Often, when an executive coach is engaged, business transformation is top of mind. Executive coaching efforts often focus on change management, yielding important results. It is common for organizations to seek out executive coaches who are adept at developing new business practices, implementing new technologies, or adopting new strategies. The tangible organizational benefits of executive coaching are manifold. Research by Performance Sales Executive Council found that effective coaching directly increased sales performance. On average, executive coaching of core sales representatives resulted in an 8 percent performance increase. A study published in the Manchester Review that primarily investigated executives from Fortune 1000 companies reported that executive coaching leads to improved customer service (39 percent frequency), cost reduction (23 percent) and increased bottom-line profitability (22 percent).
Needless to say, effective leadership must also include necessary skills, vision and perspectives. For example, sustainable practices for long-term success, as business executive and sustainability thought-leader John Friedman regularly writes about, here. Another is the movement towards joining business success with addressing social needs, as Richard Branson has described, where “taking care of people and the planet are at the very core of all businesses everywhere in the world.” Adding that our current world of transparency and social media demands that “business reinvents itself and becomes a force for good in the world,” he’s leading a new effort in that direction, called The B Team.
“With hypnosis, you might help someone stop smoking by suggesting the taste or smell of cigarettes is worse than it actually is. But a hypnotherapist can also use age regression to examine the impulse that fuels the client’s habit and discover old conclusions and behaviors. The healing will take place when the client creates new conclusions about old memories and chooses new behaviors rather than smoking.”
I work with athletes and performers at every level, from novice and recreational to elite and professional, so the situations that I address are constantly evolving, bringing different challenges each day. I may give training to an entire team, meet with an individual client at my office, or observe a client at practice or at a competition. I may speak with their coaches or families; it just depends on what we are trying to accomplish. We work on developing the mental side of their game and performance. This involves building skills in areas such as focus, concentration, motivation, goal-setting, managing intensity, overcoming performance obstacles, stress management, and learning how to perform optimally even under pressure. We also address issues such as performance anxiety, burnout, lack of confidence, recovering from an injury, and handling performance pressures that come when new levels of achievement are attained.
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.
Being able to see, understand and deal effectively with others’ perspectives is key to successful leadership (as well as personal life). That capacity, part of self-awareness, is empathy. Two recent studies show its crucial role. One looked at the impact of power in an organization upon behavior; the other, its impact upon brain activity. Both studies found that increased power reduces empathy.
Coleman Griffith worked as an American professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois where he first performed comprehensive research and applied sport psychology. He performed causal studies on vision and attention of basketball and soccer players, and was interested in their reaction times, muscular tension and relaxation, and mental awareness. Griffith began his work in 1925 studying the psychology of sport at the University of Illinois funded by the Research in Athletics Laboratory. Until the laboratory's closing in 1932, he conducted research and practiced sport psychology in the field. The laboratory was used for the study of sports psychology; where different factors that influence athletic performance and the physiological and psychological requirements of sport competitions were investigated. He then transmitted his findings to coaches, and helped advance the knowledge of psychology and physiology on sports performance. Griffith also published two major works during this time: The Psychology of Coaching (1926) and The Psychology of Athletics (1928). Coleman Griffith was also the first person to describe the job of sports psychologists and talk about the main tasks that they should be capable of carrying out. He mentioned this in his work “Psychology and its relation to athletic competition”, which was published in 1925. One of the tasks was to teach the younger and unskilled coaches the psychological principles that were used by the more successful and experienced coaches. The other task was to adapt psychological knowledge to sport, and the last task was to use the scientific method and the laboratory for the purpose of discovering new facts and principles that can aid other professionals in the domain.
The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical activity, generally in the form of exercise. The World Health Organization recommended that people combine a reduction of processed foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt and caloric content of the diet with an increase in physical activity.
People may undergo hypnosis in order to address all manner of problems—from addictions, like mine, to emotional trauma. There’s some evidence that it could be an effective tool in dentistry, treating eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, and helping with pain during childbirth. But despite its prevalence, there's still ample confusion about what it actually is, sometimes even among those who've already committed to it. I certainly had no idea what I was in for as I relaxed into my superlatively uncomfortable chair, ready for, well, something. Or maybe nothing.
The British Psychological Society commissioned a working group to survey the evidence and write a formal report on hypnotherapy in 2001. They found, “Enough studies have now accumulated to suggest that the inclusion of hypnotic procedures may be beneficial in the management and treatment of a wide range of conditions and problems encountered in the practice of medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy.”
So did it work? As it is for hypnosis in general, the jury is still out. I left the session feeling noticeably different. I sat in my car outside for a half hour and did not smoke. I went to dinner nearby and sat, and had a drink, and did not smoke. Eventually I caved in to the craving, but I didn't like it. I'm still smoking, I just don't enjoy them anywhere near as much as I used to anymore.
Much research shows that such capacities are essential personal strengths; certainly important to effective senior leadership. Moreover, studies find that you can grow them with conscious effort. The emotionally detached, un-empathic person, unaware of his or her personal motives or truths is not going to be very effective as a CEO or senior leader. We see examples of the consequences from time-to-time, when a CEO resigns or is fired.
Bear in mind that you will probably need at least two or three sessions to get the maximum benefit from the therapy and as we previously mentioned many hypnotherapists will not perform a single session on its own. However there is a silver lining to this– as many practices will offer bulk buy discounts to entice you to sign up for the amount of sessions they recommend.
We don’t aim to use scare tactics because research from the field of neuropsychology has shown that scaring smokers doesn't help them stop (1) In fact what most smokers do when they’ve been scared is…reach for the cigarettes. Scary anti-smoking pictures of, for example, diseased lungs have been show not to deter smoking but stimulate a part of the brain known as the “craving spot.” (1) (2)
The Capacities-Gap Exercise: List what you believe are your most positive personal strengths, qualities and personality capacities. Describe how each one has become stunted, blocked or deformed in their expression, in daily life. It happens to everyone. For each gap, describe what steps you could commit to taking, to enlarge those capacities and reduce the gaps in your role as a leader as well as in your overall life.
Check for understanding and emotion. Make sure the recipient hears and correctly interprets the intended message. Look at the facial expressions: Does he/she look surprised, shocked, confused, angry, or ambivalent? Invite the recipient to ask clarifying questions or have them paraphrase the message to check for understanding. Also invite them to discuss how they are feeling. You might say, “You look rather surprised. How are you feeling right now? Are you clear on what’s expected? Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?”
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?
Eric Hehman is CEO and principal of Austin Asset, a financial services firm in Austin, Texas. When Hehman was tapped to succeed the founder as CEO, he turned to Larry Fehd of Human Performance Strategies for guidance. Fehd offered a blend of consulting and coaching. As a consultant, he offered a road map for Hehman’s successful transition as CEO and firm leader. As a coach, he held Hehman accountable while offering support and candid feedback. “My coach was always asking me, ‘So what are you going to do?’” Hehman said. “He wouldn’t let me duck when things got difficult.”
In 2007, a meta-analysis from the Cochrane Collaboration found that the therapeutic effect of hypnotherapy was "superior to that of a waiting list control or usual medical management, for abdominal pain and composite primary IBS symptoms, in the short term in patients who fail standard medical therapy", with no harmful side-effects. However the authors noted that the quality of data available was inadequate to draw any firm conclusions.