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Executive Coaching: Your Ticket to the top?

 

Executive Coaching vs. Counseling: 

executive coachingExecutive 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 coaching work?

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 Consulting P.C.   

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