by Janette Young (United Kingdom)

Why is the science of positivity important for coaching?  Positive psychology is a new paradigm of psychology that has emerged in recent years.  The positive psychologists will claim that focusing on the positive improves flourishing. The focus on positivity within coaching helps to build self-confidence and self-esteem in the client. Added to this, there are many interweaving threads between positivity, leadership and coaching styles and knowledge creation. Whilst coaching emerges in many shapes and forms, the focus on the positive can only enhance the client-coach relationship. As such the focus on self-esteem and nourishing brings out the best in people through human development.

At the beginning of the 21st century Seligman, made it his mission to found the new scientific movement of ‘positive psychology’. Seligman argued that previously psychology had unwittingly adopted a disease model, concerning itself primarily with alleviating human suffering.  However, precious little scientific research was devoted to discovering how to call forth what makes life worth living (Fredrickson 2009). The science of positive psychology is rooted in scientific evidence and is the study of positive emotion; engagement and meaning; positive accomplishments and good relationships (Seligman cited in Fredrickson). The goal is to increase the amount of human flourishing in yourself and others.  As such, start by asking the question ‘what makes us happy’?

Only a decade old, positive psychology has produced a wealth of information about how to unlock human positivity.  One key thread according for Fredrickson is that your habitual patterns of thought are pivotal.

Source: iCN Issue 22  (Wellness & Holistic Coaching); pages 36-37

About Janette Young

Janette is acknowledge Consultant, Coach Trainer /Learning Facilitator for Knowledge and Know-How, Leadership and Personal Development. Author of Personal Knowledge Capital:  The inner and outer path of knowledge creation in a Web World.  Chandos Publishers.