But conflating hypnosis with sleep (the word is derived from the Greek for sleep), is inaccurate, according to the hypnotist and author Charles Tebbetts, as relayed by his student C. Roy Hunter in his book The Art of Hypnosis: Mastering Basic Techniques. Hypnotism “is actually a natural state of mind and induced normally in everyday living much more often than it is induced artificially. Every time we become engrossed in a novel or a motion picture, we are in a natural hypnotic trance,” Tebetts wrote. Hunter writes that it's more accurate to say that all hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis. The hypnotherapist, much like a physical trainer then, is merely helping the subject convince themselves to do something they were already capable of doing, nudging them in the right direction.
In today’s demanding business environment (cost pressures leading to flatter organizations, executive managers with more direct reports, “speed to market” as a competitive advantage with time pressure, etc.) executives have limited opportunity to devote time and energy to their own development as leaders. “Most executives struggle to fulfill the responsibilities of their positions and are too busy and too stressed to step back and learn from their experiences or to implement changes to satisfy best management practices.”
But coaching is not just for tackling new assignments. It can also play an invigorating role. Coaches can help executives "develop new ways to attack old problems," says Vicky Gordon, CEO of the Gordon Group coaching practice in Chicago. "When efforts to change yourself, your team, or your company have failed—you are frustrated or burned out—a coach can be the outside expert to help you get to the root cause and make fundamental changes."
Depending on practical application of skills and various licensing organizations, sports psychology may be considered a specialty under either applied or clinical psychology. Applied sports psychologists typically advise teams, coaches, trainers and managers in methods of stress-management, relaxation and visualization designed to optimize performance in the game. Clinical application of these skills tends to involve counseling athletes in personal crisis; addressing performance issues, anxiety or mental or physical injury rehabilitation; and more.
Passive-aggressive behavior is destructive and should be addressed as soon as possible (particularly when it is affecting the whole team). Don’t wait for performance evaluations—act now! Constructive feedback is a powerful tool in shaping behavior and improving performance. However, many people fail to deliver it effectively, if at all. Constructive feedback can be viewed as overly critical, or is often vague and unclear, leaving the recipient unsure of what to actually do with the feedback. In addition, in an attempt to avoid confrontation or an uncomfortable situation, people may sugarcoat the feedback by downplaying the impact or minimizing the importance of it. In the end, this serves no one.
The higher up you go in companies, the more you’re dealing with psychological and relational issues. Successful CEO leadership requires astuteness about others: their emotional and strategic personal drivers; their self-interest, overt and covert. These relationship competencies rest on a foundation of self-knowledge, self-awareness. And you can’t know the truth about another without knowing it about yourself.
Once the bachelor’s degree is finished, a master’s degree is the next step. This may be specifically in sports psychology, or could be in psychology with a concentration in sports psychology. The final degree is either a PsyD or PhD in sports psychology. Some schools offer joint degrees that combine the master’s and doctoral degrees; a small number offer the doctorate degree to students with only a bachelor’s degree, but this is rare.
While there are many variations, executive coaching usually involves a series of phases, starting with intake, assessment, goal setting, and development planning, and then progressing through the development plan, with periodic check-ins with the executive’s manager. The process is over when the development goal(s) is achieved, or when the coach and/or coachee decides that it should stop. The typical duration of a coaching engagement is seven to 12 months.
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.
Most organizations believe that once someone reaches executive or senior status in the organization, they should inherently be able to act under pressure, inspire and implement ideas, keep their skills sharp and current, and have all the answers. In actuality, they can eventually get there on their own but the engagement of a qualified executive coach will exponentially increase not only the time it takes for the executive to get there but also the ability for the executive and the company to sustain the change.
“We offer internal coaching for employees going through the Emerging Leader Program,” said Jill Clark, group vice president of talent management at JDA Software Inc. “[It’s] a combination of internal and external coaching for VP-level executives going through the Fearless Leader Program; and external coaches for executive-level folks who want to be more effective.”
"FMI's Executive Coaching provides opportunities for key leaders to identify specific areas of focus and work one on one with a coach to become stronger leaders. The personal time investment can be significant, but the potential benefits to the individual and firm makes FMI's coaching an incredibly valuable tool. FMI took great care in understanding the firm's needs as well as my personal development goals in matching me to a coach that worked with me to maximize the benefits of this coaching. "
To achieve fast results, many popular executive coaches model their interventions after those used by sports coaches, employing techniques that reject out of hand any introspective process that can take time and cause “paralysis by analysis.” The idea that an executive coach can help employees improve performance quickly is a great selling point to CEOs, who put the bottom line first. Yet that approach tends to gloss over any unconscious conflict the employee might have. This can have disastrous consequences for the company in the long term and can exacerbate the psychological damage to the person targeted for help.
Sports have always been a big part of my life and culture, so it is a great fit for me personally to be involved in a profession that allows me to make an impact in areas for which I have a true passion. I also enjoy the fact that I am able to address both performance enhancement and mental skills training while still being able to offer assistance to athletes and performers who are stuck, or are experiencing issues that hinder their performance or life satisfaction. Additionally, compared to other branches of psychology, sports psychology utilizes many techniques and interventions that require very active participation from both the psychologist and the client. That is another factor that is very fitting with my approach.
Thanks for this article, Nadine. Well said. In my experiences working with executives in my communication capacity, I can usually tell which have been exposed to coaching. They are consistent in their approaches and often have methods for stress reduction that they regularly employ. Their teams often reflect their approach so good executive coaching leads to better team response and production. I am looking forward to reading your book.
Additionally, hypnosis is often utilized in a manner that allows deep self-exploration and discovery of unconscious intentions, motivations, or events and experiences that result in symptoms undesirable to a person. Hypnosis circumvents conscious thought processes, allowing a person to gain better insight into a particular problem. Individuals achieve different results with hypnosis, as they do with other forms of therapy. However, it appears that some people are more receptive to this form of treatment than others and achieve increased benefits.
In the 2000s, hypnotherapists began to combine aspects of solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) with Ericksonian hypnotherapy to produce therapy that was goal focused (what the client wanted to achieve) rather than the more traditional problem focused approach (spending time discussing the issues that brought the client to seek help). A solution-focused hypnotherapy session may include techniques from NLP.