North Texas Dentistry Volume 5 Issue 6 - Page 13

Q. Is coaching different from consulting or psychological counseling? Dr. Small: Yes, significantly different. Consultants promote their expert knowledge and are paid to impart that knowledge to the people or organizations that hire them. In essence, consultants are teachers. A psychological therapist helps people fix problems and deals primarily with issues in the past that have created problems in the present. Coaching does not dwell on the past or on problems. It is futurefocused and concentrates on positive solutions rather than defining or dwelling on the cause of specific problems. Dr. Joel C. Small Executive Coaching: What it is and what it can do for your professional growth Q. What is executive coaching? Dr. Small: Executive coaching is a positive, solution-focused process aimed at inspiring leaders to recognize and overcome blind spots and self-limiting beliefs that, once resolved, allow transformational behavioral changes to occur throughout their entire organization. The nature of this transformation is both personal and professional and results in increased productivity and performance, as well as increased job satisfaction and improvement in the organization’s bottom line profitability. A Although executive coaching remains relatively unknown in the healthcare profession, Forbes cites it as the second fastest growing profession in the country. Coaching has become the transformational process of choice for numerous Forbes 1000 companies, and their testimonials are nothing short of overwhelming. Q & Professional coaches are experts at coaching, but share a deeply held belief that their client has within him/her the answers to any situation they may face. The coach’s job is to assist the client in finding the solution which they already possess and developing an action plan to implement the solution and ultimately achieve a goal. The coach serves as a facilitator. Q. Can you give an example of what one might expect when working with an executive coach? Dr. Small: Absolutely, in fact, I can share my personal story as an example. Throughout my career, I have benefited greatly from my experience with professional coaches. Working with my past coaches, I was able to identify blind spots that for years were compromising my effectiveness in all aspects of my personal and professional life. Coaching allowed me to not only identify my blind spots, but it taught me how to reframe existing, self-limiting preconceptions that, once viewed differently and aligned with my personal values, became my greatest strengths. Several of the doctors in my endodontic practice have utilized executive coaches, and our office manager has her own executive coach that she has utilized for the past ten years. Overall, professional coaching has had a very positive effect on North Texas Endodontic Associates. My personal mission is to introduce coaching to the healthcare profession. I know from personal experience that coaching is transformational and that overcoming blind spots and self-limiting beliefs can be a life-altering experience. Q. How does one find the right coach? Dr. Small: There are three prerequisites for executive coaching to be effective; a well-trained coach who is knowledgeable about the industry in which they are coaching, a willing subject that wants to make positive changes in their personal and/or professional life, and a positive rapport between the coach and their client. Given these criteria, it would be important to find someone who has experience in your industry and it would be wise to inquire about their training and experience. Most of the better coaches have undergone formal training in executive coaching and are either working toward or have already acquired a coaching designation from the International Coach Federation, the official worldwide governing body for personal and professional coaches. The rapport between the coach and client is paramount. Most coaches offer a complimentary initial coaching session dedicated to answering your questions and deciding if there is the proper chemistry for the coach/client relationship. Each party must decide for themselves if there is sufficient trust and rapport for there to be a successful outcome from working together. What self-limiting beliefs do you have that might be getting in your way? If you asked your team to help you identify blind spots, would you be surprised by what you discover? Dr. Joel C. Small is a practicing endodontist and the author of “Face to Face: A Leadership Guide for Healthcare Professionals and Entrepreneurs”. He received his MBA, with an emphasis in healthcare management, from Texas Tech University. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas postgraduate program in executive coaching and limits his coaching practice to motivated healthcare professionals. He is a nationally recognized speaker on the subjects of leadership and professional development. Dr. Small is available for speaking engagements and for coaching healthcare professionals who wish to experience personal and professional growth while taking their practices to a higher level of productivity. Dr. Small can be reached at or by calling (972) 567-9592. Joel C. Small, DDS, MBA, FICD Executive Coaching for the Dental Mind | NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY 13