Business, Executive & Corporate Coaching

Professional Career Counselling and Personality Development in 1140 Wien

If you only do one thing right as a coach, then it should be to show your clients that you respect them and believe in them. Everyone has strengths, capabilities and resources which can be harnessed for growth. It should also not be forgotten, that driving any behaviour, no matter how problematic, are skills that once had to be learnt.

What is (Business) Coaching?

Coaching as a concept dates back to the turn of the 19th century. English students coined the term in referring to their tutors who were responsible for preparing them for sporting competitions and exams. Just as a (horse and) coach helps its passengers to progress and move towards a goal they saw their tutors as helping them progress and reach academic and athletic targets. Today the term coaching is widespread and crops up all over the place. People talk about sports coaching, diet coaching, voice coaching, learning coaching, business coaching etc. A coach must have an expertise in the subject matter for the specified field in which he is (e.g. business) in which he is coaching and he must be able to motivate and support his coachees in defining and attaining their goals in this field.
The term coaching covers a plethora of concepts

Picture by kgtoh, CanStockPhoto

My understanding of myself as a business coach is as someone who combines his education, experience and knowledge from business (e.g. marketing, law, IT etc.), psychology (e.g. personality and motivation theories, brain research) and psychotherapy (in my case systemic therapy, family therapy, trauma therapy and hypnotherapy) in order to support clients in the context of their careers and professional lives. This means helping clients

To overcome problems and difficulties
To find new solutions, strategies and options for action
To recognise problematic and unhealthy behavioural and cognitive patterns and to find opportunities for change
To identify, harness and grow resources, capabilities and competencies
To promote self-reflection and the ability to shift and view things from a different perspective
To develop their personalities
Coaching is in my way of thinking a developmental and learning process in which commissions and goals, process duration, frequency and pace of sessions are jointly agreed upon by coach and coachee. Coaching is according to this understanding a working cooperative in which the coach assumes the responsibility for guiding conversations and the coaching process. Coachees are on the other hand responsible for being experts about themselves and their own experiences. They know at the end of the day, if something is useful and helpful for them or not.

From this perspective coaching is about helping people to help themselves. It is about helping coachees to improve or regain their ability to regulate their inner experiences and/or external circumstances for themselves. A coach who accompanies a client on this path should provide advice and encouragement in a fashion such that at the end of the process he and his help is no longer needed.

Who can benefit from Business Coaching?

Business, career and executive coaching are services which can be useful for anyone operating in a career context (students are also included in this statement) and who wants to grow on a personal level. If you want to work on you communication style, self-confidence, self-esteem, time management, leadership qualities, conflict management or general professional development then business coaching may well be able to help you here.

It can also be expedient to seek the help of a career coach during phases of increased stress and pressure in the workplace. Coaching can be in this sense a useful means of getting support to prevent burnout, exhaustion, and depression. The point at which it becomes critical to seek out professional assistance will vary of course from person to person. Having said that it is generally advisable to seek out help before your health becomes affected. Leaving it too long generally also makes the recovery process more time consuming and expensive.

When choosing a coach it is of course important to check to see if the coach has specialisms ans qualifications in dealing with the topic(s) of relevance to you. Perhaps of equal or even greater importance however is to make sure that the coach is likeable and personable and that the chemistry between you and the coach is good. Research shows that this is essential for a satisfactory outcome of the coaching process.

Prerequisites for a robust and positive coaching relationship are willingness and voluntary participation, respect, trust and a level of cooperation with fairness and equality. The confidential nature of the coaching process is fundamental to upholding these values and I take my responsibility here very seriously. I also go to lengths to work as transparently as possible and to explain what I am doing and why to my coachees as well as involving them in the decision-making and planning parts of the coaching process.

My Specialisms as a Coach

My specialisms as a coach are the natural and emergent result of my own personal career development. Since the end of the 1990s I have been working internationally and can look back on a career which has taken place in the five different European countries (UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria) in which I have lived.

Business coach Kevin Hall works on the flipchartI started out my career life as a management consultant specialising in Business Intelligence. After a number of years I then moved into marketing where I was involved in advisory, management and strategic capacities for SMEs and large corporations across a range of industry sectors (e.g. IT and software, telecommunications, consumer goods, insurance, retail, broadcasting, banking, insurance, utilities, rail etc.)

In 2004 my interest in psychology and communication science which was ignited during my studies of cognitive science was rekindled. I began to deepen my knowledge and completed professional training courses and over a number of years gained qualifications in conflict management, NLP, psychotherapy and trauma therapy. During this time of intense training and professional development, some of which was completed alongside my job as a marketing executive, I decided ultimately to leave my old career behind in order to concentrate solely on business coaching and psychotherapy.

Today I work in private practice doing just that. The expertise and experience which I have collected over the years has led me to specialise in services for the following occupational groups:

Managerial staff, senior executives, commercial and technical experts
Students
Entrepreneurs, contractors and self-employed individuals
Social welfare professionals
Health professionals
Expats and persons who operate in international environments

Topics for Career Coaching and Personal Development

People seek the advice and help of a coach out for a variety of reasons. Here are some examples of the topics with which people come to seek out my assistance:
Improving managerial, leadership and social skills
Stage fright, exam stress and anxiety regarding interviews and self-presentation
Preparation for difficult discussions with bosses/employees
Dealing with pressure to perform (self-made and/or external)
Coping with promotion, new roles and/or tasks
Professional reorientation, career planning and developing visions for the future
Time management, perfectionism and procrastination
Communication difficulties, conflict management, bullying, tension in working relationships
Burnout prevention, stress and pressure from and at work
Increasing self-esteem, self-confidence and self-belief
Expat topics, e.g. preparation for working and living abroad, integrating into Austrian society, home sickness, preparing to leave Austria

What Happens in Coaching?

Getting in Touch and Arranging an Appointment

I am contactable by telephone, via my online contact form or by e-mail (all contact details can be found under this link). My aim is to respond to all contact requests within 24 hours during the working week. At weekends and during holiday times it can take longer for me to get back to you.

An initial consultation lasts 50 minutes. Information as to the terms and conditions of my services as well as my pricelist can be found under this link.

The Initial Consultation

One of the main aims of the initial consultation should be to jointly evaluate with me if coaching is the right service to meet your needs. It is also important for you to use it to become acquainted with my way of working and to gauge if I am the right coach to meet your requirements. I conduct the initial consultation in a structured fashion in order to shed light on the following aspects of our work together:

Business coach working with a constellation board
Coaching requirements analysis and exploration of client motivation: Together we explore your motivations and topics for coaching. In this phase I will also ask you what currently works well and should remain unchanged. This helps to identify and build on existing resources as well as to sharpen the focus of the coaching process.
Formulation of coaching goals: Goals of coaching are defined within a joint brainstorming process. These goals should be meaningful and attractive but also attainable, realistic and measurable. The area of psychology known as Goal Setting Theory states that optimal target achievement is possible given a high identification with the envisaged target combined with the proficient implementation of a plan containing concrete steps towards achieving this target.
Definition of milestones and coaching process quality measures: The success of the coaching process should be measurable for coach and coachee. It is therefore sensible to identify indicators and pointers which provide prognostic information on the progress of the coaching process. Concrete steps which must be taken in order to reach the next milestone should also be established. This might mean for instance developing specific abilities or skills or it might mean securing support within the home, workplace or elsewhere.

Subsequent Sessions and Coaching Process

A coaching process is an individual and personal experience. It is a process that is tailored for each client and their unique personality and set of requirements. I employ the following methodical elements to customise the coaching process and structure sessions:

Regular evaluation of the progress of the coaching process. Frequent goal reviews to allow adjustments for changes in targets based on changes in circumstances or perspectives.
Agreement and definition of the goal for each coaching session.
Interventions and exercises to initiate change, stimulate creativity and motivate. The main task of the coach is to help coachees to find solutions, new approaches to problems and subsequently to work out options for action. In the process resources, talents and personal strengths identified and built upon. It may also be necessary to aid coachees in developing new skills or resources.

The methods and techniques which I employ are derived from systemic/family therapy, systemic coaching, hypnotherapy, clinical hypnosis and NLP. Examples:

Conversational techniques (questions, use of metaphors etc.) in order to structure topics, encourage new perspectives and help clients to identify strengths and resources.
Techniques to aid imagination, visualization and creativity
Structural constellation work
Hypnosis and relaxation techniques
Psychoeducation
Role-play
In order to enable and integrate learning experiences within day-to-day life I often give “homework” exercises which should be completed between sessions. These take the form of observation exercises or sometimes written work which help coachees to develop new skills and to collate information which is important for the coaching process. Homework exercises are, as with any exercise, only to be performed if we both agree that the exercise is useful, meaningful and practicable.

At the end of the session I will arrange a follow-up appointment with you. The important thing here to bear in mind is that the time between coaching sessions should not be too long. As a rule, I recommend maintaining a gap of around 2-3 weeks between sessions. This can of course be adapted to meet individual and specific requirements.

Finalising the Coaching Process

A coaching process typically lasts between 3 and 10 sessions. During the coaching process it is altogether possible that goals can change or new topics may emerge. This can of course alter the duration and nature of the process. It may also become evident during the course of coaching that treatment with psychotherapy is necessary. This could be the case for instance when symptoms of psychological problems such as burnout, depression etc. are present. If this is the case I will discuss this and a possible treatment plan with you should you wish to commence the treatment with me.

The coaching process comes to an end when both coach and coachee can jointly determine that the targets set for coaching have been attained. It can also come to an end should circumstances change such that the relevance of coaching or the sense of continuing with the process are called into question. Whatever the case may be a final session is an important part of the coaching process. An important aspect of the coaching process particularly with regard to the final session is to reflect on progress, achievements and also remaining difficulties or potential for future growth. This includes considering how to secure and continue with progress made and how to deal with relapses and recurrences of old patterns and behaviour.

Next Steps