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Coaching services: A look at coaches, clients, and practices.

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Abstract

Coaching is growing rapidly as a way to help individuals improve their professional and/or personal success. Although similar services have been offered for some time, coaching is becoming more widely available and is being offered by a more diverse set of professionals. This research was undertaken to learn more about coaches from varying academic backgrounds, and how they may differ in their approach to their craft. In the study, 2,231 coaches participated by completing a web-based survey examining coaching practices. A general discussion and conclusions are included. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... A mentor is defined as "a more experienced individual, willing to share his/her knowledge with someone less experienced in a relationship of mutual trust" (Clutterbuck, 1992, p. 7). In the past, the primary reason offered for why firm founders would hire mentors was that they were dissatisfied with their performance as a leader (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). However, Audet and Couteret (2012) explain that mentoring is a default business practice in the twenty-first century so does not necessarily indicate poor leadership. ...
... Such personal strategies included more efficient self-reflection (some detailed results included becoming more accountable, being able to concentrate for longer, to envision the future and plan steps to deliver the vision, identifying the most important learning targets, recognizing the most efficient social competences and ways to overcome obstacles, and finding new sources of information) (see also Ratten, 2018). Cull (2006), Brockbank and McGill (1998), Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008), and St-Jean and Audet (2009) agree that the most efficient mentoring method for a mentee is to receive feedback. In this context, the feedback process would involve a mentor actively listening to the firm founder's account of current issues, while observing, and then employing his or her experience to empathize, offer information, raise questions about the situation, and challenge the interpretation of it, and also summarizing the most important points. ...
... Second, background of the mentor was controlled for because Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) found that corresponding aspirations between a mentor and mentee predict greater success. For example, a more entrepreneurially-oriented person (e.g., a customer with experience from the sector or particularly a mentor from the private sector instead of an objectively-oriented university professor, who might have a primarily scientific purpose in his/her work) might foster a stronger restarting performance in the future (Lumpkin & Dess, 1996). ...
Article
Research suggests that mentoring is an appropriate entrepreneurship education method to support performance in growth-oriented start-up firms. Mentoring studies primarily consider the mentoring methods and materials that the mentors employ; however, the prior research has not yet analyzed which effects applied during mentoring benefit firm founders. In this study, we analyzed how a firm founder's grief coping effects (i.e., learning, exclusion, avoidance, and proactiveness) affected the likelihood that the person would restart the business after a failure. We offer two contributions, one to theory and one to managerial practice. The theoretical contribution is to establish that learning is a particular effect that predicts a failed firm founder's attempts to try again: a topic not directly covered earlier in either the entrepreneurship education or mentoring literature. The contribution to practice lies in illustrating the value of having a a mentor helping a firm founder to learn the lessons from a failed opportunity before starting work on a new opportunity.
... We built on this literature on the relationship between researchers and practitioners by analyzing consulting practitioners' attitudes toward research. We specifically focused on the field of workplace coaching, given that coaching has been reported to be one of the fastest-growing fields within consulting (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008) and has become an integral approach to facilitating the development and performance of individuals, groups, and teams in organizations worldwide (Athanasopoulou & Dopson, 2018). Following Bozer and Jones (2018), we define workplace coaching as "a one-to-one custom-tailored, learning and development intervention that uses a collaborative, reflective, goal-focused relationship to achieve professional outcomes that are valued by the coachee" (p. 1). ...
... We also included disciplinary background as a possible predictor of attitudes toward coaching research. The wide range of disciplinary backgrounds that is typical of coaching practitioners implies that they are exposed to different methods and resources during their education (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008), and these influence not only their coaching practices (Bastian, 2015;Bono et al., 2009) but may also lead some to be closer to and others to be further distanced from empirical research. ...
... Coaching is rapidly becoming a widely used practice in organizations on individual and group levels as a part of professional or career development plans or programs (Bono, Purvanova, Towler, & Peterson, 2009;Kuo, Chang, & Chang, 2014;Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008;Williams, 2006). Currently in the field of executive and leader coaching, limited research exists to define effective executive and leader coaching (Latham, 2007;Maltbia, Marsick, & Ghosh, 2014;Wise & Hammack, 2011), although there are numerous organizations and independent coaches offering executive and leader coaching services. ...
... Executive and leader coaches must be willing to develop strong relationships, enhance communication and social skills, and find methods to influence knowledge creation (Wise & Hammack, 2011). In addition, noted attributes of good executive and leader coaches include experience in developing executive and leader coaching programs, leadership seminars, and mentorships (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). ...
Article
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This research proposes a conceptual model and research proposition to investigate the relationships among the external institutional factors, internal resources and capability factors, environmental management system (EMS) implementation, environmental performance, and financial performance to explain the phenomenon of ISO 14000 (proxy of EMS) implementation of manufacturing firms. This conceptual model and research propositions build on institutional theory, resource-based view of the firm, and relevance literature of environmental management system implementation. The conceptual model and research proposition postulates that both the external institutional factors and internal resources and capabilities are positively related to environmental management system implementation. The implementation of EMS is hypothesized to be positively associated with both environmental and financial performance. Moreover, environmental performance is proposed to have a positive relationship with financial performance. This research describes theory and practice of ISO 14000 in order to, gain competitive advantage and firm performance. Moreover, this research suggests venues for future in environmental management system.
... The field of executive coaching is still young and has been populated by practitioners from diverse backgrounds, including business, management consulting, organization development, training, human resources, linguistics, education, sports, and assorted psychological disciplines, including industrial and organizational (I/O), counseling, clinical, and social (Brock, 2008;Grant, 2007;Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008;Minahan, 2006;Walker, 2004). Two highly influential leaders in the field of life coaching, Thomas Leonard and Laura Whitworth, even began their careers as accountants and financial advisors (O'Connor & Lages, 2007). ...
... Given the large number of new coaches entering the field (Grant & Cavanagh, 2004;Hamlin et al., 2008;Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008) and that there are virtually no barriers to entry, there are significant reasons to be concerned about coaches' qualifications and the quality of coaching that is being delivered (Grant & Cavanagh, 2007;Platt, 2008;Sherman & Freas, 2004;Thomas, 2006). In fact, it is not difficult to find people with barely more than a weekend's study who have launched their own coaching business. ...
Article
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Executive coaching has exploded in popularity over the past decade and has many passionate advocates, including coaches, participants who have personally benefited from coaching, and their organizational sponsors who have seen the transformational power of coaching firsthand. Yet there is still considerable debate about such fundamental issues as the definition and effectiveness of coaching, the competencies and qualifications of effective coaches, and how to match coaches and participants. This chapter examines these and other issues important to coaches, researchers, users of coaching services, and those who train coaches. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... However, executive coaching is a multidisciplinary practice. Professionals from many different academic backgrounds such as psychology, human resources, social work, marketing, training and development, and business provide coaching services (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). There is no professional consensus as to what constitutes effective coaching and little in the way of guidelines and protocols to inform coaching evaluation. ...
... In other words, coaching effectiveness may be an interaction between the coaching method employed and the coaching topic addressed. Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) surveyed over 2,000 coaches and found a significant interaction between academic backgrounds and client goals, suggesting that coaches from different disciplines are hired to accomplish different objectives for their clients. For example, they discovered that coaches with business backgrounds were hired more often than other groups to coach individuals on task skills (e.g., sales) than for interpersonal relations (e.g., building trust, improving listening skills, and adapting to change). ...
Article
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The popularity of executive coaching has increased dramatically in both the practitioner world and academia during the past decade. However, evaluating the effectiveness of coaching has lagged behind. Executive coaching is a multidisciplinary practice, and professionals from many different scholarly backgrounds provide coaching services. The paucity of empirical research may be attributed to the lack of a consensus among these divergent professionals regarding whether and how to evaluate the effectiveness of coaching. In this article, we conducted a meta-analysis of the empirical research as well as reviewed the retrospective studies evaluating coaching effectiveness. Subsequently, we discussed six areas that impact the way researchers evaluate coaching effectiveness and the conclusions they may draw from their studies. Although the Return On Investment (ROI) index provides a straightforward, overall measure of effectiveness, its veracity and usefulness is questioned. It is hoped that the clarification of these areas will help guide the future of coaching evaluation research and practice.
... Coach certification programmes may provide the business and marketing skills needed by coaches but, owing to their brevity, cannot provide trainees with a strong foundational knowledge of human motivation and behaviour. Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) found that the curriculum of non-academic coaching programmes lacked consistent content and many coaches did not participate in training programmes. ...
... At present, there are no real barriers to entry (Bluckert 2004) and anyone can claim to be a business coach or a coach training provider. According to Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008), the only real barrier to entering business coaching is the coach's (or coach training provider's) ability to solicit clients. Van der Sandt (2004) posits that the low barrier to entry will impact negatively on the quality of coaching provided. ...
Article
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Orientation: Although it is believed that business coaching provides a positive intervention in building and supporting management capability, there has been little empirical research into the frameworks that could be applied in business coach training in the South African context. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe an emerging conceptual framework for business coach training programmes. Motivation of the study: An empirical void existed in coach training pedagogy with regard to business coach training programmes.
... Le client emet un souhait de reussite, un desir, une ambition. Dans le coaching, il est concerne par le quoi, a savoir 1'objectif (Devillard, 2005 (Liljenstrand et al., 2008). On peut done imaginer que tres peu de mandats aupres de vendeurs sont confies a des coachs professionnels. ...
... Nous n'aborderons pas non plus la question de la definition des professionnels (Bouchez, 2006;Thevenet, 2006), qui ne semble pas plus resolue. Selon 1'International Coaching Federation, il y avait, en 1999, 16 000 professionnels a travers le monde qui pratiquaient le coaching sous une forme ou sous une autre (Liljenstrand et al, 2008). «On n'est pas seulement un professiomiel de par son activite, on se considere aussi comme tel » (Thevenet, 2006, p. 17). ...
Thesis
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SOMMAIRE Cette thèse s’intéresse au coaching effectué par le directeur de vente auprès de ses employés et à son efficacité en contexte de vente. Si certains évoquent que le directeur devrait passer plus de temps à coacher ses vendeurs pour améliorer leur efficacité, l’examen de la littérature nous amène à conclure que le domaine du coaching souffre toujours d’un problème de définition et que l’impact positif du coaching du directeur sur le développement et la performance des employés reste à démontrer. La plupart des auteurs qui s’intéressent au concept l’aborde selon une perspective individuelle de leadership ou de gestion. Bien qu’intéressante, cette perspective ne permet pas de tenir compte de l’échange qui prévaut entre les deux parties. C’est pourquoi nous proposons un cadre théorique adoptant une perspective interpersonnelle, où le coaching est envisagé sous l’angle de la communication. Le coaching est conceptualisé comme une interaction de développement entre le directeur et le vendeur. Le modèle prend appui sur le principe d’interactivité appliqué aux entretiens individuels entre le directeur et le vendeur. Nous proposons une typologie des entretiens individuels qui fait intervenir deux dimensions : la relation adoptée et la démarche de coaching utilisée. L’incidence du coaching est étudiée au travers de la perception qu’en ont les vendeurs. Les résultats d’un sondage effectué dans le domaine des services financiers au Québec supportent notre modèle. Ils révèlent que la performance des vendeurs est influencée à la fois par la démarche de coaching et par la nature de la relation dans les interventions de coaching. De façon spécifique, adopter une démarche structurée et entretenir une relation de partenariat avec un employé permettent d’accroître la performance de ce dernier. Ainsi, en plus d’établir pour la première fois comment les vendeurs perçoivent les pratiques de coaching mises en place par les directeurs, cette recherche nous permet d’évaluer les éléments qui contribuent à augmenter la performance des vendeurs. Plusieurs implications managériales sont suggérées suite aux résultats obtenus. Nos conclusions mettent en évidence la valeur de la pratique pour l’employé qui en bénéficie et, par extension, pour le superviseur qui s’y adonne. Mots clés : Supervision, coaching, ventes et gestion des ventes, performance, marketing relationnel. MANAGERIAL COACHING AND SELLER PERFORMANCE: A RELATIONAL APPROACH ABSTRACT This thesis examines the sales manager’s coaching of employees and its effectiveness in the sales context. While some authors maintain that managers would do well to spend more time coaching their sellers to improve their performance, a review of the literature reveals that coaching is still not well defined and that the positive impact of managerial coaching on employee development and performance has yet to be established. Most authors who have addressed the concept approach it from an individual perspective of leadership or management. Though very interesting, this perspective does not take into account the exchanges between the two parties. For this reason, we recommend a theoretical framework based on an interpersonal perspective in which coaching is considered from the point of view of communication and is conceptualized as a developmental interaction between the manager and the seller. This model is supported by the interactivity principle applied to one-on-one sessions between the manager and the seller. We propose a classification of one-on-one sessions that takes into account the following two aspects: the relationship adopted and the coaching process employed. We consider the effect of coaching through the seller’s perception. The results of a survey conducted in Quebec’s financial services sector support our model. They reveal that seller performance is influenced both by the coaching method and by the type of relationship developed during the coaching sessions. In other words, adopting a structured method and maintaining a partnership relationship with an employee increases the employee’s performance. Therefore, in addition to determining for the first time how sellers perceive the coaching practices implemented by their managers, our research allows us to assess the various elements that play a role in improving seller performance. We suggest a number of managerial implications that are supported by the results of our study. Our conclusions draw attention to the value of the practice for the employee who benefits from it and, by extension, for the manager who applies it. Keywords: Supervision, coaching, selling and sales management in action, performance, relational marketing.
... In addition, the questionnaire provided the researchers with an abundant amount of information needed to compile a profile of CPCCs. It should be noted that the response rate was approximately 30%, which is considered a good response rate for such surveys (Bickman and Rog, 1998) and is higher than comparable surveys (Gale et al., 2002;Liljenstrand and Nebeker, 2008). ...
... However, the reported values in the current study may still be lower than normal, possibly as a result of the economic downturn many countries experienced in the recent years preceding our data collection -especially the United States in which many CPCCs reside. The results of the current study complement the statement made by Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) when they reported that the stereotype of coaching had shifted from a service need for ineffective employees toward a more pro-active focus on strengthening the effectiveness of successful employees. For CPCCs working within an organization, they are routinely working with mid-to upper-level management. ...
Article
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Currently, research supporting the validity of coaching is rising in both executive and life coaching arenas. Research has revealed that co-active life coaching (CALC), a particular style of coaching, is compatible with health-behaviour theory. However, very little information is known about co-active coaches themselves. The purpose of this study was to develop a comprehensive, applied coaching profile using a global sample of English-reading and -writing certified professional co-active coaches (CPCCs). The survey used for this study was a revised version of the Grant and Zackon (2004) coaching survey. A total of 390 CPCCs who were over 18 years of age, could read English, and had access to the internet participated in the current study. Data on credentialing, prior professional backgrounds, and coaching session structure were collected. Virtually all CPCCs came from a prior profession, most had a college or equivalent degree, and coaching over the phone was the most common method of conducting coaching sessions. In addition, data on coach demographics, coaching careers and CPCCs coaching clientele was collected. This paper elaborates on these findings and makes suggestions for future research. Key words: Life coaches, Co-active Coaching, Coach Training, Survey
... Role clarity is particularly important at the beginning of the coach's work with a team. These findings begin to address Liljenstrand and Nebeker's (2008) call for research about the reasons why coaches use different terms such as executive coach, consultant, and personal coach to describe their roles. ...
... The findings and conclusions of the present study pose implications for the curriculum and standards related to coach training programs. This is particularly needed because coach training programs and coach-related academic programs are becoming more common (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). The findings of the present study emphasized that a primary difference between the skills needed to coach in a team setting compared to an individual setting is that the coach needs a strong understanding of group dynamics and group-based dialogue processes, in addition to the individual interpersonal and rapport-building skills needed when coaching individuals (Brown & Grant, 2010). ...
Article
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Hauser’s article summarizes her empirical research and offers a new framework for coaching teams in organizations. The article focuses on the behaviors of a team coach as well as what influences the coach's choices of different roles while the coach works with the team. Hauser identified and categorized various role behaviors used which in turn influenced the choices for intervention when coaching a team. The result is the creation of a new methodological framework for use by researchers and practitioners.
... (Wise and Voss, 2002) Also the coaches themselves use several terms like executive coaching, consultant and personal coach without being clear what the difference is. (Liljenstrand and Nebeker, 2008) In reaction to all these definitions Clutterbuck (2008) says that when each group is trying to defend its own territory and trying to land-grab by defining the terms, confusion about this is becoming more and more. He also concludes that this makes it more difficult to clarify the effectiveness of coaching and mentoring. ...
Conference Paper
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... Coaching is an extensive practice in organizations today with an estimated 25,000 coaches globally (International Coach Federation, 2011). As a fast-growing industry (Williams, 2007) estimates of coaching"s global market ranges from $1Bn (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008) to $2Bn (Fillery-Travis & Lane, 2006) per annum. Despite its popularity, there is little empirical evidence substantiating this extensive practice (Bennett, 2006;Kampa-Kokesch & Anderson, 2001;Kilburg, 2000Kilburg, , 2004Stevens, 2005) and coaching research appears to still be its infancy (Passmore & Gibbs, 2007). ...
... As a team or system-level intervention organizations spread the benefits of coaching by offering coaching resources to broader segments of the organization; encouraging informal practice of coaching behaviors by leaders and managers; and establishing coaching cultures that foster developmental relationships, motivation and performance, and organizational alignment (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2002a;Hart, 2005;Kets de Vries, 2005;Kralj, 2001;Orenstein, 2002;Rider, 2002;Schnell, 2005). Liljenstrand & Nebeker (2008) The results point toward the existence of at least two, and possibly more, markets with different engagements, clients, settings, approaches, and perceived levels of competitiveness. Based on these findings coaches educated within the field of OTH, BUS, or EDU fields appear mainly to be hired by the individuals receiving coaching services and seem to be more involved in the personal coaching market. ...
... In some cases, external business coaches have a clinical or psychology background (9%). Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) conducted a survey of 928 U.S. based coaches and showed that 18% had backgrounds in occupational psychology, 23% in clinical psychology, and 50% in academic business. The adjusted results for academic backgrounds are occupational psychology at 7% and clinical psychology at 9%. ...
... Constructive thinking is defined "as the degree to which a person's automatic thinking, that is, the thinking that occurs without deliberate intention, facilitates solving (Zeus & Skiffington, 2000). Coaching has grown rapidly because it sets out to help individuals improve their professional or personal success (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). During the 1960s, the business world looked to sports coaching and adapted some of those techniques in training and development. ...
Article
According to the cognitive-experiential self theory (CEST), all behavior is guided by two information-processing systems: the rational system and the experiential. Previous research with school leaders has shown that the rational system and constructive elements of the experiential system have a strong positive relationship with transformational leadership, as outlined in the Full-Range Leadership Theory. This article reports a pretest, posttest study using an intervention and control group to test whether changes to CEST information-processing systems could bring about changes in transformational leadership. The results of a 10-week, individually delivered coaching intervention program with a small group of school principals showed that there was a significant increase in transformational leadership scores between the pretest and posttest for the intervention group, as rated by school staff. The control group remained unchanged. Qualitative results from interviews indicated that school principals in the intervention group became more aware and reflective about their leadership practice. This study yields initial evidence that increasing rational and constructive thinking can develop the use of transformational leadership techniques.
... Sixty percent of coaches hold a graduate degree in some field. Coaches' prior professional education and their fields of professional practice apart from coaching have been shown to have an impact on several critical aspects of their coaching including the use of theoretical frameworks, assessments, understanding of ethics and overall effectiveness (Liljenstrand, A.m. & Nebeker, D.M., 2008;Bono, J.E., Purvanova, R.K., Towler, A.J., & Peterson D.B., 2009). Similarly, practitioners' personal experiences affect significant aspects of professional practice including boundary management and the role of empathy (Campone, F. & Awal, D., 2012) Given this context of practice and of the field, coach education itself must be multifaceted, addressing theoretical content, performance skills and the cultivation of judgment consistent with standards of professionalism. ...
Article
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Coaches are practicing within an increasingly complex context: a globalized world, a hyper-complex society, and diversification of knowledge sources (Stelter, 2012), requiring the situationally appropriate exercise of judgment (Murphy, 2006). Graduate professional education programs transmit the necessary technical knowledge (the “how” of coaching) and cultivate proficiency in reflective evaluation of context in order to apply that technical knowledge (the principles and decision protocols of coaching). This article explores the impact of one graduate coach education program, the Evidence-Based Coaching Certificate (EBC) program at Fielding Graduate University, on the professional judgments of program graduates. Results indicate three different catalysts for coach judgments: client characteristics, coaching tasks, and elements of the coaching engagement (including time frames, expected outcomes, organizational or other situational contexts). Through reflective learning, coaches gained insights into four aspects of their coaching: managing boundaries and ethical challenges, self-awareness and self-management, understanding responsive processes, and situational application of theory.
... Such background also appears to influence techniques used in coaching, emotional management and qualities of relationship. Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) investigated the different approaches taken by coaches from varying academic backgrounds. The study examined the impact on coaching practice of professional education backgrounds in four fields: Industrial/ organisational psychology; Clinical psychology; Business or Education. ...
Article
Coaches do not come to practice as a blank slate. However, there is little documentation of the impact diverse life experiences have on coaches' skills, professional evolution or presence in practice. Analysis of a critical events question included in a long-term global study of coach development identified three different clusters of life experiences each of which has an impact on a specific range of coach characteristics and coaching practices. Stressful personal experiences impact characteristics such as empathy and self-awareness. Coaching-field specific experiences influence practice skills and knowledge base. Some prior professional training and experiences influence coach practices and perceptions of client workplace.
... In general that same difference is seen by others; mentoring is more about guiding and facilitating by a more experienced person, while coaching is more general and not focusing on a specific item (Jones et al., 2009, Busen and Engebretson, 1999, Klofsten and Öberg, 2008. Others use the terms coaching and mentoring interchangeable or make no difference (Liljenstrand and Nebeker, 2008, Wise and Voss, 2002, Gray et al., 2011. On the other hand there are also several researchers that are not looking for the differences between coaching and mentoring. ...
Book
The link between entrepreneurship and regional economic development is an interesting and much debated one. The publication that you are reading now tries to add some thoughts to this debate, by combining some lectures and papers presented at the 1st Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Enschede, on 19 March 2014.
... Or when executive coaching is taken to be an experiential, individualized, leadership development process that builds a leader's capability to achieve short and longterm organizational goals (Gray, Ekinci, & Goregaokar, 2011). It is also stated that coaching can be problem focused and development focused (Wise & Voss, 2002) Also the coaches themselves use several terms like executive coaching, consultant and personal coach without being clear what the difference is (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). In reaction to all these definitions Clutterbuck (2008) says that when each group is trying to defend its own territory and trying to land-grab by defining the terms, confusion about this is becoming more and more. ...
... Despite the widespread use of coaching as a developmental activity in organizations, there is limited empirical evidence to support best practices for structuring executive coaching engagements. Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) created a five stage coaching model based on narratives collected from coaches. The five stages are (a) setting the foundation by defining the context, establishing the contract, and building a working alliance; (b) assessing the individual; (c) strategizing the engagement and developing a plan based on assessment feedback and goals; (d) implementing the plan; (e) and in some cases, evaluating the intervention and reassessing the initial target areas. ...
Article
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Accelerated growth in the use of technology has prompted a tremendous change in working environments over the last decade. As coaching gets implemented against the backdrop of continued technological advancement, an opportunity to understand how technology is being leveraged is presented. We suggest that technology has the potential to impact coaching in 5 specific ways: coach selection, business/process management for the coaching engagement, supplementing face-to-face coaching, replacing face-to-face coaching, and coach/coaching engagement evaluation. Advantages and pitfalls of using technology in coaching are discussed. Opportunities for future research exploring the interaction of coaching and technology are presented.
... When Thomas Leonard, one of the inventors of contemporary coaching and founder of Coach University, decided in 1992 to incorporate teleconferencing into the coaching methodology, he opened the field to new clients and practitioners, and helped foster a new cohort of self-selected professionals in this largely unregulated field. Throughout the 1990s the field expanded rapidly with growing numbers of schools, training centers, conventions and conferences, although it would remain without enforceable licensing or certification standards, and is today estimated to constitute a 1-billion-dollar-a-year industry worldwide (Liljenstrand and Nebeker, 2008). Coaching is, for the vast majority of practising coaches, undertaken through regular weekly telephone sessions with clients paying 100-300 US dollars for sessions of approximately 30 minutes in length (additional contact often includes email exchanges and the occasional 5-minute 'power session'). ...
Article
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This article theorizes the contemporary government of psychological life as neo-liberal enterprise. By drawing on Foucauldian critical social theory, it argues that the constellations of power identified with the psy-function and neo-liberal governmentality can be read through the problematic of everyday practice. On a theoretical level, this involves a re-examination of the notion of dispositif, to uncover the dynamic, ambivalent and temporal practices by which subjectification takes place. Empirically, this point is illustrated through a reflection of one case of neo-liberal psychological life: life coaching.
... (Wise and Voss, 2002) Also the coaches themselves use several terms like executive coaching, consultant and personal coach without being clear what the difference is. (Liljenstrand and Nebeker, 2008) To avoid problems in the use of terms I use the term " Soft Support " for all kind of support that is involves personal relations. This includes coaching, mentoring, teaching, consulting, advising, counseling, etc. ...
Conference Paper
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Abstact As development of knowledge-based businesses is a key factor for revitalization of a region, VentureLab Twente was designed to support entrepreneurs in their ambition in growth. Coaching, or soft support, is known as one of the most valued elements in VentureLab Twente and also in other support systems. But we know very little about the economic effect of soft support. And the aspects that are being researched about soft support are mostly about the content and methods of support. The personal fit between the coach and coachee is recognized as important, but not being researched. The elements used to support starting entrepreneurs are finance, knowledge, network and strategy; known as the 4S NIKOS model. While almost all participants of VentureLab Twente mention the value of their coach, as fulfilling a key role to develop these element, there is in literature not much known about this. There is also some confusion about the definition of coaching. While some definition focus on a narrow field of support, others use a much broader definition, that enters the fields claimed by mentoring, consulting, teaching etcetera. These fields are collected under soft support. To find out about who is the best person for soft support not only the supporting methods are important. The chemistry or personal fit is seen as a precondition for any result, although there is almost no research known in this field. While soft support in entrepreneurship education is used in a wide variety of rolls, like teacher, coach, counselor, it would be interesting to research the influence of personal fit at its effectiveness of soft support. Literature shows five factors that could be influencing the personal fit, but that"s not researched well. Still this personal fit is seen as influencing the quality of entrepreneurship education. The question for scholars of entrepreneurship education is if you can get a personal fit with every student when having different personalities in the supporting system of entrepreneurial education? The questions and discussion are helpful to find improvement for entrepreneurship support. The questions are about the type of people that are needed to support entrepreneurship and how the types of people influence the quality of the support. This includes support by business incubators and by entrepreneurship education. It also gives in indication about the importance of doing research in this field and what can be done with the results. While most of the teachers for entrepreneurship education are selected by the knowledge on their field, the importance of personal support (coaching) during the start of entrepreneurship is acknowledged as very important. But about how to use this in entrepreneurship education is not well known. This paper gives a new approach on how to improve the personal support of entrepreneurship education and to improve the quality of the personal relation. Introduction Enterprises, and specially knowledge-based businesses are very important for the development and revitalization of a region, especially if that region has had a decline of the
... Many coaches have no, or only a little, coaching training. The minority of coaches possess an academic psychology background (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008;. This combination of high socio-emotional demands and poor preparation for these challenges might be an important factor in explaining why negative effects occur so often on the part of the coaches. ...
Article
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Coaching can have tremendous positive effects, but to date, there has been little attention to the possibility that coaching can also exhibit negative effects. To fill this void, this literature review introduces the concepts of negative effects of coaching for clients, coaches and organisations to a wide audience of coaching researchers and practitioners. In a synthesis of the literature, it illuminates which negative effects can emerge, how frequently and intensely they occur, and which antecedents can explain their occurrence. Nine different studies with a qualitative, cross-sectional, time-lagged, or experimental research orientation were identified and used for this review. Throughout the diverse studies, negative effects occurred frequently, but only a few of them were severe and most of them were low in intensity. Concerning their antecedents, higher relationship quality between clients and coaches was related to fewer negative effects. The findings also indicated a beneficial influence of supervision. Moreover, negative effects for clients and negative effects for coaches were interrelated. These findings contribute to the professionalisation of coaching and put coaching in line with other helping relationships, where negative effects have been acknowledged as natural occurrences without being taboo. © 2018
... A generic process framework was developed to compare current practices with literature. This was achieved by using four different sources, namely Valero and Lee (in Jones & Brinkert, 2008), Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008), Kahn (2011), and Jones and Brinkert (2008). Each of these authors described a process, tools and/or outcomes. ...
Article
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This article is a summary of a research assignment investigating the Business Coaching Processes (BCPs) that support the implementation of Business Improvement Projects (BIPs) in order to gain a better understanding of the coaching processes and tools applied. The selection of coaching processes and tools is most often influenced by the coaching context, the background of the coach and the outcomes required. This study found that the selection and application of processes and tools were influenced by factors not considered and showed a 45% deviation from current literature. This study reflects actual practices applied to support the implementation of BIPs.
... The issues addressed in our symposium lie at the very heart of the division's aim to advance knowledge and understanding of different types of management consulting. Workplace coaching has been described as the fastest growing field within consulting (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008) and it is therefore paramount to better understand the mechanisms, factors, and processes which can explain how and why coaching works in order to ensure that its impact for individuals and organizations is maximized and sustained. Linking process, contextual, and individual factors by means of sound theoretical and empirical investigations (both quantitative and qualitative), our symposium adopts the integrative approach to management consulting that the division aims at. ...
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Presenter Symposium (AOM 2019): Taking a Closer Look at Workplace Coaching - The Role of Process and Contextual Factors Workplace coaching has become an integral approach to facilitating the development and performance of individuals, groups, and teams in organizations worldwide (Athanasopoulou & Dopson, 2018; Bozer & Jones, 2018; Grant, 2017). It can be described as a custom-tailored development intervention that uses a collaborative, reflective, goal-focused relationship provided by a professional coach (internal or external, but without formal supervisory authority over the coaches; Bozer & Jones, 2018; Smither, 2011). Recent publications have emphasized that workplace coaching has a triadic nature which has been neglected in much of coaching research up until now, involving the partnership of three key stakeholders: coach, coachee and the (sponsoring) organization (Bozer & Jones, 2018; Louis & Fatien Diochon, 2014). Athanasopoulou and Dopson (2018) thus reframe workplace coaching as a social rather than an individual intervention, embedded and shaped by its social context. Meta-analyses (e.g., Jones, Woods, & Guillaume, 2016; Sonesh, Coultas, Lacerenza, Marlow, Benishek, & Salas, 2015; Theeboom, Beersma, & van Vianen, 2014) have established that workplace coaching can effectively increase a range of outcomes from well-being, self-efficacy, and skill level to performance. Moreover, recent reviews have highlighted factors and processes that impact upon the effectiveness of workplace coaching, including coach and coachee characteristics, coaching settings, and the quality of the working alliance (e.g., Athanasopoulou & Dopson, 2018; Blackman, Moscardo, & Gray, 2016; Bozer & Jones, 2018; Graßmann, Schölmerich & Schermuly, in press). However, contextual factors (e.g., situational, organizational, societal cultural context) have remained largely unexplored (Athanasopoulou & Dopson, 2018). This symposium presents a joint international collaboration to advance theory, research, and practice of workplace coaching by (1) investigating mechanisms and processes that impact upon coaching effectiveness, (2) explicitly incorporating contextual factors at different levels of analysis, (3) critically analyzing detrimental factors including potential pitfalls, and (4) applying and extending established (psychological) theory to workplace coaching (Athanasopoulou & Dopson, 2018; Blackman et al., 2016; Bozer & Jones, 2018; Diedrich & Kilburg, 2001; Grover & Furnham, 2016; Schermuly & Graßmann, 2018). Organizer: Dr. Silja Kotte, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Department of Psychology, University of Kassel, Germany Contributors: Anthony M. Grant: A Third Generation of Workplace Coaching: Overview, Success and Hard-learnt Lessons Dominika Wach, Carsten C. Schermuly, Jürgen Wegge & Clemens Kirschbaum: The Effectiveness of a Coaching Intervention on Well-being, Coping Resources, and Cognitive Performance of Insolvent Entrepreneurs Silja Kotte, Jannik Zimmermann & Heidi Möller: Difficult Situations during Workplace Coaching from the Perspective of Coaches Yi-Ling Lai: A Study of the Effective Three-Way Joint Coaching Alliance - A Social Identity Theory Perspective Gil Bozer & Marianna Delegach: A Theoretical Framework of Culturally- and Context-Sensitive Workplace Coaching - The Importance of Coachee Regulatory Focus
... It can be described as a one-to-one custom-tailored learning and development intervention that uses a collaborative, reflective, goal-focused relationship provided by a professional coach (internal or external, but without formal supervisory authority over the coachees) for the benefit of both coachees and their organizations (Bozer & Jones, 2018). Workplace coaching has been described as the fastest growing field within consulting (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). It is a key human resources development (HRD) related activity (Beattie et al., 2014). ...
... There is also ample field research into coachee and coach factors for success in coaching; for example, Wasylyshyn (2003) surveyed 87 of her own coachees and Blackman (2006) surveyed 114 current and recent coachees, to study factors within the coach, coachee, coaching process, and organization that seem important to coachees for successful coaching. Liljenstrand and Nebeker (2008) surveyed 2,231 coaches to detect differences in their practices and differences in the coaches' backgrounds, namely psychological, clinical, educational, or business-school training or still "other" qualifications. ...
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There is substantial evidence that qualitative research in executive coaching has come of age in the previous decade. Two large research programs have yielded consistent and quantifiable results, and a range of case studies, field studies and process research is inspiring newer quantitative-research designs. This study contains a first rigorous, systematic review of this qualitative-research base with preliminary conclusions in terms of what this body of work might be telling us. Comprehensive data gathering and screening categorized 101 publications (peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and dissertations) containing original qualitative research into workplace and executive coaching. This seemed a sufficiently large number of original publications to analyze and then synthesize in terms of its comprehensive findings. Three research questions were formulated in terms of what the qualitative research may offer over and above standard quantitative outcome research, and they are systematically answered with the help of an interpretative synthesis of the findings in the four domains. The qualitative research body of workplace and executive coaching seems to warrant the following tentative findings. Success criteria seem to be coachee-related: the development of trust in, acceptance of and commitment to coaching, and the coachee’s respect for the coaching contract. Another success criterion for both coaches and coachees seems to be the ability for both to achieve agreement on tasks and goals, and a deep level of shared psychological understanding and new insight.
... Constructive thinking is defined "as the degree to which a person's automatic thinking, that is, the thinking that occurs without deliberate intention, facilitates solving (Zeus & Skiffington, 2000). Coaching has grown rapidly because it sets out to help individuals improve their professional or personal success (Liljenstrand & Nebeker, 2008). During the 1960s, the business world looked to sports coaching and adapted some of those techniques in training and development. ...
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As part of the EMCC’s ‘bridging the gap’ international research agenda, an exploratory study was undertaken in 2016 and 2017 to examine the evaluation practices of coaches across Europe – a topic that is positioned as a central competency of coaches. Results provoked a number of surprising insights, such as circumstances when evaluation could be destructive and damaging to not only the coach-client relationship, but also the professional standing of the coaching client. The research indicated a re-positioning of evaluation as part of an evolving professional judgement of coaches, supported by enriching toolkits which aim to go beyond documenting the impact of coaching, and which reinforce and deepen the impact of the coaching (or broader) intervention.
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Until recently, there has been little published systematic empirical research into business coaching. This article reports on a systematic, critical review of 111 published empirical papers investigating business coaching theory, processes, and outcomes. The present article identifies a significantly larger body of empirical research than covered in previous reviews and uses a Systematic Review methodology (SRm) to conduct a comprehensive review of the available empirical evidence into business coaching effectiveness focusing on implications for theoretical development, practice (within human resource development) and further research in this area. This review identifies convergence around factors that contribute to perceived effective coaching practice but nevertheless highlights a number of issues to be resolved in further research. These include determining the primary beneficiaries of coaching, the factors that contribute to coach credibility, and how the organizational and social context impacts on coaching. Weaknesses in coaching research methodology and research gaps are also noted.
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coaching tem sido um recurso de desenvolvimento muito utilizado e valorizado na área organizacional. Este estudo visou compreender sua atuação profissional que tem como principal foco laboral. A amostra foi composta por seis profissionais, sendo quatro homens e duas mulheres, todos graduados e certificados na área. Por meio de entrevista semiestruturada e análise de conteúdo das respostas, os discursos foram classificados, buscando-se semelhanças e diferenças entre os participantes. Investigouse conceitos de definição do coaching, nichos de atuação, processo e técnicas utilizadas, formações e certificações, estratégia para obter clientes e o status do coaching no Brasil. Os resultados mostraram, em geral, que cada profissional atua conforme sua própria experiência e formação adquirida, não existindo uma padronização de práticas. A maior parte deles indicou a programação neolinguística como técnica que complementar, indicando uma empresa mais reconhecida na formação de novos coaches. Espera-se que os resultados da presente pesquisa possam contribuir para a investigação científica sobre a atuação de coaches
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Coaching etabliert sich zunehmend als wirksames Personalentwicklungsinstrument. Hierfür ist es wichtig zu verstehen, was Coaching ist sowie die Anlässe zu kennen, zu denen Coaching eingesetzt wird und welche Bedeutung Coaching im Rahmen der Führungskräfteentwicklung einnimmt. In verschiedenen Forschungsarbeiten konnte gezeigt werden, dass Coaching vielfältige positive Wirkungen erzielt. Darüber hinaus können durch Coaching aber auch verschiedene Nebenwirkungen entstehen. Es lassen sich einige Wirkfaktoren finden, wie beispielsweise die Beziehungsqualität zwischen Coach und Klient oder die Glaubwürdigkeit des Coaches. Daraus lassen sich wiederum Handlungsempfehlungen für die Praxis ableiten, um für ein möglichst erfolgreiches und nebenwirkungsfreies Coaching zu sorgen. Dies beinhaltet sowohl Vorschläge für die Auswahl des geeigneten Coaches als auch Hinweise für die Auswahl des Klienten und für die organisationale Unterstützung.
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Coaching etabliert sich zunehmend als wirksames Personalentwicklungsinstrument. Hierfür ist es wichtig zu verstehen, was Coaching ist sowie die Anlässe zu kennen, zu denen Coaching eingesetzt wird und welche Bedeutung Coaching im Rahmen der Führungskräfteentwicklung einnimmt. In verschiedenen Forschungsarbeiten konnte gezeigt werden, dass Coaching vielfältige positive Wirkungen erzielt. Darüber hinaus können durch Coaching aber auch verschiedene Nebenwirkungen entstehen. Es lassen sich einige Wirkfaktoren finden, wie beispielsweise die Beziehungsqualität zwischen Coach und Klient oder die Glaubwürdigkeit des Coaches. Daraus lassen sich wiederum Handlungsempfehlungen für die Praxis ableiten, um für ein möglichst erfolgreiches und nebenwirkungsfreies Coaching zu sorgen. Dies beinhaltet sowohl Vorschläge für die Auswahl des geeigneten Coaches als auch Hinweise für die Auswahl des Klienten und für die organisationale Unterstützung.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a classified list of the factors that are most influential in the success of an executive coaching process, arranged in order of importance. Design/methodology/approach – Selection of factors from an exhaustive literature review, and development of a qualitative investigation, applying a Focus Group, a Nominal Group technique, and the Delphi method to a group of experts comprising coaches, coachees, and human resources managers, in order to complete and assess the factors selected. Findings – The most outstanding factors needed in executive coaching are confidentiality, trust, and empathy between coach and coachee; the coach’s ability to generate trust, and her/his competence in communication skills, vocation and commitment; the coachee’s need, motivation, responsibility for his/her own development and commitment to the process; and a guarantee from the organization of the confidentiality of that process. Practical implications – This research furnishes a quantitative criterion for the evaluation and ranking of the determining factors in coaching success, which facilitates a justified selection of factors, both for research and professional purposes. Social implications – This study makes it possible to better channel the allocation of resources and gearing of business decisions for the implementation of coaching programs. Originality/value – This paper provides a systematic review of the empirically based literature dealing with the main success factors in the effective application of executive coaching, and contributes new factors derived from the knowledge of professional experts, along with a classified and ranked list of those factors, assessed in terms of their relevance to the satisfactory outcome of a coaching process.
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This chapter explores what coaches can do to accelerate their journey towards great coaching by examining what differentiates good coaching from great coaching; why it is relatively easy to become a good coach, why it is relatively difficult to become a great coach, and what is known about how experts in a variety of fields develop mastery and how that applies to coaching. For the purposes of the chapter, good coaching refers to the work of competent coaches who have successfully completed at least thirty coaching engagements. Great coaching refers to coaches who demonstrate mastery and deep expertise. Executive coaching
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Argues that whatever their specific area, organizations combine employees or members into teams for effectiveness in providing goods and services. This requires a task orientation. Within psychology, it is the industrial/organizational stance that most readily fits this emphasis on providing goods and services. As more clinical psychologists engage in organizational consulting, it is important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the ego versus task orientation they bring with them. As to strengths, adding an ego orientation can strengthen organizations by training employees in areas such as coping and social support that will lead to enhanced performance and health. Hardiness training at Illinois Bell Telephone is used as a case study example. As to weaknesses, an excessive emphasis on ego orientation can backfire through erosion of team functioning in favor of personal preoccupation. In these times of accelerating change, organizations need to be flexible and adaptable. This requires proactive, innovative employees and underscores the importance in psychological consulting of a true combination of ego and task orientations.
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Practical training in consulting psychology is sorely lacking in most doctoral programs. This article explores the role that practicums can play in the training and development of the consultant. A program case study in clinical and consulting psychology serves as the focus. Several examples of psychological consultation involving trainees are discussed.
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Seventy-two articles on executive coaching appearing in mainstream and trade management publications between 1991 and 1998 were analyzed to determine (a) general opinions of the practice of executive coaching and (b) the extent to which training in psychology was described as relevant and useful to coaching practice. A content analysis methodology yielded reliable coding across raters. Results of the review suggest that favorable views of executive coaching far exceed unfavorable views. However psychologists were infrequently recognized as uniquely competent practitioners. Implications of these findings for psychologists in coaching roles are discussed.
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Faculty who educate and train psychology students in consulting from clinical, counseling, school, and industrial/organizational graduate programs were identified via mail from department chairs and program directors. Of 197 faculty members identified, 89 (46.9% response rate) completed a detailed survey questionnaire about demographics and professional consulting activities, including teaching practices in consulting in their graduate program. Results were somewhat encouraging within industrial/organizational and school psychology programs and least positive in counseling/clinical programs, especially clinical programs. Detailed results are presented along with some implications for future graduate training in consulting psychology. A call is made for convening a national conference on educational standards in consulting psychology.
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Offers a four-step approach that highlights the key issues at each stage of the coaching process: (1) contract with the client; (2) observe and assess needs; (3) constructively challenge; and (4) handle resistance. (JOW)
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Explores relevant paradigms for creating an intellectually viable consulting psychology. It is argued that consulting psychology (as applied to organizations) needs its own models and training paradigms that address organizational, group, and, above all, individual perspectives. The author maintains that programs in organizational consulting psychology need to be housed in their own academic homes, not as too-often-unwelcome guests in others'. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Describes a systems-based approach to executive coaching that attempts to maximize the consideration of contextual factors. The case study of a 44-yr-old male executive illustrates this approach. The author notes that perhaps the greatest danger in coaching individuals from organizations in which there is no ongoing consulting relationship is the possibility that the psychologist may inadvertently participate in scapegoating by an organization or by a boss who is unable or unwilling to look deeply enough at the ways that the environment may be supporting the conditions underlying the individual's seemingly maladaptive response. The more removed the coaching is from the organizational context, the more pains the psychologist must take to ensure that the context is woven into the fabric of the coaching relationship and that the organization be persuaded that it, too, needs to play a role in defining and achieving the desired outcome. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This article comments on the importance of competent organizational executive leadership and the practice of executive coaching in professional consultation. As it is currently practiced, executive coaching appears to be an eclectic mix of concepts and methods that are being applied by a variety of consultants who have accepted assignments to work with individual executives. The author concludes by introducing the issue of the Consulting Psychology Journal on executive coaching which reviews literature in the field, identifies current approaches and methods, and provides an opportunity for leading practitioners to describe what they are doing and help define the core concepts and definitions of this emerging competency. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Argues that whatever their specific area, organizations combine employees or members into teams for effectiveness in providing goods and services. This requires a task orientation. Within psychology, it is the industrial/organizational stance that most readily fits this emphasis on providing goods and services. As more clinical psychologists engage in organizational consulting, it is important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the ego versus task orientation they bring with them. As to strengths, adding an ego orientation can strengthen organizations by training employees in areas such as coping and social support that will lead to enhanced performance and health. Hardiness training at Illinois Bell Telephone is used as a case study example. As to weaknesses, an excessive emphasis on ego orientation can backfire through erosion of team functioning in favor of personal preoccupation. In these times of accelerating change, organizations need to be flexible and adaptable. This requires proactive, innovative employees and underscores the importance in psychological consulting of a true combination of ego and task orientations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Faculty who educate and train psychology students in consulting from clinical, counseling, school, and industrial/organizational graduate programs were identified via mail from department chairs and program directors. Of 197 faculty members identified, 89 (46.9% response rate) completed a detailed survey questionnaire about demographics and professional consulting activities, including teaching practices in consulting in their graduate program. Results were somewhat encouraging within industrial/organizational and school psychology programs and least positive in counseling/clinical programs, especially clinical programs. Detailed results are presented along with some implications for future graduate training in consulting psychology. A call is made for convening a national conference on educational standards in consulting psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Presents a systems-oriented approach to the leadership development of top-level executives. A structured program is described that is designed to have a positive impact at the organizational level through focused work with the individual client. Leadership effectiveness is seen as strongly influenced by the individual's past, personal life, and work environment. Comprehensive information gathered from the client's work life and personal life increases understanding of behaviors that influence performance, and thereby fosters change. Development is perceived from a holistic point of view, with benefits to the organization accruing through increased effectiveness in any areas of the client's life. A case example (of a 40-yr-old male) is given to illustrate how this approach is put into effect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Presents a model of executive coaching based on the organizational requirements that shape the leadership factors to be considered in the coaching process. Consultants must clearly shape their coaching to reflect these dimensions if they are to be effective in helping to increase the effectiveness of their individual clients. Consulting issues are described as well as a specific methodology that reflects a business-linked executive development approach to coaching executives. There are 4 stages to the approach: defining the context (i.e., organizational imperatives, role-based success factors, and success-relevant behavioral requirements), assessment of the individual, developmental planning, and implementation. The case study of a middle-aged male executive illustrates this approach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Practical training in consulting psychology is sorely lacking in most doctoral programs. This article explores the role that practicums can play in the training and development of the consultant. A program case study in clinical and consulting psychology serves as the focus. Several examples of psychological consultation involving trainees are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A personal coach to help your most promising executives reach their potential--sounds good, doesn't it? But, according to Steven Berglas, executive coaches can make a bad situation worse. Because of their backgrounds and biases, they ignore psychological problems they don't understand. Companies need to consider psychotherapeutic intervention when the symptoms plaguing an executive are stubborn or severe. Executives with issues that require more than coaching come in many shapes and sizes. Consider Rob Bernstein, an executive vice president of sales at an automotive parts distributor. According to the CEO, Bernstein had just the right touch with clients but caused personnel problems inside the company. The last straw came when Bernstein publicly humiliated a mail clerk who had interrupted a meeting to ask someone to sign for a package. At that point, the CEO assigned Tom Davis to coach Bernstein. Davis, a former corporate lawyer, worked with Bernstein for four years. But Davis only exacerbated the problem by teaching Bernstein techniques for "handling" employees--methods that were condescending at best. While Bernstein appeared to be improving, he was in fact getting worse. Bernstein's real problems went undetected, and when his boss left the company, he was picked as the successor. Soon enough, Bernstein was again in trouble, suspected of embezzlement. This time, the CEO didn't call Davis; instead, he turned to the author, a trained psychotherapist, for help. Berglas soon realized that Bernstein had a serious narcissistic personality disorder and executive coaching could not help him. As that tale and others in the article teach us, executives to be coached should at the very least first receive a psychological evaluation. And company leaders should beware that executive coaches given free rein can end up wreaking personnel havoc.