As an executive coach, I often work with senior managers who are aspiring to the “corner office.” As client and coach, we work together to change behaviors, broaden perspective, sharpen skills, enhance executive presence, and of course plan their career paths and execution strategies. But, what about coaching for them after they “arrive?” For most, that’s when coaching becomes even more advantageous.
The higher up you go in an organization, the more you tend to deal with relational and psychological issues. That’s why successful CEO leadership requires perceptive insight about what makes people “tick.” In other words, we need to have relationship competencies that center around self-awareness, so we can understand the personal drivers and self-interests of others in order to lead in a way that fosters an innovative and energized organization. This is where coaching is key – self-knowledge creates clarity and fosters understanding of one’s own values, aspirations and personality traits as well as those of others. Ultimately, honest self-awareness moves coaching away from remediation and toward maturing the executive mind. This level of coaching helps leaders balance power with compassion, while at the same time facilitating growth beyond pubic persona and personal vulnerabilities that culminates in a vision focused thought-leader capable of becoming a force for success and good in the world.
One approach that helps grow an executive’s skills and effectiveness is positive psychology coaching. Positive psychology has an emphasis on the scientific study of strengths and virtues that empower people, their organizations and communities to thrive. According to psychologists and researchers, such as Dr. Martin Seligman and Robert Biswas-Diener, people who integrate positive psychology principles into their work and daily lives benefit greatly through enhanced self-awareness, and sense of well-being that comes from active engagement in the process of developing themselves and others.
Positive psychology coaching differs subtly from other forms of coaching because of its keen focus on strengths. It may be framed as having five basic tenets: 1) people have an innate drive to grow, change and overcome; 2) focusing on strengths is as powerful, if not more powerful than focusing on weaknesses in the achievement of success; 3) positivity in the form of hope or emotion is a powerful resource for facilitating change and achievement; 4) attention must be paid to both positive and negative aspects of life in order to address the complete person; and 5) scientifically derived knowledge and assessments provide unique ways of understanding clients and the coaching process. Combined these principles provide for a thought-provoking and creative coaching process to inspire C-Suite level executives as they work to maximize their psychological flexibility and personal and professional potential.
For more information check out:
- Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching: Assessments, Activities and Strategies for Success by Robert Biswas-Diener
- Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman
- Or contact us to schedule a complimentary conversation about your aspirations and how coaching may help – firstname.lastname@example.org