Leslie Pratch Discusses Catalytic Coping

A clinical psychologist, Leslie Pratch specializes in helping public organizations and private equity firms identify executives that have the psychological resources necessary to succeed in particular leadership roles. In preparation for her career, she not only enrolled in the highly-selective program on adult development, an accredited program in clinical psychology, where she earned her PhD in clinical psychology, she then went on to earn an MBA in finance and strategy from The University of Chicago.

The following discussion of catalytic coping comes from a draft of the manuscript for Leslie Pratch’s forthcoming work entitled Good on Paper. The book explores the personality structures conducive to success in business leaders.

“Catalytic coping is the ability to invent creative, effective solutions to problems and then carry them out. It is the most overt expression of active coping, the easiest to observe and measure. Leaders strong in catalytic coping always seem to have thought out several options to resolve each problem. If there isn’t an option, they create one. They develop detailed plans and execute them. That does not mean they are rigid; if conditions change and the plan ceases to be effective, catalytic copers immediately rethink their options and adjust the plan. Leaders who lack catalytic coping skills do not look, think, and plan ahead. If they come up with a plan, it often lacks depth or creativity, and they will stick to it whether it suits current conditions or not. They seem lost when faced with difficult or unusual conditions, and may fail to take timely action or any action at all.”