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Self-awareness is crucial to leadership and it can be heightened through coaching. To explain why and how, consider the obvious but insufficient explanation for the paradox that CEOs want coaching but don’t pursue it. Stephen Miles, CEO of the Miles Group, that partnered with Stanford on the study, pointed out that to CEOs, “coaching is somehow “remedial” as opposed to something that enhances high performance, similar to how an elite athlete uses a coach.” Moreover, CEO’s say they’re most interested in such skills as conflict management and communication. Yet they put the need for compassion, relationship and persuasion skills far down on their list. They think of the latter as “soft skills,” ancillary at best.
More specifically, the experts say, coaching can be particularly effective in times of change for an executive. That includes promotions, stretch assignments, and other new challenges. While you may be confident in your abilities to take on new tasks, you may feel that an independent sounding board would be beneficial in helping you achieve a new level of performance, especially if close confidants are now reporting to you. More so, you may recognize that succeeding in a new role requires skills that you have not needed to rely on in the past; a coach may help sharpen those skills, particularly when you need to do so on the fly.
For many people, playing sports is a fun way to stay fit, and compete with friends and peers. A select few might also make a pretty decent living by playing professional sports. But what makes some strive to play sports, to compete? What makes some push themselves to their limits for nothing more than the satisfaction of winning? How does playing sports affect people mentally and emotionally?
One thing I struggle with today is cravings. I love chocolate and sweets, and oddly enough, I get through those cravings by baking. I’ll bake cookies or other desserts and bring them to school or to my friends and family so that they can enjoy. This way, I can get a little taste and yet don’t have to face constant temptation. It also helps that they enjoy my baking so much and are always grateful when I bring something over.
Trance is commonplace. People fall into traces many times without even being aware that it happened. Examples of this are: reaching the destination of a morning commute, but not recalling the passing of familiar landmarks; daydreaming while sitting in a college classroom; or that anxiety-free state achieved just before going to sleep. The difference between these altered states and clinically used hypnotherapy is that a professionally trained person is involved in helping the patient achieve the trance, which can be done in many ways.
In a study by Diane E. Lewis, respondents identified a variety of reasons for hiring executive coaches.  The reasons cited below encompass both problem solving and developmental emphases. They could also be described as change-oriented, with an emphasis on supplementing and refocusing the participant’s skills, or growth-oriented, with an emphasis on accelerating the learning curve for high-potential or recently promoted executives. The percentage of respondents citing that particular reason is in parenthesis:
Although there are different techniques, clinical hypnotherapy is generally performed in a calm, therapeutic environment. The therapist will guide you into a relaxed, focused state and ask you to think about experiences and situations in positive ways that can help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some dramatic portrayals of hypnosis in movies, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious, asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. You will hear the therapist’s suggestions, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on them.