You may think I’m a good planner. Not always true. When my loved ones want a Christmas gift they send me digital links. I select something. Then on Christmas Eve I run around Nashville, TN to pick up my gifts. It’s a long time habit. Full of joy and occasional last minute substitute gifts.
Apparently I’m not alone.
On December 24, 20198 I raced into a jewelry store at Green Hills Mall in Nashville to pick up a gift.
Marshall Goldsmith was doing the same for his loved ones.
You may know Marshall as the best-selling author of “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” (2007) or “Mojo” (2009) or “Triggers” (2015). Or as one of the most influential executive coaches and leadership consultants of our time. Or as a contributor of CoachSource, the largest global provider of executive coaches, where I serve as an engagement manager.
Or as another person racing around to find meaningful gifts for his loved ones.
We are not alone.
There is plenty of nonsense from online extremists. I’m sick of it. You may be frustrated too.
One of my clients said, “I’m just paralyzed. I’ve submitted my PPP application to Wells Fargo because I trusted them to deliver. Now they say I should consider a new bank. I don’t know who to trust.”
Another client said, “We have adopted new norms for remote work. Everyone has a laptop with a secure virtual private network (VPN). But, people are late for meetings. WebEx doesn’t work. We get interrupted by crying children and barking dogs. Our deliverables are down 20% in 3 weeks.”
That’s why I want to give you these 6 great resources:
- As a species we have always adapted to aversive stimuli with resilience. 100 years ago over 600,000 people died as a result of the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Our grandparents survived. 100 years from now we will have new global health protocols. You and I will not be alive, but our children will learn from our work today. Resilience defines us. We can adapt. Some great resources are at the Greater Good Science Center.
- Teams are stronger than individuals. They always have been stronger. Consider any project team, family team, virtual or direct team… Teams will always will be stronger because teams provide different perspectives, tension, innovation, results. Social isolation leads to anxiety and depression, and kills more people than cardio-vascular disease, obesity and smoking. Combined. Lately I have been calling at least 5 old friends every day. Physical isolation is critical. Social isolation occurs when we do not reach out to one another. Some great free resources are here. You can strengthen your teams today.
- Networks of teams are stronger than individuals. Networks look like spiderwebs or a map of your favorite highways. Networked organizational maps make it possible for anyone to be a leader. One good article on the road ahead using networks of teams is from McKinsey. It’s worth sharing with your teams.
- The road ahead is paved with new leaders, from many networks. Consider recent examples of healthcare leaders like your local physicians and nurses, or Dr. Anthony Fauci. Consider thousands of leaders in education who quickly migrated course content online and are encouraging songs across the physical distance. Leaders emerge when teams practice using OKRs. Objectives and Key Results (OKR) increase accountability and engagement, especially with over 50% of the workforce who are millennials. Recently, over 20% of the U.S. workforce has lost their job or is underemployed. Please share this link from my newest book with anyone in a career transition. For anyone interested in learning about OKR Leadership, please share this link to chapter 1 in audio or digital format. You may be a great leader for your loved ones.
- We finally have a new language to describe our virtues and character strengths. Over 7 million people use the language of signature strengths to describe themselves or others “At your best.” For the past two years I have listed my signature strengths in my email signature as a small experiment. I strongly recommend that you take the free VIA assessment here and practice developing your strengths daily. When we leverage our strengths, then we are more capable of flourishing. The science and practice of character strengths has gained momentum during this pandemic, because people want to know, “What really works?”
Just thinking of you, today, at your best.
Doug Gray, PhD, PCC
CEO, Action Learning Associates, LLC
704.995.6647 mobile, 615.236.9845 office. Calendar Me.
My top signature strengths: creativity, hope, perspective, honesty, zest
Protocols abound in finance for security and risk mitigation. Thankfully.
Protocols abound in healthcare for efficacy and efficiency. Thankfully.
Protocols are not yet adopted by coaches, but they need to be adopted ASAP.
For details on my dissertation research of global executive coaching and leader outcomes, using positive psychology protocols, contact us here. For certification programs using the AD-FIT coaching protocols, see the products for internal managers here, see the products for external coaches and consultants here.
We trademarked the following model because our clients asked us, “What works?”
Positive Psychology Coaching Protocols:
The AD-FITTM Model
Assess coachee’s signature strengths:
Assess Mindset: To what extent is the leader/ coachee willing to change?
(Fixed mindset 0-20%, 20-40%, 60-80%, 80-100% growth mindset)
Define a meaningful goal or outcome for the leader/ coachee. (A measurable performance or behavior)
Focus on the leader/ coachee’s agenda. (“I’m a little concerned about…”)
Intervention or possible action for the leader/ coachee. (“Have you considered…”)
Takeaways or next step for the leader/ coachee. (Model accountability and change.)
% of adherence to this model? (0-20%, 20-40%, 60-80%, 80-100%)
Understanding of Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) protocols:
Introduction to Positive Psychology
Positive Psychology (PP) may be operationally defined as the science of well-being and optimal functioning. The phrase “positive psychology” was coined by Maslow (1954) and is rooted in humanistic psychology. Recent research in PP has defined five clusters of scientific findings, the PERMA model, that describe positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments (Seligman, 2011). The construct of signature strengths can be assessed using the Values in Action (VIA-72) questionnaire (Seligman & Peterson, 2011). The construct of Psychological Capital (PsyCap) can be defined as a dynamic, higher-order construct comprised of hope, efficacy, resilience and optimism (Luthans, Youssef-Morgan & Avolio, 2015).
Introduction to Positive Psychology Coaching
This Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) program was designed in response to a perceived need for development of business leaders actively engaged in professional coaching. The confidential relationship between coaches and coachees will be maintained throughout this research. Autonomy and mastery are critical aspects of professional coaching relationships, and will be maintained throughout this research.
The goals of this PPC program include: (a) assessing and developing individual character strengths using validated strengths-based assessments, (b) adhering to a structured evidence-based protocol for positive psychology coaching, (c) developing a strengths-based goal attainment process customized for each leader (coachee), (d) measuring Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) by evaluating adherence to three goals that are personally meaningful and relate to business outcomes for the leader (coachee), (e) modeling action planning and accountability in each coaching session by evaluating adherence to the coaching protocols, (f) quantitatively and qualitatively measuring the effect of positive psychology coaching on coachee outcomes.
Coaching engagement goals
The goals for each coaching engagement will be defined by each client (coachee) and customized with their professional coach. Each coachee will be encouraged to define three goals that are personally meaningful, relate to business outcomes, and can be measured using the goal attainment scale (GAS). Representative examples of coaching engagement goals may include (a) driving retention and organizational performance through tactical execution, (b) developing strategic thinking and planning, (c) developing leadership capability in key areas to leader success, (d) aligning and integrating current role with desired future role, (e) developing executive presence, (f) aligning operations with other business sectors to drive shared accountability and measurable impact on business outcomes.
Coaching engagement outcomes
The outcomes of each coaching engagement are typically described by knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs.) Examples of knowledge outcomes for the coaching engagement may include (a) aligning the leader’s role with organizational vision, mission, and values, (b) defining how the leader’s role expectations affect collaboration with others, (c) understanding the strengths and values that describe each leader “at their best” and incorporating those strengths into regular vocabulary, and (d) defining key actions essential to reinforce business outcomes.
Examples of the skills outcomes of the coaching engagement may include (a) building capacity to manage resources and the productivity of others, (b) developing strategies for managing energy and time to improve productivity, (c) communicating the leader’s vision and key messages in an impactful manner, (d) developing skills in written messaging that focus on strength-based leadership, (e) modeling self-awareness by incorporating signature strengths into leadership and management activities, (f) applying conflict resolution skills to reach mutually beneficial and positive outcomes, (g) demonstrating effective active listening skills, (h) accurately reading a situation and projecting confidence, decisiveness, assertiveness and poise under pressure, (i) modeling collaborative leadership skills by creating actions plans that include partnering with other leaders, supporting performance goals, building key alliances, and implementing business outcomes.
Examples of the abilities outcomes of the coaching engagement may include (a) fostering innovation, (b) directing initiatives that build alliances and mutual respect, (c) communicating across business sectors by translating key messages between different groups, (d) leading alignment with others using strategic thinking, (e) enhancing problem solving ability to approach common issues/concerns with extraordinary thinking to foster innovation.
Possible activities for PPC engagements
The following list of evidence-based activities is a descriptive resource and is not intended to be prescriptive for any professional coaching or consulting engagement.
- Encourage your coachee to take a validated assessment such as the Values in Action (VIA-72) assessment or the Psychological Capital (PSQ-12) assessment
- Conduct a strengths-based interview of your coachee using results from the Values in Action (VIA-72) assessment
- Conduct a strengths-based interview of your coachee using results from the Psychological Capital (PSQ-12) assessment
- Encourage your coachee to describe their best leadership story (“At my best story”) using results from a validated positive psychology assessment
- Encourage your coachee to determine three performance or behavioral goals, that are personally meaningful, that relate to business outcomes
- Measure achievement of those three business-related goals using the goal attainment scale (GAS)
- Encourage your coachee to develop a gratitude journal
- Encourage your coachee to document “Three Good Things” for a day or a week, and note any contributing variables or patterns
- Invite your coachee to practice multiple acts of kindness toward others, especially within 24 hours
- Conduct a Best Future Self activity or guided meditation activity
- Encourage your coachee to document the quantity and quality of physical activity, emotional shifts and cognitive energy, for at least 24 hours
My bias/ The bottom line:
The art and science of professional coaching requires that professional coaches adhere to the AD-FITTM protocol model.
See details in the products section.
For details on assessment, interventions, certification, training, or research contact us today.