What is Positive Psychology Coaching?

10 January 2024

Positive Psychology Coaching

Positive psychology coaching is a type of coaching that applies the principles and practices of positive psychology to help clients achieve their personal and professional goals. Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living, and it focuses on the positive aspects of human experience, such as strengths, values, emotions, relationships, and growth.

Some of the benefits of positive psychology coaching are:

  • It helps clients identify and use their strengths to overcome challenges and pursue their aspirations.
  • It fosters a growth mindset that encourages learning from feedback and mistakes.
  • It builds resilience and coping skills to deal with stress and adversity.
  • It enhances positive emotions and well-being by cultivating gratitude, optimism, and happiness.
  • It supports positive relationships and social connection by promoting empathy, compassion, and communication.
  • It facilitates personal growth and meaning by aligning actions with values and purpose.

Positive psychology coaching uses various techniques and tools, such as:

  • The positivity ratio, which measures the balance between positive and negative emotions and suggests that a ratio of at least 3:1 is optimal for flourishing.
  • Active constructive responding, which is a way of responding to others’ good news with enthusiasm, interest, and support, and has been shown to enhance relationship satisfaction and trust.
  • Best possible self, which is an exercise that involves imagining and writing about one’s ideal future in different domains of life, and has been found to increase optimism and well-being.

Positive psychology coaching is not only beneficial for individuals, but also for organizations and teams. By applying positive psychology principles to the workplace, coaches can help leaders and employees improve their performance, engagement, creativity, collaboration, and satisfaction.

Some examples of positive psychology interventions in organizations are:

  • Strengths-based leadership is a style of leadership that recognizes and leverages the unique strengths of each team member, and has been linked to higher productivity, profitability, customer loyalty, and employee retention.
  • Appreciative inquiry is a method of organizational change that focuses on discovering and amplifying the best practices and successes of an organization, rather than fixing its problems and weaknesses.
  • Psychological capital is a construct that comprises four positive psychological resources: self-efficacy, hope, optimism, and resilience. Psychological capital can be developed through training and coaching, and has been associated with better performance, motivation, commitment, and well-being at work.

Positive psychology coaching is a powerful way to help clients achieve their full potential and live more fulfilling lives. By using science-based techniques and tools, coaches can help clients discover their strengths, overcome their challenges, enhance their well-being, and create positive change in themselves and others.

Kauffman C., Boniwell I., Silberman J. (2010). The Positive Psychology Approach to Coaching.
Fredrickson B.L. (2005). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions.
Gable S.L., Reis H.T., Impett E.A., Asher E.R. (2004). What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events.
Peters M.L., Flink I.K., Boersma K., Linton S.J. (2010). Manipulating optimism: Can imagining a best possible self be used to increase positive future expectancies
Rath T., Conchie B. (2008). Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams And Why People Follow.
Cooperrider D.L., Whitney D.K. (2005). Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change.
Luthans F., Youssef-Morgan C.M., Avolio B.J. (2015). Psychological Capital and Beyond.

Find a Positive Psychology Coach in your area


Blog Categories