Your Ticket to the top?
Executive Coaching vs. Counseling:
coaching is fundamentally a very different experience from counseling or
psychotherapy. Executive coaching is geared toward attracting relatively high
functioning adults who frequently rate themselves as being “content”, but feel
that they are somehow blocked from maximizing their potential in life or in
their business life. Usually when individuals seek psychotherapy, they usually
come at a time in their lives when they are facing a relatively high degree of
emotional distress. Clients may range in functioning from seriously impaired to
relatively well functioning, but regardless of the level of functioning, they
are usually dealing with a dysfunctional aspect of their lives, and are usually
feeling wounded or hurt. In contrast, individuals seeking executive coaching
have been described by some as the “worried well”, or individuals who are trying
to optimize their personal or working experience, rather than trying to
eliminate serious dysfunction or emotional distress. Individuals who seek
executive coaching may be much more demanding than therapy clients, and bring in
much higher expectations for positive outcome into their sessions.
How does executive
Executive coaching is also
noted to be very different from traditional psychotherapy in both treatment and
setting. Psychotherapy is usually conducted in an office, clinic or
hospital-based setting, whereas, executive coaching may be provided in almost an
unlimited variety of personal or business-related settings. Executive coaching
may be provided in a CEOs office, the coach may participate in business meetings
with an executive team, or may provide assessments to an entire organization.
The flexibility associated with executive coaching is almost limitless.
Most modern therapists rely
upon almost a century of theoretical development and methodology as their basis
for providing services. Coaches have many more limitations on techniques,
therapeutic tools and models to utilize in their coaching experience due to its
relative infancy. Some coaches utilize a relatively specific coaching model,
whereas others may be very unstructured, relying relying upon their own
knowledge of business and individual development to enhance the productivity or
potential of their coaching client. Both executive coaches and therapists
however, rely upon some the standard cognitive-behavioral methods of asking
questions, proposing homework assignments, listening carefully, establishing
rapport, reframing and giving advice and suggestions.
How would you
determine success in executive coaching experiences?
Obviously, success will be
determined by reaching predetermined goals and objectives in both psychotherapy
and executive coaching. While psychotherapy may be addressing very specific
aspects of an individual’s functioning, and achieving specific goals related to
those problem areas, executive coaching goals are much more encompassing. goals
that are established for the coaching clients encompass more of a “growth
orientation”, then a “dealing with dysfunction” orientation. They are geared
toward helping clients to be more productive, happier, successful or to have
more of some other tangible or intangible benefit. Some experts in the field of
executive coaching have said that individuals whom would hire a coach, usually
want help to “get more”, “grow” or because they “want it easier”.
By Paul Susic MA
Licensed Psychologist Ph.D Candidate President/CEO Susic Psychological
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