A few years ago, I had not even heard of Leadership Coaching. I was not even a fan of coaching, wondering who pays money to someone for advice on what to do with their life. I was wrong for two reasons: the first reason was that a good coach does not give advice; the second one was that sometimes we need someone to ask us the right questions.
In trivial topics, this can be a family member, a friend or a partner. The problem is that they all have their opinions and biases, and they can’t wait to share them. A coach is an objective observer who asks questions with only one goal: to support their client in finding what they are looking for.
Coaching and Positive Psychology
I am a Psychologist who works in Leadership Development. I have studied people, and I have always worked on helping them maximize their potential.
In 2020, I took an interest in Positive Psychology, the new domain that Martin Seligman introduced in 1998. It focuses on how to improve people’s life and help them adopt positive traits and behaviors for an increased personal and societal well-being. Learning more about Positive Psychology, I realized how much it has to offer to leaders.
By leaders, I don’t mean people in senior corporate roles. I mean visionary, empathetic, and engaging people who aspire to build a better world. This is what good leadership is about, and you can find it anywhere in our society, from school teachers to nurses to ethical CEOs.
If only I could use my Psychology background, my working experience, and my interests in mindfulness and well-being to support leaders grow and create better environments for their followers. Leadership Coaching seemed to be the way to do it.
What Coaching is and is not
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as:
partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.https://coachingfederation.org/about
Coaching is not about motivational quotes, inspirational mantras, or promoting personal successes. Real coaches are professionals with formal qualifications and credentials. For them, coaching is all about the client, and what the client wants to achieve. There are no winning recipes, no clear path to success. All true coaches do is ask powerful questions, which can lead to insights.
My Coaching plan
We all seek for a greater meaning in life, a higher purpose that can make us feel good every day. I feel good when someone I work with has an insight about how to improve their life and their team. I can tell when the insight comes because they silently look up, and they have a faint smile on their face. It is an amazing reward to see that glimpse in their eyes when they finally decipher it.
As a writer, it is always invigorating when people tell me how something I wrote touched their life. I want to cultivate this in a profession, and Leadership Coaching is the way for me to do it. I want to support young and seasoned leaders to become the best version of themselves and use that strength to shape the world for the better. It could be a more engaged and productive corporate team, a more innovative network of students or young professionals, or an empowered group of charity workers. It could even be a better work-life balance for a family. What matters the most is that the change is positive for the people involved.