‘Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching: Behavioral change, organizational outcomes, and return on investment’ – As executive coaching practitioners, Joy McGovern and colleagues have direct experience demonstrating that this leadership development practice does have a lasting impact on the individuals who participate in it, on the larger organization they are a part of and on the organization’s financial bottom line.
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Roughly six months after Bernstein and Davis finished working together, Bernstein’s immediate boss left the business, and he was tapped to fill the position. True to his history, Bernstein was soon embroiled in controversy. This time, rather than alienating subordinates, Bernstein was suspected of embezzlement. When confronted, he asked to work with his coach again. Fortunately for Bernstein, the CEO suspected that something deeper was wrong, and instead of calling Davis, he turned to me for help.
Performance coaching is focused on helping managers who are encountering performance issues related to ineffective leadership styles and behaviors. Students are introduced to the most common performance coaching situations, and the unique challenges that are faced by performance coaches. They learn how to address client resistance, and how to meet and identify such resistance. They also learn the intricacies of client contracting, with particular attention to establishing clear and detailed expectations for performance improvement.
“Does anyone here feel like cigarettes are their best friend?” Hall asked, telling us to clap our hands, then to clap them again, this time leading with the opposite hand of what we were used to. It felt weird. The sound in the room changed noticeably as well. The point, Hall said, was that smoking is a habit we all perform as involuntarily, through muscle memory, as the way we choose to clap our hands.
There is also a range of options available, from one-on-one meetings to phone sessions to CDs and tapes. McGrail and Grossman agree that while potentially useful, recordings are not usually as effective as personal sessions. And there’s no shortage of opinions on the best ways to quit smoking; the gamut runs from hypnotherapy to Zyban and Nicotine Anonymous.
These are highly important findings, because empathy, compassion and overall self-awareness are qualities of a developed, mature mind. One that’s resilient to stress, able to manage internal conflicts, experiences interconnection with others, and maintains well-being. And, that therefore stimulates broad perspectives for understanding the problems and unpredictable challenges facing CEOs.
Researchers who have studied hypnosis say more, well-conducted studies are needed to determine if hypnosis really helps smokers kick the habit for good, but add that hypnosis remains a hopeful approach and has many other benefits. However, the best way to quit may be to combine several techniques. Patients often require several different strategies along the way.
Based on this definition, sports psychologists can participate in various activities, mostly focused on working to understand what motivates athletes and how athletes can improve their performance. These activities can range from counseling athletes who might have anxiety issues that hamper their performance to instructing athletes (individually or in groups) on methods of mental conditioning (e.g., visualization, concentration and relaxation) to helping athletes deal with injuries. To put all of this in another way, a sport psychologist is working from the perspective that success in sports relies on both the body and mind. To add one other important point, sports psychologists are often found working with elite athletes—Olympians and professionals. However, sports psychologists can be found working with athletes at all levels as well as with coaches and sports administrators.
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.
I might be biased, but I do believe that the best sport psychology candidates are those who have partaken in an elite sport or performance domain (like competitive dance or professional music). I am a firm believer in the sport psychology consultant using their as-lived, phenomenological experience from their own sporting experience to really relate to and provide hands-on tools to the athlete. Kind of like a ‘been-there-done-that’ phenomenon: the consultant has already been there themselves, so they have a better understanding of what tool will make the difference with the athlete/high performer. This is not to say that you have to have been an elite athlete/performer to be an expert sport psychologist, I just happen to think those that have competed in an elite sport or its equivalent have a leg up.
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that spans hundreds of years and has many practitioners across the United States. Researchers have studied whether hypnosis can treat a variety of medical conditions, from irritable bowel syndrome to anxiety and depression. The goal for hypnotherapy is to help a patient learn to better control their state of awareness. In the case of depression, hypnotherapy sessions may be focused on helping a person achieve a state of relaxation. In this relaxed state, they can discuss their feelings and emotions without raising stress and anxiety levels.
In 2002, the Department for Education and Skills developed National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy linked to National Vocational Qualifications based on the then National Qualifications Framework under the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. NCFE, a national awarding body, issues level four national vocational qualification diploma in hypnotherapy. Currently AIM Awards offers a Level 3 Certificate in Hypnotherapy and Counselling Skills at level 3 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework.