Category Archives: Executive Coaching

Why Executive Coaching?

The economist - executive coaching certification websiteexecutive coaching certification training program onlineWhether you are a business owner or a new executive you might have heard of executive coaching and could be asking “why”? Why would someone hire an executive coach?

Regardless of the level of education you might have reached, and your valuable experience in your field and with your company, an executive coach is really a good idea and it really pays.

The executive level positions are very sensitive to the whole company or organization. One decision you make today might affect your company’s future for a considerably long time. And if this was a wrong decision you alone will take the blame for it. You might lose your job and find it challenging to get hired by any other company given the reason you lost your position in the first place.

And as a business owner you don’t want to leave any chance for any mistakes that could cost you your business. Firing the exec is not going to fix it, and only you will pay the real price.

Executive coaching ROI is simple to calculate for any establishment by comparing the revenue or your company before and after hiring the executive coach, relate that to the cost of the coaching and you’ll get your ROI. Although this is way is too simplified if we consider the prevented loss as revenue and the approach used to calculate such loss. Also you’ll find it hard to compare before and after the trainee is just starting because you’ll be comparing his/her results with the work of another exec with more experience.

Also coaching an executive is the best training he/she could ever get because they do it on the job. They do the work while being directed and supervised by the coach and this is the best way to learn how to apply those dry principles you learned in the school. As opposed to seminars and lectures, this is by far the best way to learn.

Executive coaching is now carried out by firms, not individuals. This gives you a better expectation, because if an individual coach is not able to finish the job another coach from the firm will be available to carry on or take over.

An executive coaching firm also guarantees that all individuals are certified and have the same standards. The competition is in your favor and the high standards put by one firm soon spreads to the others so that they can compete over your business.

Stress In The Workplace

executive coaching certificationAs we know, stress can cause problems with your physical and emotional health. A recent article published by Anastasia Stephens of The Independent states: “The effects of constant pressure – a form of chronic stress – are well-known.”

Robert Sapolsky, a professor at Cambridge University and a lead authority on stress management, explains: “In fight-or-flight, your body turns off all the long-term building and repair projects. Constant high levels of hydrocortisone take your body’s eye off the ball. Memory and accuracy are both impaired. Patrols for invaders aren’t sent out, you tire more easily, you can get depressed and reproduction is impared.”

Stephen’s article went on to say: “Exposed to chronic stress for years, high blood levels of glucose and fatty acids increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A recent study at University College London found that stress raised cholesterin levels, another factor that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease”.

Take, for example, a high performance car, we recognise the importance of regular servicing to maintain its performance and safeguard our investment. We as humans need the same care and attention to ensure sustainability. Life coaching must be used as a pre-emptive measure to deal with problems before they become serious problems.

Tips on how to look for signs of stress in an employee:

– An outgoing individual becomes insular and introvert.
– Become rather ill looking and/or pallid
– Becomes overly defensive when questioned about anything
– Becomes very moody
– Catches Illnesses more often
– Job performance is decreased
– Sense of humour failure
– Working longer and unsociable hours

Of course, it is easy to assume that there could be personal problems. That doesn’t negate the help and support offered by employers. Our work and personal lives dovetail, and whatever the long-term cause or problem, our performance in the work place will eventually be affected.

A business’s aim should not only be to address key problems or under performers, but also to unleash employee’s potential. Company owners and managers need to help their most successful staff become even more successful. Sports coaching is a prime example – successful athletes all have support teams to keep them at the top of their game, and I would argue that there should be no difference in business.

Staff should be allowed sessions which provide 100% focus on them, which allow them to open up in a secure private environment that is not threatening or combative in any way. This will help them to perform better and achieve results.

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How To Create A Consistent Stream Of New Coaching Clients

executive coaching certificationMost coaching training programs spend most of their time on teaching and mastering fundamental coaching skills. The International Coach Federation established specific core coaching competencies as part of the foundation for their coaching credentialing process examination. Over 90 percent of coaching programs focus on mastering those core coaching competencies, but less than 10 percent on teaching the core business skills to build a profitable coaching business.

While mastering these coaching techniques is very crucial, it will not guarantee a steady flow of new coaching clients. But instead of learning fundamental marketing and business principles, many coaches decide to get even more coaching training and certifications, thinking that if they become better coaches, their business will grow as well. Well, reality shows this doesn’t work. You can be the best life coach in the world, but if you don’t know how to build a business you’re not going to to succeed.

The 4 P’s of Coaching Marketing

The most important aspect of building a successful coaching business is marketing. Creating a successful marketing plan mostly falls into the following 4 controllable categories:

  • Product
  • Promotion
  • Price
  • Place

1. Product

A common mistake many coaches make is that they want to sell their coaching as a product. When asked what they do, they usually say something like :“I am a coach, I provide coaching.” Unfortunately, whether you are a life coach or a career coach, coaching as a product does not sell.

What does sell is when you’re positioning your coaching services as a solution to a problem.  Unless your coaching practice is solving a real problem or providing a solution to a need, there is no reason to be in business.

Ask yourself:” What is my ideal coaching client?” and ”What solution do I provide?” Focus on selling a solution, a system or a result, not the coaching itself.

2. Promotion

Promotion is the a key component in marketing your coaching business.  Learning how to market your business solution online through social media and creating a personal brand that evokes a strong emotional connection with your coaching niche market are vital components in your promotion strategy.

3. Price

Time is money, so defining a profitable pricing structure is another important key in growing a successful coaching practice.

Many coaches start out by only providing their coaching services one-on-one. They build different pricing structures with a single coaching client in mind. Yet even if you offer a free coaching session, the most number of clients you can possibly create is only one.

As long as you are creating a situation where you are exchanging your time for money, you might as well look for solutions to create a maximum return on your time investment. You can facilitate workshops, provide teleseminars, set up interactive online webinars, build coaching groups, develop coaching information products, write e-books etc. What other solutions can you think about so you can reach thousands of potential coaching clients and transform your coaching business?

4. Place

If you only provide your life coaching services in person, you’re obviously limited by your geographic location.  Besides working in person with your coaching clients, consider offering your services over the phone or via voice over IP services such as Skype. This will enable you you to connect with clients who would not otherwise be able to benefit from your life coaching services.There are many benefits in providing your coaching services via Voice over IP. Over the phone coaching establishes an emotional comfort zone allowing your client to connect more easily and communicate without feeling pressured to make eye contact or communicate non-verbally.

===> Center for Executive Coaching educates and train executive coaches to get outstanding results for their clients

 

How to Choose Your Executive Coach – 1

executive coaching certificationBy Hemant Karandikar

Executive coaching is a very powerful method of developing business leadership. There are a lot of leadership courses out there in the market. Many bear marque names of Ivy League business schools. Typically, leadership courses consist of some theory or concepts, case studies, and group discussions. The leadership courses revolve around the brand of a famous B-school or some charismatic speaker. If you have attended such leadership courses, you will remember feeling good about the intellectual stimulation and networking. But other than carrying a the heavy course material nothing really happens in your actual work. The so called investment does not give any other returns.

Executive Coaching, on the other hand, centers around the learner on the job. An executive coach helps the learner in identifying key areas of focus and helps in developing an action plan. Executive Coaching deals with the person, the job challenges, and the skills needed. Therefore executive coaching is very effective in developing leadership skills.

The question is how to select a good executive coach? This series deals with this crucial question.

This attribute is quite easy to miss -your executive coach must have integrity!

I know, integrity is a minimum requirement in every profession. But here it takes a different dimension.

Your coach is asking you questions. Your answers do not create a flattering picture of yourself. You get hot under the collar and wonder why I am paying this guy? Yet your coach presses on.

When an executive coach is confronted with a situation of conflict between professional duty (advice that is beneficial to client) and continuity of the coaching assignment he or she gives priority to the professional duty -that kind of integrity.

Such executive coaches are few in number. They also tend to focus only on large companies and their CEOs. You have to also ensure that he or she is accessible to you and also affordable.

Hemant Karandikar advises companies on business & brand strategy, on business transformation, and for achieving breakthroughs in business processes. He leverages this expertise in product creation projects for companies along with his design associates. He coaches business leaders and executives for developing leadership skills. Hemant founded Exponient Consulting and Learning Leadership.

Previously, Hemant was Managing Director, GWT Global Weighing (now Sartorius Mechatronics) and held position of General Manager at Philips India. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India.

For comprehensive business transformation services, please visit http://www.exponient.com

For Onsite and online coaching for leadership development, please visit http://www.learning-leadership.com

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The Role of Executive Coaching in Talent Management and Succession Planning

executive coaching certificationAuthor: William J. Rothwell, Ph.d., Sphr

Research indicates that as many as 70 percent of U.S. firms still do not have successful talent management or succession planning programs. And yet many authorities continue to warn that, despite the current economic downturn, a war for talent is looming. Indeed, the current economic downturn may in fact create an additional hardship for employers, since it may tempt many managers to take their human talent for granted as unemployment rises. In short, the “r” word (that is, “recession”) may lull some managers into false sense of security as many workers delay their retirements or hunker down to accept extra work at a time when finding new jobs may not be as easy as in boom times.

Executive coaching has emerged in recent years as a topic of great interest for several reasons, and employers should be cognizant of what those reasons are. But what is executive coaching? What categories of executive coaching may exist? When is executive coaching appropriate? How does executive coaching relate to talent management? How should executive coaching be carried out? Who should carry it out? This brief article addresses these questions.

What Is Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching is a process of helping an executive become more effective in his or her job. While almost anyone who helps an executive become more effective serves as an executive coach, a planned process of executive coaching usually involves two people — the coach and the executive — working together. Professional executive coaches may — or may not — hold a formal certification in executive coaching from any one of several respectable organizations.

What Categories of Executive Coaching May Exist?

There are various ways to categorize executive coaches. A simple way to do that is to distinguish between a job content coach and a job process coach.

A job content coach helps a newly-promoted executive to master the job to which he or she has been assigned. Job content coaches are usually people who have successfully held the same or similar job for which they are providing coaching. Instead of making a new job a “sink or swim experience,” the organization provides an executive coach as a “life preserver.” As a simple example, suppose the company’s board of directors promotes an individual to the job of CEO but board members are painfully aware that the individual is really not yet “ready” for the job. In that case, the company’s board might search for an individual who has successfully held the job of CEO in another company in the industry. Perhaps the coach is retired. The coach’s role is to provide on-the-job coaching, organized around a mutually-negotiated schedule and approach, to the newly-promoted CEO.

A job process coach, on the other hand, helps a newly-promoted executive address interpersonal relationships. A common problem in some organizations is that a technically-proficient individual is promoted into management. He or she is exceptionally gifted in the technical side of whatever work they do — such as MIS, engineering, research, or some other technical specialty — but the individual is not particularly good in dealing with people. Perhaps he or she is weak on EQ (emotional intelligence). In a bid to help the individual, the organization commits to give him or her a job process coach to help him or her deal with interpersonal relations (processes).

When Is Executive Coaching Appropriate?

Executive coaching is appropriate when organizational leaders:

  • Are aware of it as a possible solution to lack of readiness for promotion or lack of effective interpersonal skills
  • Are willing to spend the time, money and effort to make it work
  • Are able to source a well-qualified coach
  • Are able to ensure that the executive is committed to the change that the coach is intended to help him or her make

How Does Executive Coaching Relate to Talent Management?

From the previous sections, it should be apparent that executive coaching can be, at times, a valuable strategy to use in talent management. If the organization’s leaders want to promote from within but feel that in-house bench strength is really not “ready” for promotion, then a job content coach can provide “on the job training” to help an executive transition from his or her previous role to a new one. On the other hand, if the organization’s leaders value the technical gifts of a worker but believe that his or her interpersonal skills are inadequate to meet the demands of higher-level responsibility, then a job process coach can effectively provide real-time help by “following the executive around” and offering advice (usually in private) about ways to improve how the executive interacts with other people. It should thus be obvious that executive coaching can be a powerful approach to use, particularly when the organization has not sustained an effective talent management program over time to systematically prepare people for the challenges of other, usually higher-level, positions.

How Should Executive Coaching Be Carried Out?

There is no “one size fits all approach” to executive coaching, and numerous “models” to guide the executive coaching process have appeared in print. Clearly, the best approach is to negotiate an arrangement between the individual who needs help (the executive) and the person who is to offer it (the coach). Ideally, that arrangement should be put in writing and updated periodically. Of course, quite often there is a third party in the relationship — and that is the “sponsor” (the person or group who requests the coach to help the executive). The agreement should clearly spell out who does what, who is responsible for what, and who pays for what.

Of key importance is to decide whether the coaching experience will focus on the job content (what the job requires and what results are to obtained) or the job process (how to establish and maintain effective interpersonal relationships with other people).

In job content coaching, the executive coach should:

  • Clarify the desired results to be obtained
  • Clarify how well the executive is currently able to achieve the desired results
  • Formulate an individual development plan, a coaching agreement, that will help narrow the developmental gap
  • Clarify how and how often the coach and the executive will interact
  • Clarify when and how the coach, executive and sponsor will communicate about results achieved

In contrast, in job process coaching, the executive coach should:

  • Clarify the desired improvements in interpersonal skills that are to be obtained, perhaps by conducting a 360-degree assessment or by interviewing superiors, peers and subordinates of the executive
  • Clarify how the executive is currently interacting with others
  • Formulate an individual development plan, a coaching agreement, that will help narrow the developmental gap
  • Clarify how and how often the coach and the executive will interact
  • Clarify when and how the coach, executive and sponsor will communicate about results achieved

Quite often, job process coaches will use “job shadowing” to follow the executive around and then offer “instant replays” and “instant feedback” on the executive’s interactions over the phone, by email, in meetings, or in daily interactions with others. Job content coaches may not need to observe what the executive is doing so much as what results he or she is getting and then offer advice — through face-to-face meetings or even through email, phone, web conference, or even instant messaging.

Who Should Carry Out Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching can be carried out by external consultants, hired for their expertise in coaching and their experience. It may also be carried out by anyone who has a willingness to offer help to an executive — and have the executive listen to that advice and try to improve based upon it. To some extent, the person who should do the coaching role should be appropriate for the type of change needed: does the executive need job content or job process coaching? (Rarely can helpers do both.)

Conclusion

Executive coaching has many applications. One possible application is to use it to provide “on the job learning” opportunities for individuals who are perceived to be unready for promotion but who may be promoted anyway. Another possible application is to use executive coaching to improve the interpersonal interactions of otherwise talented people who may be lacking in social skills.

(Reprinted with permission by Linkage Inc.)

William J. Rothwell, Ph.D., SPHR is President of Rothwell & Associates, Inc. He is also a Professor at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Author of over 300 works, his most recent books include HR transformation: Demonstrating strategic leadership in the face of future trends (DaviesBlack, 2008) and Working longer: New strategies for managing, training, and retaining older employees (AMACOM, 2008).

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About the Author

Linkage is a global organizational development company that specializes in leadership development. We provide clients around the globe with integrated solutions that include strategic consulting services, customized leadership development and training experiences, tailored assessment services, and benchmark research. Join us at Linkage’s Talent Management Summit, the industry’s premier event bringing together HR, talent management, LD, and OD leaders to help organizations advance and implement a complete talent management process.

Learn more at www.linkageinc.com/tm or by calling 781.402.5555.

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Executive Coaching – 3 Tips For Dealing With a Whiner

executive coaching certificationBy Jodi Wiff and Mike Krutza

We all have different trigger points – when the hair on the back of our neck rises and we have the strong desire to flee the room. For me it is when I hear ‘whiners’ begin with a tirade of their latest problem. I can feel my inner voice wanting to reach out and stop them in their tracks. I’ve learned a few tips that you may find helpful in dealing with the whiner in your workplace.

Tip 1. Don’t feed the dog. Do not get sucked into their vacuum of whining. It is a deadly trap. People become their food…as it gives them empathy. It feeds more whining and the direction of whining does not bring energy to the table, just a camaraderie of ‘poor us’.

When I mentor people, I give them a heads up about getting pulled into a whiner’s web…it doesn’t serve anyone well.

Tip 2. Be clear that the whining is the choice of the individual…the whining can turn the individual into feeling like a victim…’poor is me’. Life is tough, and we have all taken a turn at ‘whining’. Just be sure you know what you’re doing, and get over it. A 30 second whine is OK, knowing that you’re moving on after the 30 seconds is key. It is when people continue the whine, and feel sorry for themselves that it starts feeling more like they are acting as a victim. It you don’t like something, take action and move forward, slight as it may be…move forward.

3. Whining is a choice, one that is not accepted. Be up front and truthful – whining will have a negative impact on the team. Make it clear that workplace is a no whine zone.

Jodi Wiff and Mike Krutza, authors

Do you want to learn more about Organizational Culture? Download your organizational culture guide Organizational Culture.

Wiff and Krutza turned an organization around…culturally and financially. http://lighthouse-leadership.com

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Why Do Companies Use Executive Coaching and What Does it Involve?

executive coaching certificationBy Johnny E Smith

The main goal of Executive Coaching is to help individuals develop in the right way which will result in them reaching their potential quickly.

Companies can achieve this through a number of approaches and they must choose the most appropriate method for their particular organisation. These approaches are: leadership programmes, board development and executive coaching, managed coaching service to develop effective leaders.

Executive coaching has been taking over the board rooms in recent years. It is a very popular focus in the industry at the moment and is a great way to develop senior management needs and personal skills. The main aim is to try to improve performance or change certain behavioural habits. Executive coaching specialists recognise that coaching must be goal orientated and personally tailored to the individual.

Executive coaching is structured around a set of key variables. Firstly, the aim is to complete the training quickly and make sure that candidates have the ability to meet their coaching goals in a short space of time. This service places a great deal of emphasis on reaching set goals and maintaining both long and short term goals. As mentioned earlier it is also very closely tailored to the individual employee.

Some people may be confused as to why employers use executive coaching in the first place. Even though this type of service is not cheap and can cost larger companies a significant amount of money, many people might say that the benefits outweigh the costs. Employers use this form of training for a wide variety of purposes and for good reason. For example when a new senior member of staff is appointed they will need to be armed with the necessary skills to coach their team in the most effective way. This method can also be brilliant for greatly improving the personal development of highly talented individuals so that they can reach their potential quickly.

Another situation where this may be very beneficial is when a company is making changes and giving people slightly different job roles. When organisational change takes place it is useful to have someone making sure that the influential people in the company are still focused and performing in the correct way.

Find out more about Board and Executive Coaching as well as the latest information on Executive Interim Services with Penna the global HR consulting experts!

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Is Executive Coaching the Same As Therapy? 6 Key Reasons Why Coaching is Different to Therapy

executive coaching certificationBy Mark Buchan

Understanding where coaching ends and therapy begins

This boundary between coaching and therapy is extremely vague and subjective. In fact I would go so far as to say that they overlap significantly resulting in a set of similarities between coaching and therapy. This can prove to be somewhat confusing for helping professionals who try to explain those differences. It is true that coachees report that their coaching was very therapeutic but that does not mean that what they were receiving was therapy. So whilst there are many similarities between coaching and therapy I would like to concentrate on the differences in this article and then on the similarities in the next one.

Solution focused versus problem focused

The main difference in my experience of having practised as a coach and a therapist is that coaching tends to focus on the solution to problems rather than spending many hours trying to understand the problem. Therapy on the other hand is mainly about focussing on the problem, analysing and seeking an understanding the problem or just “being with” the problem. Therapy is also very useful for helping people to abstract a larger meaning for the problem.

Future versus past

Another difference between coaching and therapy could be that coaching deals with the accomplishment of future goals whereas therapy helps people to come to terms with painful events from the past. Of course this is a generalisation and a gross simplification. For instance some of these past painful events that a person experiences may get in the way of their ability to achieve their goals, so the coaching conversation will naturally reveal this “impediment”. It is then a question of whether the coach and coachee feel that it is appropriate to continue with the coaching while dealing with “baggage” from the past.

Remedial versus developmental

Therapy tends to be used in a remedial fashion helping clients deal with issues such as child abuse, bereavement or other events that have caused extreme trauma or depression within the client. Coaching on the other hand is mainly used as a learning and development tool to help clients achieve personal or business goals while deepening their awareness and understanding of themselves.

The Relationship: Top-dog/underdog vs egalitarian

Coaching works best when the coaching relationship is perceived as a peer-to-peer relationship, so all good coaches seek to establish this type of relationship. This is counter to many (but not all) forms of therapy where the therapist is considered the “top dog” or the expert while the client is the “under dog” or the patient.

Timing and frequency

A therapy session usually takes place every week (more often in the case of psychoanalytic) and lasts for 50 minutes, or a therapy hour as my wife would call it. The duration of therapy can last somewhere between 1 to five years. Conversely, coaching tends to be of shorter duration, but not always as is the case with executive coaching. Skills or performance coaching tend to have a short duration of maybe a few weeks to a few months. The frequency of coaching sessions again is variable with performance coaching taking place every week whereas developmental coaching often occurs once every 4 to 6 weeks. The typical length of a coaching session tends to be one to three hours.

Price

This may sound ludicrous but the cost of quality therapy versus quality coaching is huge, with coaching being often four times more expensive than therapy. I say this is ludicrous because of the amount of regulation, training, assessments and supervision that a therapist has to comply with compared to that of a typical business coach.

In the follow-up article to this I will cover the similarities between coaching and therapy.

Mark Buchan is business coach who specialises in executive coaching (aka leadership coaching). Mark works with the senior and junior leaders in large and small organisations. Current and previous clients include Rolls Royce, British Telecom, Bombardier Transportation, Nokia, Credit Suisse and many others. You can find out more about Mark and the services he provides by going to his companies website http://www.executivecoaching4u.com

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Does Executive Coaching Create Dependency? by leadership training, executive training, corporate coaching

executive coaching certificationThis article explores the possibility of dependency in the executive coaching dynamic between the coach and his/her client. Often even though discouraged, executive coaches may give advice or have a strong bias of direction that creates a hidden reliance. So does executive coaching create dependency?

This question is an interesting one as it has payoffs for both parties. The client feels a sense of security knowing that he has someone to call upon when wavering with any challenge. The executive coaching professional by creating dependency ensures that his client remains loyal and that continuity of business ensured.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that this is always the case however I have seen it happen far too often for my liking. Surely the aim of executive coaching is to create self reliance? A coaching job is well done when the executive coaching professional makes himself redundant!

At what point does the extent of guidance, questioning and suggestion need to stop and at what point does the onus revert to the client? This has been question that executive coaching professionals have been toying with for ages. To know the answer is to fully know the client’s understanding and knowledge of the issue at hand. It is easy to pass the buck to the coach and it’s a lot more challenging to squeeze the answer out of the client.

Suggestions of encouraging the client beyond his comfort levels and challenging him to take calculated risks may start to bring some light to this question. Knowing the boundaries is of crucial importance for the executive coaching professional as he walks the fine line between pushing too far and not far enough.

Egoless coaching can shed another angle of thinking on the subject. When there is little ego in the executive coaching dynamic there is no need to control, advise or be right. There is also little attachment to how the results will all pan out. Naturally great results are imperative but there is a big distinction between ego attachment and achievements of coaching outcomes.

Another point to consider is setting the executive coaching agreements upfront. This involves the needs, expectations and promises that each party makes to the other. When this is clearly stated if will be fairly obvious as to the extent of possible dependencies that may occur further down the line.

If the expectation of the coach is to be the oracle and help provide the necessary solutions the result will be total reliance. If however the boundaries are clearly set as to the extent of assistance then the potential for dependency is reduced.

I am also aware of the time pressures that executive coaches are under and that results need to be achieved in short time frames. In cases like these resilience and process explanation would go far in communicating to the powers that be what is realistic and sustainable.

In this way the problem of dependency can be vastly reduced.
The company specialised in leadership training, executive coaching and corporate coaching

===> Center for Executive Coaching educates and train executive coaches to get outstanding results for their clients