Mindfulness and Coaching
If you could have googled ‘mindfulness” more than three decades ago when I started meditating and studying mindfulness, you would have seen sparse search results mostly related to Buddhism and enlightenment. In 2017, it’s impossible to avoid the overloaded term or it’s cousin “mindful”. We now have mindful leadership, mindful coaching, mindful parenting, mindful driving, mindful eating, mindful exercise, even mindful shopping; you name it, there’s a mindful coinage for it. If you google “myths of mindfulness” today, you can find both “mindfulness is easy” and “mindfulness is difficult” in various top seven lists! The swirl of current debates (and research) around what it means and how to cultivate it have even created a backlash. In any case – as opposed to 35 years ago -- the concept or practice or state of awareness (however you define it) cannot be dismissed as trivial or faddish.
For coaches, this development is important and unavoidable. There’s growing and credible research at the intersection of mindfulness and coaching. Though more specific research is needed, scientists (along with practitioners) can now attest that mindfulness is proving beneficial in diverse contexts, many of which matter to leadership, health and wellness and life coaches.
We start with our webinar on June 21st with Dr. David Drake on “mindfulness in motion” and how to deepen our coaching presence in the moment and create real change. David is an IOC Thought Leader and literally wrote the book on narrative coaching. In his webinar, he will introduce attachment theory and applied mindfulness as resources you can use to coach, both of which are at the core of narrative methods.
We have two featured research papers this month to provide an overview of how coaching and mindfulness intersect. The first article reviews research on mindfulness and coaching and explores how empirically supported mindfulness-based interventions contribute to coaching psychology. The second paper considers pathways to Authentic Leadership development, proposing evidence-based leadership coaching coupled with mindfulness training as an appropriate approach.
Our suggested book of the month, Narrative Coaching: Bringing our New Stories to Life by Dr. David Drake, serves as an excellent resource on how to work with people’s stories in coaching to attain breakthrough results. Aimed at both graduate students and master practitioners, it expertly folds in mindfulness-based principles and practices (like “radical presence”) to change the way you think about and practice coaching.
Finally, please check out our resources related to mindfulness, including master classes, podcasts, and research articles.
Mindfulness has many benefits to offer us as coaches, as leaders, and as human beings. Enjoy exploring them.
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