You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger: Executive Coaching by Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries

By Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries

Kets de Vries profiles various poisonous executives the narcissist, psychopath, chilly fish, obsessive-compulsive, and lots of extra, supplying coaches examples of interventions that experience labored and those who have not, to assist coaches take care of tricky humans and develop into greater.

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Although some of them may want to be closer to others, distancing becomes a 16 You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger defensive psychological strategy. They often show few signs of needing other people, don’t bother trying to attract others’ attention, and try to cope with problems on their own. They are likely to lack (or not express) empathy, and may even take pleasure in others’ unhappiness. They keep their distance, fearful that they may get hurt. ” The fearful avoid attachment relationships to prevent being hurt or rejected.

Shannon L. ” This is very true, and paranoid types will present you with some of your more difficult coaching assignments. That doesn’t negate the fact that healthy suspicion can be viewed as an adaptive mechanism. Being vigilant for real or potential obstacles can be seen as an extension of anybody’s natural wish to survive. But suspiciousness needs to be moderated by a healthy dose of reality in case it slips over into full-fledged paranoia. Effective executives ground their behavior in sound organizational practices that limit and test danger, and they rely on trusted associates to help them stay sound and sane.

Let me give you an example of a client who demonstrated this kind of behavior. Some time ago, one of my associates was doing a top-team group intervention. Its purpose was to make the members of the team work together more effectively. During the workshop, it became clear that one of the members (let’s call him Don), although technically extremely talented, was a disaster from a managerial perspective. He had very poor interpersonal skills, was terrible at motivating people, and not a team player.

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