek coaching "when they feel that a change in behavior—either for themselves or their team members—can make a significant difference in the long-term success of the organization," says Marshall Goldsmith, a high-profile executive coach and author of eighteen books, including The Leader of the Future (Jossey-Bass, 1996).
Both views reflect CEOs’ perceptions. But those, in turn, reflect the failure of coaching programs to show that the infrastructure of successful leadership vision and behavior is heightened self-awareness about one’s motives, values, and personality traits. That’s especially true within today’s challenging, fluid environment. Because of this failure, coaching programs unknowingly collude with CEOs’ view that self-awareness is either irrelevant to leadership or of minor importance.
"I understand that thinking about talking to someone can be an anxiety provoking process - I will work with you to provide a nonjudgmental environment where we can safely discuss and explore your concerns, whatever they may be. I will help you better understand the connections between past experiences and your current difficulties, which I believe can ultimately lead to you having a more fulfilling life."
Consider Jim Mirabella, an executive earmarked for leadership at an electronic games manufacturer. Ever since the CEO had promoted him to head of marketing, Mirabella had become impossible to work with. Colleagues complained that he hoarded information about company strategy, market indicators, sales forecasts, and the like. The theory circulating through the grapevine was that Mirabella’s aim was to weaken junior executives’ ability to make informed contributions during inter-divisional strategic-planning sessions. He was assigned an executive coach.
Sport psychologists often work with several different types of athletes, from amateurs to professionals. Athletes might seek out these professionals on their own, or coaches might seek the help of these types of psychologists when they notice that the athletes under their tutelage seem to be off. According to one study, the majority of Olympic athletes have used several different types of psychological treatments to reduce anxiety before performances.
The most common educational path starts with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. From there, students move on to a master’s degree, then finish with either a PsyD or a PhD at the doctoral level. Some schools offer joint degree programs, allowing students to get a master’s and doctorate degree at the same time. After graduating, students are eligible to test for licensure and may pursue real-world experiences.
Applied sport and exercise psychology consists of instructing athletes, coaches, teams, exercisers, parents, fitness professionals, groups, and other performers on the psychological aspects of their sport or activity. The goal of applied practice is to optimize performance and enjoyment through the use of psychological skills and the use of psychometrics and psychological assessment.
Hypnotherapy expert, Dr Peter Marshall, former Principal of the London School of Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Ltd. and author of A Handbook of Hypnotherapy, devised the Trance Theory of Mental Illness, which provides that people suffering from depression, or certain other kinds of neurosis, are already living in a trance and so the hypnotherapist does not need to induce them, but rather to make them understand this and help lead them out of it.