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Executive Coaching in Organisations: The Personal is the Professional

M Cavanagh, A Grant International Journal of Coaching in Organizations 2004

Coaches sometimes make the case that executive, workplace and personal (life) coaching are substantially different coaching applications. Exploring these issues it is concluded that there are indeed considerable overlaps between the personal and the professional in relation to executive coaching in organisations. To be truly effective, executive coaches must address the personal in their clients' professional lives. The argument is illustrated with case studies and research from the peer reviewed empirical literature. The key thesis is that, in order to maximise the probability of a successful outcome, executive coaches need to address the personal when coaching for professional and business-related issues. The person's psychological processes impact on all aspects of life, whether business-related or private. The personal is not the domain of the counsellor or therapist alone. Rather, effective coaching requires the coach to engage with the person at the level of beliefs, emotions, values and metacognitive patterns. In order to engage with clients at these levels, clearly articulated and critically evaluated theories and models are required.

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