Did the executive coaching industry fail?

did the executive coaching industrie fail

The dose makes the poison

Terms like authenticity, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and empathy are trending. We want to optimize the way we communicate; we wish to be mindful; we intend to grow and become more efficient and productive. Companies spend billions of dollars each year on sales- and management training.

Often, executive coaching focuses on an ideal world scenario rather than the reality. A board member of a public company cannot always be authentic. Period. A salesperson cannot be 100% honest at all times. Full stop. Showing your vulnerability can be the wrong move and detrimental to your company's success, if you are the CEO.

Hey, I would love to live in a world where someone can start a shareholder meeting by saying, “I had tears in my eyes when I paused for a minute to experience the beauty of a wonderful flower with all of my senses.” —  but this is not how it works.

If one part of a coaching or training is not working, we dismiss the rest either. 

It's all self-centered

The current level of self-centering and self-obsession does not lead to the desired results.

  • Owning as many books as possible doesn't make us more clever if we do not read them
  • Knowing something and implementing it are two different pairs of shoes
  • To master a skill, we have to be learners, not collectors
  • Skill mastery requires repetition

One example of why companies rarely see the desired return on their investments

Most how-to guides and coaching offers, especially in business coaching, teach that you should be leading all of your actions and reactions at all times. If we followed all the advice regarding the correct body language, facial expression, etc., we'd sound unauthentic and hardly understand more than the spoken words. 

More often than not, the crucial part is to understand the emotions and motivation of another person.

Our attention is way more limited than we think. If we focus too much of our attention on other things, what we used to do automatically or intuitively will not work anymore. If two tasks require the same cognitive resource, our brain will split its power.

Authenticity, for instance, is a social construct and not so much a matter of focused attention and thinking.

Did a 71 billion dollars (HBR) industry fail?

As of today, one could say: Yes. Companies are still crowded with people that feel disconnected, disengaged and are unhappy with their bosses. Depression, burnout, and other often job-related disorders are at an all-time high.

About 13% of top salespeople still account for about 80% of the sales.

Job burnout is on the rise, and so is the number of employees who suffer from depression and other problems.

Naturally, this is neither helping the productivity of the employees, nor the careers of their managers.

What about emotional intelligence, empathy, and mindfulness?

Social competence is the new black. And the old black. No doubt about that.

Empathy, authenticity, and vulnerability are desirable traits that should be learned and taught - in a realistic setting. A high EQ allows us to

  • communicate effectively with managers, employees, and suppliers
  • present our ideas in an electrifying way
  • manage stress at and after work
  • influence change
  • avoid miscommunication and uncontrolled reactions 

just to name a few. 

Coaching has to become better and focus on teaching the desired skills with the real world in mind.

Dr. Mark Goulston, AKA the people hacker, and I invite you to check out our approach. We have developed training for you that is both, easily implementable and doable by you.