'Austrian companies are finding globalisation stressful. A third of Austria's top 100 managers are thought to have resorted to 'business coaching' for workplace problems, ranging from dress sense to coping with power. According to Gerhard Friedrich, who consults prominent managers and politicians, a coach's main task is to develop emotional intelligence by providing a boss with 'objective feedback' on public speaking and management skills. He has also been asked to draft farewell tributes and fire people, which is why a 'thorough grounding in both psychology and business management is crucial' - there are many unqualified opportunists and charlatans in this unregulated market. If his advice bears fruit, he gets no credit: clients usually pay the pounds 4,000 out of their own pocket and insist on total confidentiality. That is why US-style business psychology - virtual coaching on the internet - won't catch on here, says a Canadian guru: 'Austrians are too reserved and sceptical.''
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