In their article titled The relational turn in executive coaching Haan and Sills (2010) suggest that a relational shift is needed in executive coaching. Haan and Sills purport that with the recent developments in neuroscience the “relationship” is key to a coherent and collaborative process in executive coaching, “…we have seen the emergence of a countervailing force to reckon with, a force that both directs us back to the diversity and uniqueness of our clients and also especially to the relationship between coach and client”, (p. 2). The essence of the neuroscience research they reference supports the role of supportive relationships, beginning at infancy and throughout the lifespan, that result in an internal template of enhance self-cohesion and stability.
They suggest that this (relational) process involves integrating psychotherapeutic techniques of working more “intersubjectively” with clients, thus allowing the “mutual influencing of all relationships”. It is their opinion that in these fast-paced times, where there is less of a cohesive support system in-place for executives, that the helping profession of executive coaching can play a vital role in this supportive relationship.
Haan and Sills describe inextricable links between coaching and psychotherapy and emphasize that coaches would benefit their clients to integrate more of these therapeutic techniques into their coaching sessions. These techniques include: setting up weekly meetings and clarifying expectations so that the client feels a sense of structure, client-centered listening and creating an meaningful alliance, “Relationship has been shown to be the single best predictor of outcome of therapy, in such a way that it is not only the quality of the relationship in the final session that is a good predictor of final outcome (which would be a trivial finding), but the quality of the relationship in the first sessions as well”, (Haan & Sills, 2010, p.3).
To add to the neuroscience research that supports this idea, I reference my neuroscience research on the role of mirror neurons and empathy in working intersubjectively with clients: http://gradworks.umi.com/35/08/3508085.html#!.
Haan, E. & Sills, C. (2010). The relational turn in executive coaching. Journal of Management Development. Volume 29(1). Retrieved online October 20, 2013: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1891119&show=abstract
This blog is intended to explore ideas, educate, entertain and expand our thinking. Some posts speak to current trends in the brain sciences, neural benefits of exercise & sports, emotional intelligence and personal growth.