Martin H. Klein, Ph.D Executive Coach Psychologist
Westport, Fairfield And Stamford Connecticut
Now Offering Video Conferencing
Executive Coach — Senior Management and C-Suite Professionals
Finance Healthcare Technology Its Business Not Personal To be an executive or a professional in today’s complicated world is not an easy task. The demands of the work place are intense and expectations are high. To master the complexity of your position and produce satisfactory results is no longer enough to ensure success. To succeed you need to understand the culture and politics of the organization as well as grasp the psychological and interpersonal dynamics of your employees, peers and supervisors. While the expression “it is business, not personal” is often bantered around when companies decide to make organizational changes, anyone who has been affected by these changes knows it is very personal when you are the one the being written up, laid off, demoted or discriminated against.
Goals, Action and Focus To flourish in today’s work environment you need to be more than an expert in your field, you need to understand the cultural vision of the organization and learn the new skills necessary to grow with the company. You have to have goals and actions plans in motion that meet leadership’s objectives, know how to manage expectations and stay focused on tasks. It is important to build strong relationships, be a team player, develop listening and communication skills and understand your personal strengths and weakness. One must manage stress, reduce irrational fears and anxiety, and not only know how to accept mistakes but learn from them so you are not blindsided by your deficits in the future. And if this is not enough, you need to balance all of this with a healthy and fulfilling personal and family life to ensure psychological well being. In these high pressure roles, work-related stress and performance anxiety are a common adversary.
The Psychology of Change As a clinical psychologist, with over twenty years of experience working as a senior executive and consultant to numerous fortune 500 companies, Dr. Klein helped many professional improve their job situation from both a psychological and business perspective. He has worked with senior executives -- C-Suite - to improve their management style, assisted professionals experiencing hostile work environments, and helped individuals who are currently unemployed or are thinking about a job transition. He has mentored individuals who want to start or expand a small business and need help developing a business plan. For example, in his many years of practice, he has helped teachers who are having difficulty coping with school administrators, physicians dealing with changes in their practices or confronted with hostile hospital management, hedge fund and money managers stressed by the changes in the financial industry, small business man or women coping with a tough economic times, and middle aged individuals trying to get back into the workforce.
The Active Interactive Process Unlike psychotherapy, coaching is focused more on the present and future than the past, more on goals and behaviors than emotions and emotional patterns, and there is a more active dialogue between the client and coach. While the coach provides feedback and an objective perspective, the client is responsible for taking the steps to produce the results he or she desires. Coaching is an interactive process that helps individuals develop more rapidly and produce more satisfying results. As a result of coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and more fully use their natural strengths.
Why Choose a Coach Who Is a Clinical Psychologist? To have an executive coach with a background in both business and clinical psychology is a real asset. A clinical psychologist is trained to listen and observe, be flexible in his approach to meet the client’s needs, understand the individual from a more holistic perspective and be able to understand how individual personality traits and perhaps psychological and family issues can be contributing to his or her work related difficulties. A therapist can help you manage stress, alleviate burnout maintain mental health.
Dr. Klein's expertise in the area psychology, finance and the stock market has been written about by Al Root in Barron's magazine:
Is Stocks’ Plunge Affecting Your Mood? It Could Be ‘Dow Affective Disorder.’ By Al Root March 18, 2020, 11:01 am EDT
Money can’t buy happiness, but, apparently, it helps.
People’s moods can suffer as the stock market declines. Anyone with significant experience in the market can attest to that fact: No one likes losing money, and everyone likes making it. But in the most extreme cases, stock-market gyrations can lead to Dow Affective Disorder or DAD.
Investors shouldn’t dismiss the idea out of hand. Staying happy in this market is hard. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are both in bear market territory, down more than 20% from recent highs. The Dow dropped almost 3,000 points, or 13% on Monday, only to rally 5.2% Tuesday. In fact, the Dow has moved more than 5% for seven consecutive days. The volatility has been extreme.
“A person with ‘Dow Affective Disorder’ experiences bipolar swings in mood as the market moves up and down,” wrote psychologist Martin Klein in a February blog post. “In a bull market they feel elated and invincible. They may spend freely, even to the point of living beyond their means.” But then comes the fall, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
Klein received his Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology at Berkeley in 1986. He was an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine before setting up private practice in Connecticut.“I’ve dealt with a lot of people on Wall Street,” Klein tells Barron’s. Most people only glance at the value of their portfolio on a monthly or quarterly basis. The problems start when checking stock prices becomes compulsive. “Stock performance can be how some value themselves as people,” he said.
DAD is his term for stock swings affecting moods. It isn’t official. There are, of course, mood disorders based on things beyond people’s control. SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, for instance, is a recognized condition. A ton of research is done into money and happiness.
It’s hard to draw sweeping conclusions, but research has coalesced around the idea that to be happy, people need enough money to live, a purpose, and loving relationships. DAD falls under the first of those criteria. Maybe people view stock- market drops as an existential threat to financial security.
The symptoms of DAD, according to Klein, look like those in other depressive disorders: stomach pain, back pain, neck pain, as well as an inability to sleep or a decrease in libido. If people are going through that, Klein wants them to ask for help. “Severe emotional ups and downs are harmful to long term health,” he says. In the case of DAD, the ups and downs can hurt the pocketbook, leading to panic selling—in environments like the Covid-19 coronavirus selloff—or to euphoric buying at market tops.