5 Positive Psychology Benefits for Leaders During Covid

November 13, 2020

As 2020 winds down, we can all agree that this has been a stinker of a year. At The Workplace Coach, we’ve found that even the most experienced leaders have had their confidence shaken as they grapple with the deep, ongoing disruptions of Covid-19. 

Amid a host of unknowns, they’re having to draft action plans that respond to today’s urgent needs, while creating business strategies for 2021 and beyond that are flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions. Many are managing remote workforces for the first time ever, at a time when their employees are coping with enormous stressors in their personal lives.

This year, in addition to our work with executive clients developing short- and long-term action plans and strategies, we have focused much of our time coaching leaders and managers in essential soft skills and leadership qualities.

Because of Covid, many clients are having to develop previously underutilized leadership qualities such as transparency, compassion and psychological flexibility. They’re learning to create psychological safety for their employees, to be more supportive and collaborative, and to relinquish iron-fisted, top-down habits.

For many such clients, coaching centered in positive psychology models and tools is particularly effective. 

Here are five ways that positive psychology coaching is helping our clients face unprecedented challenges by developing essential leadership qualities. 

  1. Restore confidence. Our coaches ask open-ended questions that prompt clients to refocus on what’s working, reframe their thinking see new perspectives. The power of empathetic listening allows clients to consider problems from fresh new angles. This restores confidence, rebuilds hope and emboldens leaders to find creative solutions to today’s problems and think strategically about next steps.

  1. Reconnect with values. Through the skilled application and interpretation of values clarification exercises and strengths profiles, including Gallop’s CliftonStrengths assessment and the VIA Character Strengths Survey, leaders refocus on their core values and natural strengths. This renews a sense of purpose and clarity.

  1. Rekindle wellbeing. When acute stress threatens to interfere with effectiveness, activities like keeping a daily gratitude journal and practicing mindfulness meditation reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhance a sense of calm and wellbeing. In our experience, it is often the most results-driven, goal-focused leaders who benefit most.

  1. Release control. For leaders having a tough time dropping their command style of management, positive psychology provides a framework for exploring the beliefs and stories impeding their thinking. Through narrative coaching, the client deconstructs their inner stories, broadens their perspectives and explores alternatives to those currently governing their thinking.

  1. Regain perspective. When resiliency and optimism flag, even the most experienced leader suffers. One solution: reconsider your priorities through the lens of positive psychology’s PERMA model of happiness. This model describes the five core elements of psychological wellbeing, happiness and fulfillment as follows: 

P – positive emotion. Boost resiliency by lowering stress and mindfully navigating emotions. 

E – engagement. Improve creativity and confidence by developing strengths. 

R – relationships. Create psychological safety by investing in your people connections. 

M – meaning. Find or create meaning in your work and other purposeful activities. 

A – accomplishment. Set and achieve realistic goals to create a sense of fulfilment.

Positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths, positive emotions, traits and values that support optimal functioning and wellbeing for individuals and organizations. In positive psychology coaching, we partner with clients to identify their core strengths and values, build on past successes, enhance resilience and cultivate happiness and self-compassion. In times like these, these are strategies that will benefit just about anyone, including you. 

If you’re ready to boost your leadership resilience and effectiveness and develop your leadership qualities, Contact The Workplace Coach today.

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