Executive Coaching in Zurich

How Coaching Can Help

The fish thrives from the head down

It is often said that a fish rots from the head down, suggesting that organizations and companies begin to falter when leadership fails. Conversely, the opposite holds true: strengthening leadership through coaching can profoundly benefit the entire organization.

By addressing and overcoming leadership challenges through targeted coaching, leaders can significantly enhance their effectiveness. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and an improved work environment. As leadership improves, the organization becomes more cohesive, with everyone working collaboratively towards common goals, ultimately driving success and growth.


Executive Coaching in the Service Sector

The CFO of a prominent industry corporation sought my assistance in Zurich, citing a recent decline in his assertiveness.

Facing imminent restructurings and necessary cost-saving measures, he needed to assert himself firmly and persuade various stakeholders to accept painful cuts. During this transitional phase, he became the target of numerous friendly and less friendly attempts at influence. In the past, he had perceived himself as conflict-ready and resilient under pressure, but lately, he struggled with motivation and felt he was becoming too lenient. The CEO had even mentioned this to him in a private conversation. Uncertain what was happening to him, he wondered if it was a sign he needed to change jobs or if he was sliding into a life crisis. Regardless, he was determined to get back on track.

We scheduled three extended coaching sessions to delve into his concerns. It quickly became apparent that his issues were multifaceted. They stemmed in part from his kind yet excessively harmony-seeking personality. As his mother’s favorite son, he had quickly surpassed his father and overshadowed his less talented siblings, enjoying a position of unrivaled affection in his family. Compounding this, his long-harmonious marriage was now in severe crisis. His wife could no longer cope with his emotional distance, masked by a charming facade, and demanded more emotional engagement in their relationship. Additionally, he faced an escalating sense of chronic loneliness, having lost several important friends to estrangement over the years.

These factors culminated in a sort of paralysis, a reluctance to engage and expose himself—qualities that were crucial during the company’s transitional phase.

For this client, executive coaching transcended mere behavioral optimization within the company. It encompassed addressing the entirety of his life crisis. He quickly realized that this holistic coaching approach was the key to confronting his neglected life issues—his emotional distance, loneliness, and fear of intimacy and exposure—head-on.

The objective was to consciously embrace the crisis and leverage it as an opportunity. After two years of intensive coaching, the client made substantial changes in his life: he separated from his wife, re-engaged in a long-neglected sport, and forged new friendships. His enthusiasm at work returned. He continues to work on the deeper personal issues, supported by occasional coaching sessions.


Executive coaching offers significant benefits to individual leaders by:


Elements of Leadership Coaching

Leadership coaching encompasses two key elements: a technical-professional component and a personality-centered component. While imparting technical 

professional leadership tools is a part of every executive coaching process, it is rarely the primary focus, as most leaders are already well-trained and experienced. My psychoanalytic knowledge and experience are integral to the personality-centered component. This aspect aims to uncover and release leadership potential that may be overlaid, blocked, or even buried by conscious and unconscious issues, transforming the coachee into the successful leader they are capable of becoming.


FAQ - Coaching

How does Coaching differ from Expert Advice or Therapy?

Expert Advice is to Coaching what reading a book about football is to proper football training. The Coach analyzes the Coachee’s mistakes, errors, flaws and shows him how to do it correctly. Together, they look for the roots of the Coachee’s blockages and success inhibitions. And in doing so, the Coach encourages his Coachee to go beyond his inner limits.

The transition from Coaching to Psychotherapy is fluid. Psychotherapy relies on continuous regular sessions, Coaching on intensive meetings at longer intervals. The goals of Coaching in the narrower sense of the word are purely professional: Greater effectiveness and increased productivity of the client. The holistic Coaching, in which the entire life organization of the Coachee is taken into consideration, comes closer to the approach of Psychotherapy.

There are Coaches a dime a dozen. What makes a Coach a good Coach?

The problem is that Coach is not a legally protected job title. And there is no such thing as an official training curriculum to become a Coach.

Therefore, there are many self-proclaimed Coaches and charlatans in the Coaching field, often experienced professionals who have retired from their traditional occupation, without any actual training in communicative and clinical skills, but who coach younger colleagues in need for help. They lack basic capacities of assessing the personalities of their Coachees and leading them through their states of crises and change.

My working style as English-speaking business coach in Zurich is based on my psychoanalytical training and decades of experience in dealing with human problems as well as my own leadership experience as president of national and international organizations.

Good Coaching is more than pats on the back and well-meaning advice.

It asks the right questions, holds an incorruptible mirror to the Coachee, and encourages him to confront and deal with his own potentials, flaws and inhibitions in an informed way. It is Leadership and Psychoanalysis training in one.

Are there different Coaching Approaches?

I practice both professional and management/leadership Coaching in the narrower sense of the word aiming at increasing the professional capacities of the Coachee, as well as holistic Coaching targeting the comprehensive personality development of the Coachee. The Coachee decides where our journey will take us.

What does Coaching cost?

The hourly rate is 300 CHF for a 60-minutes-session. This fee includes all preparation and post-session analytical work of the Coach. This fee is comparable with the hourly rate for Organizational Consulting and higher than the fee for Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy or Supervision due to the fact that the pre- and post-session work of the Coach is more intense and time-consuming (longer intervals between the sessions).