Summary of Executive Coaching

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Executive Coaching book summary
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Organizational consultants Catherine Fitzgerald and Jennifer Garvey Berger offer a collection of articles by 16 executive coaches, including themselves. The essays cover executive coaching perspectives, practices and management. This book examines the range of managerial and psychological approaches shaping this emerging field. These expert articles provide a diverse overview, varying in complexity, practicality and therapeutic philosophies. The hazard of anthologies is the mix of voices, so there is some blurring between what is coaching and what is therapy, and some drift about exactly who is being spoken to, the coach, the manager or the executive. The book seems to focus primarily on the analytical, psychological and tactical tasks of coaches. However, getAbstract suggests that if you are hiring a coach for yourself or your organization, you may find this very practical in understanding what coaches do and in being sure you select a good one.

About the Authors

Catherine Fitzgerald, Ph.D., is a principal of Fitzgerald Consulting, which offers executive coaching to senior executives. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. She is coeditor of Developing Leaders: Research and Applications in Psychological Type and Leadership Development. Jennifer Garvey Berger, Ed.M., consults and teaches adult development, personality differences and transformational learning. She is a faculty member at the Bard Institute of Writing and Thinking and the Association for Psychological Type. She teaches at Harvard and Georgetown Universities and is the coeditor of Acts of Inquiry in Qualitative Research.

 

Summary

Executive Coaching Perspectives

When executive coaches begin to think about how to help clients work more effectively, they bear some general principles in mind, including:

  • A behavior that once contributed to a person’s survival and success may become overdone by being used too frequently, too intensely or in too many situations, causing the person to stop using other, more functional skills. A coach can help a client understand that changing these overdone weaknesses can lead to more productive behavior.
  • Persistent behaviors most likely have a positive purpose.
  • An outdated view of oneself can lead to inappropriate behaviors.
  • Listen to the executive - or client - and begin where the client is; use and build on the client’s ideas and act as a bridge to missing concepts.
  • Think of changes as hypotheses that you have to test out empirically.

Executive coaches can apply a relatively new field of study - the development of complexity of mind in adults - to coaching. To support executives effectively, coaches need to understand the many different worlds they may inhabit. A good coach has to sense the key corporate issues affecting...


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