These are the 4 main fields I draw on in my coaching approach.

(In the drop down menu below the Resources tab are categories to click on for bibliographies.)

Appreciative Inquiry is an approach of selectively looking for and building upon what is working well. It denotes an investigation (inquiry) into what is valued or honored (appreciative). It doesn’t deny the existence of threats and weaknesses, but rather turns them into opportunities and strengths. I work with managers, leaders, teams and organizations by using appreciative inquiry as one tool for coaching and facilitation.

Positive Psychology: Barbara Fredrickson, (Positivity), was a student of Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology. She discovered that there is not an inborn set point for happiness in each of us-our life satisfaction, happiness, etc can increase and sustain at a higher level as a result of our efforts. She has a toolkit for increasing positivity, which includes an assessment to use as a baseline and post assessment for evaluation.

Recently, Martin Seligman changed the focus of his research from happiness to wellbeing in his book, Flourish. He states that wellbeing is made up of PERMA: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. (Gallup also did this recently in their book, Wellbeing). Many other researchers are adding to the body of knowledge on happiness and positivity. I assist leaders in increasing positivity and wellbeing in the context of reaching goals and achieving peak performance.

Neuroscience: Recent research into the functioning of the brain indicates that, contrary to long held scientific beliefs, the brain is able to change and develop in many new ways throughout our lifetime. It doesn’t stop developing when we reach young adulthood. Neuroscientists have therefore called the brain “plastic” and subject to plasticity.

The process of an individual changing their own brain is called “self-directed neuroplasticity”. Positivity, cited above, involves self-directed neuroplasticity. Researchers at UCLA and many other well known laboratories are also providing evidence of how our brains respond to one another, change, stress, etc.

I work with leaders and teams to help you “use your brain” to manage yourself, and work well with the people in your company, especially during times of intense change, so that you increase engagement and productivity rather than inadvertently decreasing these important elements of a success.

Strengths research: Gallup has performed comprehensive research into strengths at work: what they are, how much they are used, when and how they are used and the impact of using or not using strengths. They interviewed 1.6 million people in 16 different countries in 100 companies and came up with an assessment, a book and now a book series for leveraging strengths. I help leaders and teams identify and build on strengths to create a flourishing organization.


If you would like to further explore how to magnify the value of your strengths by becoming a Strengths Based Leader, please call 805-965-8595 or click here for a no cost one-on-one conversation with me. I would love to hear from you and support you in your practice as a Strengths Based Leader.

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