What is coaching? Coaching is a method of engagement that has as its core aim the desire to assist an individual to thrive. Based on the significant research around Positive Psychology, Coaching is a method that seeks to offer the most individually enabling pathway in the most efficient manner by capitalising on the individual's pre-exisiting inner resources. A coaching environment aims to ascertain an individual's strengths and competencies, harnessing them to increase the individual's level of happiness and satisfaction, rather than to discover and heal weakness. During the course of Coaching sessions, issues may arise for an individual as "road blocks" and other impediments to growth may be uncovered. Coaching with a qualified therapist provides the ideal environment to effectively deal with those issues, and, depending on individual circumstances, integrate the facilitation of new ways to be into the flexible coaching program. Overcoming "road blocks" with a definite aim for the future and for growth is a particular strength of coaching, and of positive psychology.
Understanding Leadership Program Many individuals in positions of authority have arrived at their position through career development that has not necessarily included the specific development of leadership skills, and the organisations that hire them have little idea of what is required of such individuals. (Clutterbuck 2012) Yet these individuals are increasingly called upon to provide leadership in areas as diverse as the workplace, volunteer organisations, and in times of family need. There are also highly experienced and trained individuals in leadership roles who may not fully understand the skills they possess, or the reasons behind their level of skill as a leader and could therefore become more successful in their role.
The Understanding Leadership Program is designed to utilise the coaching environment to enable the client to achieve a greater understanding of Leadership, and therefore of the client's own leadership ability. By using the coaching relationship, coupled with coaching tools and measures, it is anticipated the client will also explore the inverse position to leadership by exploring self management in order to fully realise their leadership potential by ensuring that they first “become more effective with themselves.” (Gorton, 2013)
While there is an apparent prescribed structure to the program, the individual nature of the client/coach ratio allows for the focus of the program to be individually driven, and for the length of the program to be altered on a needs basis.
The causal link between happiness and success in leaders is also fundamental to this program. It is well documented that happy people “perform better in leadership positions (Achor 2010, p. 49) and that “Happy CEOs are more likely to lead teams of employees who are both happy and healthy, and who find their work climate conducive to high performance.” (Achor 2010, p. 49) Providing the tools to enable happiness is an aim of the program.
“If psychologists wish to improve the human condition, it is not enough to help those who suffer. The majority of “normal” people also need examples and advice to reach a richer and more fulfilling existence.” - Martin Seligman