Identify Your Personal Vulnerabilities: All of us tend to develop a “cover story” along the course of our lives - what I called the narrower, “false” self in a previous post - beneath which is our “secret plot” - the real story, including our emotional blind spots, fears and pockets of dysfunctional behavior that can become hidden drivers of our lives. How can you rectify and grow through them?
Psychological assessment and treatment are no silver bullet—and can in fact be gratuitous. For instance, a coach who trains executives to enhance their strategic-planning abilities need not be a psychiatrist. But don’t assume that all executives who have planning problems lack the necessary skills. Can a psychological disorder interfere with developing a business plan? Absolutely, if the client suffers from clinical depression, which is known to block one’s ability to engage in constructive, goal-oriented behavior. Without safeguards to prevent coaches from training those whose problems stem not from a lack of skills but from psychological problems, the executives being coached and the companies they work for will suffer.
I soon realized that Mirabella wasn’t trying to sabotage his colleagues in order to get ahead. In fact, he felt he was moving ahead too fast. Mirabella was convinced that he had only been promoted because, like the company’s CEO, he was an Italian-American. Mirabella believed that he hadn’t earned his success but had it imposed on him because of the CEO’s wish for an appropriate heir to the throne. As a result, Mirabella felt enormously anxious and angry. “Why should I be forced to overachieve just so I can fulfill my boss’s dream to keep the company in the hands of Italians?” he demanded.
“Unlike therapy, which goes into depth about various issues usually dealing with the past and consulting which generally results in giving the client answers, coaching is more action-oriented and focuses primarily on the present and future.” Coaching focuses on what the client wants and utilizes a process through the one-on-one coaching sessions to enable the client to self-discover, learn and determine their own “answers”. It is the client who determines the goals and commits to their goal, while allowing the coach to help hold them accountable.
"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. "
There are many conventional ways to quit smoking, cold turkey, nicotine replacement therapy and various medications. However for people looking a method that is a little outside the box there are also a few alternative therapies that have shown some potential to help people quit. Without doubt of the most popular and well known of these alternative therapies is quitting smoking with hypnotherapy.
Had Mirabella’s coach been less sports driven—or better versed in interpersonal psychology—he could have anticipated that all the learned bravado in the world could never prepare Mirabella for the role he was assigned to fill. Mirabella needed someone who would listen to his fears and analyze their origins. In the end, Mirabella could function effectively only if his advancement was predicated on his own desires and leadership style—not on someone else’s. Once he was able to deal with his inner conflicts related to those issues, Mirabella’s career proceeded without incident.
Take Jennifer Mansfield, vice president of training and development at a large software manufacturer. An acknowledged workaholic, Mansfield had followed a traditional path within her corporation, rising through the ranks by fulfilling every assignment with stellar results. When she was promoted to a managerial position, however, Mansfield’s self-confidence began to slip. As a boss, she found it hard to delegate. Accustomed to delivering 110%, she was loath to cede control to her direct reports. She also found it impossible to give negative feedback. As a consequence, her work and that of her subordinates started to suffer, and she was missing deadlines.
A study of 286 smokers compared the effectiveness of hypnosis versus behavioral counseling when both interventions were combined with nicotine patches. At 6 months, 26% of the participants in the hypnosis group were abstinent compared with 18% of the behavioral group. At 12 months, the abstinence rate was 20% for the hypnosis group compared to 14% for the behavioral group. It was concluded that, for long-term quit rates, hypnosis compares favorably to standard behavioral counseling when used with nicotine patches.
The challenges can come from a few different aspects. There is the level of difficulty that clients have in overcoming obstacles that they may be facing. Then there are outside dynamics that can make a difference, such as pressure that athletes may feel from their family, relationships, coaches, or even the media. One of the biggest challenges is when an athlete may lack some of the motivation necessary to bring change or develop a necessary skill—perhaps it was their coach’s or family’s idea that they see a sports psychologist and they are still uncertain about whether or not they want to put in the time to address the mental side of their game. Sports psychology is not a magic formula for success. It is an approach to performance enhancement that requires motivation and participation by the athletes themselves. So when that cooperation and motivation are lacking, it is perhaps the biggest challenge.
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.
Motivation, concentration and focus, as well as overall mental health, are considered vital components in a winning athletes training. As the mental component in sport is such an important factor, psychology is assuming an increasingly important role in the field. It’s believed that the difference between a sports person with strong psychological training and a sports person without this could mean the difference between first and second place.
Applied sport psychology is the study and application of psychological principles of human performance in helping athletes consistently perform in the upper range of their capabilities and more thoroughly enjoy the sport performance process. Applied sport psychologists are uniquely trained and specialized to engage in a broad range of activities including the identification, development and execution of the mental and emotional knowledge, skills and abilities required for excellence in athletic domains; the understanding, diagnosing and preventing of the psychological, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and psychophysiological inhibitors of consistent, excellent performance; and the improvement of athletic contexts to facilitate more efficient development, consistent execution and positive experiences in athletes.
Today, a sports psychologists can do several things to help athletes with sports and performance. A sports psychologist role is more accepted today as a part of the regular coaching staff for teams and for individual athletes–than 10 years ago. A sports psychologists can do are numerous, but they primarily teach athletes mental game skills to improve their performance and learning.
Even when coaches adopt a more empirically validated approach than McNulty did, they still tend to fall into the trap of treating the symptoms rather than the disorder. That’s because they typically derive their treatments from behavioral psychology. Of course, behaviorism has been a great boon to psychiatry in recent years. Findings from this discipline have helped people enormously in controlling specific behaviors and learning to cope in particular situations. But treatments derived from behavioral psychology are sometimes too limited to address the problems that disrupt executives’ ability to function.
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.
Life skills refer to the mental, emotional, behavioral, and social skills and resources developed through sport participation. Research in this area focuses on how life skills are developed and transferred from sports to other areas in life (e.g., from tennis to school) and on program development and implementation. Burnout in sport is typically characterized as having three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of accomplishment. Athletes who experience burnout may have different contributing factors, but the more frequent reasons include perfectionism, boredom, injuries, excessive pressure, and overtraining. Burnout is studied in many different athletic populations (e.g., coaches), but it is a major problem in youth sports and contributes to withdrawal from sport. Parenting in youth sport is necessary and critical for young athletes. Research on parenting explores behaviors that contribute to or hinder children’s participation. For example, research suggests children want their parents to provide support and become involved, but not give technical advice unless they are well-versed in the sport. Excessive demands from parents may also contribute to burnout.
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.
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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)
I am based in Boston and serve clients from the local area, throughout the United States, and around the world. Many clients come to see me in person, and I am able to travel to see them as needed. I am also available to work with executive coaching and philosophical counseling clients by telephone and video conferencing. Contact me at (617) 932-1548 or [email protected]
While it might sound counterintuitive to eat something before you head out to a restaurant or party, showing up famished to the event will likely make it all the harder to stick to your weight loss goals. Eating something small (about 100 calories) with fiber (two to four grams) is a great way to readjust your appetite so you can show up and mingle a bit before diving into the cheese dip. Choose a whole food to take the edge off, like an apple or handful of nuts. For example, 30 pistachios are just 100 calories and offer two grams of fiber, along with protein and healthy fats, to truly take the edge off your appetite while providing a satisfying pre-party crunch. Enjoy your mini snack with a tall glass of water before the festivities to reduce your chances of post-party weight gain.
The program he followed consists of an introductory video, several audio sessions, and an e-book. “There was all this imagery and counting down and clouds,” he says. “I would fall asleep listening.” It might all sound a little new agey, but Jonathan hasn’t had a cigarette in a year — besides a few weeks of cheating at the six-month mark. There wasn’t even a major time commitment — he would fall asleep a few minutes into the sessions every night, and he found himself smoke-free within days of starting the program.
Therefore, a hypnotherapist can provide you with more positive suggestions that “stick.” In other words, you’re setting up roadblocks for the automatic, top-down processes that are keeping the addiction in place. So when you experience a smoking trigger, the mind doesn’t automatically react – it slows down and “listens” to this new information you’ve provided.
Make it descriptive rather than evaluative. This means that the feedback should focus on the facts, as opposed to saying what is good or bad. This also helps the recipient be less defensive. Instead of saying, “Your follow-through is poor,” it is more effective to say, “The team was in a real crunch today, trying to get the presentation slides to the client to be reviewed. I was counting on having the highlights of your report included in the presentation. This caused us to be late in getting the slides to the client. Next time we have a deadline like this, I’d like to see you deliver your portion on time.”
“Hypnosis is a different state of mind associated with four major characteristics,” he said. First is a “highly focused attention on something.” It could be an issue you're having, or a problem you want to address. Second is disassociating oneself from the immediate physical environment. “You focus on the beach in Florida in the middle of a Boston winter,” he said, anticipating my particular winter-addled frame of mind perfectly. “Instead of traveling there, you go there with your mind, and you're fully focused on the beach.”
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."
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.”
“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.”
The American Society for Training and Development does an annual survey of training programs in general, and provides some valuable metrics. They also have good publications on leading leadership development strategies and programs. I suggest that you talk to peers in your industry to benchmark since practices vary widely from industry to industry, and depending on organizaion size. Finally, your executive team might want to come up with your own benchmarks for success since every organization and culture requires something different (i.e., decision making may be a big issue for leaders in one organization, but no problem at all for leaders in another organization). A question for the executive team to ask is “How will we know that our leaders are being effective?” Then, determine a metric that will best measure that success factor.
Bush has difficulty adhering to his physical therapy regimen after a sports injury; Dr. Banks is able to help him with motivation and consistency in maintaining these appointments and exercises. Bush is also experiencing pain from his injury, and Dr. Banks is able to teach him mental exercises like meditation that will help relieve some of the pain.
At an even more basic level, many executives simply benefit from receiving any feedback at all. "As individuals advance to the executive level, development feedback becomes increasingly important, more infrequent, and more unreliable," notes Anna Maravelas, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based executive coach and founder of TheraRising. As a result, she says, "Many executives plateau in critical interpersonal and leadership skills."
Low-calorie diets: It is harmful to reduce your daily calorie intake lower than 1400 calories per day, because your body adjusts to a semi-starvation state and looks for alternative sources of energy. In addition to burning fat, your body will eventually burn muscle tissue. Because your heart is a muscle, prolonged starvation will weaken it and interfere with its normal rhythms. Low-calorie diets don't meet the body's nutrition needs, and without nutrients your body cannot function normally.
The first journal “The Journal of Sports Psychology” came out in 1979; and in 1985, several applied sport psychology practitioners, headed by John Silva, believed an organization was needed to focus on professional issues in sport psychology, and therefore formed the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP). This was done in response to NASPSPA voting not to address applied issues and to keep their focus on research. In 2007, AAASP dropped "Advancement" from its name to become the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), as it is currently known.
I encourage you to take some time to become familiar with our services and the resources that are available to you in our website. You can learn more about (a) the sport psychology services that we can provide to athletes, coaches, teams, and other performers, (b) the sport psychology educational opportunities that are available through UNT, (c) our ongoing sport psychology research projects at the university and in the community, and (d) the sport psychology resources that we have developed for athletes, coaches, teams, and parents, and made available to you in this site. If you have any questions about our work, please feel free to contact us via email ([email protected]) or phone 940-369-SPORT (7767).
People come to coaching for several reasons: They could be “stuck” and can’t think of what else to do in order to move the organization forward; there may not be anyone at their level that they can have confidential conversations with, or they believe if they were to change/improve something within themselves, the greater organization would benefit. Maybe they are ready to do something different but are not sure what that “something” is. Perhaps they are looking for change, a different perspective, or have important goals to reach. Executive or “business” coaching focuses on helping individuals go from where they are, to where they want themselves and their company to be.
10. Positive Images: When your are exercising, use your positive mental images throughout your workout to create feelings of speed and power. (e.g., If you’re walking or running and you come to an unexpected hill visualize a magnet pulling you effortlessly to the top). Use visualization before, during and after your training to build confidence and new motivation.
Careers in sports psychology cover a range of areas. Sports psychologists may practice in a hospital, clinic, gym, physical rehabilitation center, high school or university. Some may work in private practice or provide contracted consulting services to clients in other settings. Professionals in this area are often employed as part of a team of specialists, assembled from a variety of disciplines to maximize health and wellness among athletes, coaches, teams, parents of athletes, fitness professionals and more. Whatever the nature of their practice, sports psychologists should possess the following skills and competencies: