F1RST – Coaching, the science of Positive Psychology


Coaching is becoming increasingly popular in today’s business environment. More and more organizations are using coaching as a means of improving performance, developing skills and capability, facilitating leadership development, as well as career management. Coaching can have a real practical impact on the development of strong self-efficacy that enables us to perform tasks more effectively. As a management developmental activity, coaching promotes organizational change and leads to sustainability.

Coaching works because it taps on the science of Positive Psychology. It is based on a simple principle – focus on the positive gives you a positive outcome. William James commented that” the greatest discovery is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind. What makes coaching such a powerful tool for transformation is the use of powerful questions that directs the mind to focus on the RIGHT source – not so much in problem fixing, but in deepening awareness. When coupled with the science of Positive Psychology it gives people a sense of optimism that can be best summed up in one word – ‘HOPE’.

Effective coaching challenges limiting assumptions embedded in our viewpoints about self and others in a way different from teaching or training. Good teaching and training also challenge the limits of learners, but in a different way — by adding new knowledge and skills. Coaching is a ‘Unique’ form of dialogue that expands an individual’s capacity to transform his or her limiting beliefs. We become our best, most powerful selves when we have someone we can count on to reflect back to us, and to hold us accountable to, our emotions and thoughts, our hidden brilliance, our barriers and obstacles, and our secret, infinite capacity for accomplishment. Once we tap into our own inner strengths, then creativity, progress and accomplishment follow accordingly, and it involves a tailored approach to fit the client. Depending on the position of the person being coached and the purpose of the coaching, different approaches are called for ‘Value’.

Let me introduce you to a technique that I have found useful in my work with people. It is called ‘Solution Focused Brief Coaching’ (SFBC).

Solution Focused Brief Coaching is essentially a technique of coaching that is brief and focuses on helping the client be more solution focused. I use the word “client” because the official counseling term for it means a person is under our protection. Therefore a client could be your colleague in the workplace, your teenager at home, your spouse and so on. It does not focus the problems in detail but helps the client to be more solution focused by asking a set of questions that help them look for solutions.

Here are some core focuses:

Focus on the strengths, not weaknesses.

Focus on solutions, rather than problems.

Focus on competencies, rather than inadequacies.

Focus on “What can” rather than “What can’t” be done.

By helping a client be solution focused, we move them in a more resourceful state of thinking. They are able to explore opportunities or strategies that they might have used before to get results for themselves. The coaching process is also shorter because the ranting of problems is significantly reduced. In addition, the client’s confidence in solving a situation improves because they realize that they have more choices available to them. Lastly, they feel better themselves to be able to think of solutions to their problems, rather than allow others to suggest it for them. They will feel that they own the problem.

Coaching is effective at reducing procrastination and facilitating goal attainment and there is a growing body of empirical research that supports the findings that business coaching really does facilitate goal achievement. Coaching is founded on confidentiality and trust.

Solutions lie within the coachee.

There is no judgment or fixed agenda, but there is an agreed goal.

Coaching is about the whole person.

The coach and coachee are equal partners.

Coaching looks to the future and next actions.

Coaching Changes In Relation To The Clients Personally

Self Awareness – The majority of coachee can experience an increase in their level of self-awareness. They can have a feeling of  understanding themselves better and their self-concept and also feel they have more insight into how they impact others.

Self Confidence – Effective Coaching can also report an increase in self-confidence. This can  also  be coupled with a decrease in self-limiting thoughts and beliefs.

Self Leadership –The Coaches can enhance   their self-development, knowledge of themselves and self-confidence grow and so does their awareness of their own self-leadership. Through coaching they can be  able to develop their ability to lead themselves with more compassion and self-acceptance.

Relationship To Line Manager – Coaching appears to help clients explore their existing relationship with their line manager which has many benefits. Some clients can be able to identify things they were not satisfied with within this relationship and change it. For others, coaching can offer  a place to explore what they were satisfied with and what within that relationship they value and find helpful. The quality of this relationship appears to impact the “micro-climate” of the coachee and can strongly better their perceived career outcomes.

Relationship To Conflict: During coaching, many of the participants can discover that conflict was something they were avoiding. Coaching allows them to explore negative beliefs around conflict, to challenge and ultimately change them.

Relationship To Power – General case studies findings give an insight that often people  reject the concept of power and have quite strongly negative feelings towards it. Coaching supported shifts in insight and perceptions for clients around power and how it could be used. Through the process of coaching some views and thinking can be moved towards seeing power as a positive and constructive force connected to strength and confidence and one which they had choice and influence over how it was used.

Concluding Lines : Coaching and Training isn’t ‘Therapy’ , it’s Product Development with ‘You’ as a Product. It’s a universal language of Change and Learnings that inspires and supports each one of us to achieve the desired results in all facets of our Life and Career.

About F1rst : “Whether you want to advance an idea, a capability, or the world at large, F1RST Inspiration is with you every step of the way. We excel in the business of human potential, and believe in its power to shape strategic, organizational, economic, and societal change. We have a result driven mission combined with a make it happen mindset”

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