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The Power of Connection at Work – Mentoring


I have shared my M6 Workplace Wellbeing Model in previous postings, and I thought I would break it down for you starting with Mentoring as the first “M.” I start with this because of just how integral connecting with people is to realizing a culture of thriving. Every wellbeing or positive psychology model out there includes positive relationship.

Living in Anxious Times

We are currently being inundated with worries of all kinds. We wonder about social media and its impact on our lives from the moral fiber of our society to its effect on the workings in our brains. As more people settle in big cities, loneliness is on the rise. At work, people are seeking a balance of empowerment and direction/structure. And finally, people seek others for affirmation, love, and witness, and without them humanity is more anxious, less happy.

So, how does mentoring help solve these worries?

Note that I am using mentoring here as an overarching concept of supportive, positive connections. Positive relationships are authentic, honest, and focus on the strengths of the other; they advocate for the other’s best interest; they celebrate each other’s successes. The fundamental requirement of a positive relationship and a mentoring culture is trust. It is the ability to be vulnerable with a colleague or manager and still feel safe. Brené Brown says that putting ourselves out there, allowing vulnerability, is necessary to courageously grow to our potential. No risk . . . no courage . . . no way you’re meeting your potential . . . end of story. And yet, one in five American adults say they have no one to rely on for emotional support.

The Power of Mentoring

This is incredibly powerful information for organizations – without emotional support and safety, we lose our ability to generate new ideas, to be creative and innovative. We second guess ourselves and leave our potential on the table. The 1970’s psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut proposed that belongingness was necessary for humanity; he defined belongingness as the feeling of being “human among humans,” of being connected to other people. Organizations have a great opportunity to provide a mentoring culture that encourages healthy risk-taking while learning with the encouragement of trusted advisors; to generate feelings that they are valued and belong.

Prioritizing positive relationships in the workplace also plays an important role in curbing loneliness. A 2018 Cigna study on loneliness indicates that nearly half of Americans sometimes or always feel alone. Douglas Nemecek, M.D., chief medical officer for Behavioral Health at Cigna indicates, “There is an inherent link between loneliness and the workplace, with employers in a unique position to be a critical part of the solution.” One such solution is prioritizing High Quality Connections (HQCs), a term used by Jane Dutton at the University of Michigan’s Center for Positive Organizations. According to Dutton, building HQCs is a 4-step process: 1) respectfully engaging others, 2) task-enabling others, 3) trusting others, and 4) having fun together.

Achieving these relationship goals may be accomplished informally through a wellbeing culture across the board and may be implemented with formal coaching and mentoring opportunities. A formal coaching or mentoring program can be designed in a number of ways and may be top-down, may use an internal or external coach, or may be structured peer-to-peer. Each adds a customized approach to leadership development, resulting in team members that feel invested in, listened to, and cared about. All this while also growing the overall competency and confidence of the organization, potentially expanding the entity’s base of possible candidates for succession planning.

Mentoring is a key component of a workplace of wellbeing which enables people to connect, thrive, and grow. It reduces loneliness and fosters innovation and creativity – it creates a culture where people want to be and stay, and it initiates new ideas and better decisions. All good for our emotional and physical wellbeing . . . and not to mention, the bottom line.

For more on the M6 Model and my approach to coaching, take a look at my website and other blog posts about Life Coaching and Organization Development.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to contact me about coaching, and we can talk more about positive relationships and a culture of thriving! Share this post with friends you think my find this of interest!



What Is Positive Psychology Coaching?


Positive psychology coaching New Jersey


In the last few decades, many psychologists began to steer their efforts toward a different focus – exploring positive psychology. Perhaps one of the most beneficial practices associated with this field is positive psychology coaching. What is positive psychology? What is the purpose of positive psychology coaching? More importantly, how can positive psychology coaching benefit you?


What Is Positive Psychology?

 Psychology, largely focused on the negative aspects of the mind and the resulting mental illness, began to take a turn in the 1990s. At the time, many psychologists were wondering if there was a better way to approach psychology to help people move in a positive direction. How could psychology move toward addressing human well-being instead of human dysfunction?

Positive psychology focuses on happiness and well-being rather than mental illness and its effects. In order to improve the well-being of people as a whole, positive psychologists strive to learn more about what leads to the success and optimal existence of high functioning people. Instead of focusing on how to eliminate the negative aspects of life, positive psychology encourages focus on how to reinforce and extend the positive.


What Is Positive Psychology Coaching?

 When many people think of the term “coaching,” the image of an athletic coach comes to mind, walking the sidelines and pulling players aside to address strategies. Positive psychology coaches are similar to other types of coaches, in that they aim to provide feedback and insight on a person’s actions and experiences to guide the person toward a more positive outcome. However, unlike athletic and other types of coaching, positive psychology coaches choose to focus on what’s going right instead of mistakes made.

 In a typical coach/client relationship, the client wishes to improve his or her life in some way. Perhaps he wants to set goals, or achieve some positive outcome. Or, maybe there’s a current situation he wants to improve upon to avoid negative outcomes down the road. A coach can ask questions and use tools that move the client toward the discovery of the change or outcome he wants. A coach can provide insight and assist the client in moving toward the self-awareness needed to achieve goals or general well-being.

 How Can a Positive Psychology Coach Help You?

 Perhaps you have experience with therapy or other forms of coaching. Unlike therapy, in which a therapist may focus on underlying issues preventing well-being, positive psychology coaches focus on the positive aspects and effective behaviors to continue to fuel positive change. While other types of coaching often promote the belief that clients have the answers within themselves if they only choose to find them, positive psychology coaching relies on the scientifically-backed research in the field that has been proven to assist clients in finding well-being.

 In short, a positive psychology coach can help you use your strengths, the positive circumstances of your life, and science-based findings to begin a path toward wellness. If you have goals, positive psychology can help you move toward achieving them rather than focusing on surveying the damage of your past mistakes. If you believe in the benefits of using research-proven behaviors to maximize your strengths, positive psychology coaching may be right for you.






What Positive Psychology Is and What It Is Not

what is positive psychology

Positive psychology is quickly gaining traction, not only with the academic community, but also with the general public. While positive psychology can provide numerous benefits to the public and its widespread awareness is good, there are several misconceptions about this practice that are almost equally widespread.

What Is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology is the study of the elements of life that make living truly worthwhile. Positive psychology criticizes general psychology for focusing on the dysfunctions of humanity, and asks that scientists place an emphasis on what is good in life as well. By building on what is best in life as well as repairing the worst, people’s lives can become more fulfilling and healthier overall. Positive psychology faces many misconceptions about its study.

Misconception #1: Positive Psychology Is Simply Self-Help

Many people equate positive psychology with positive thinking, associating this area of study with self-help gurus. However, positive psychology is not the same as positive thinking. While both areas emphasize optimism, positive psychology builds on scientific theories and research. Self-help gurus base their findings on personal philosophies.

Misconception #2: Positive Psychology Ignores Negative Emotions

Just because positive psychology emphasizes the positive things in life doesn’t mean that it completely ignores negative facts. Academics have long dug psychology into a hole of negativity, focusing almost completely on the negative phenomena of life. Positive psychology recognizes the importance of negative the aspects of life, but it aims to emphasize that the best aspects of life are worth study too.

Misconception #3: Positive Psychology Wants to Replace General Psychology

Positive psychology does not ignore its roots in humanistic and general psychology. Like all academic disciplines, this area of study does not aim to replace what came before it – positive psychology wants to build upon the theories and research of prior psychologists.

Misconception #4: Positive Psychology Acts as a Form of Religion

Many critics believe that positive psychology’s focus on appreciating the benefits of life mirrors the practice of many religions. While some of positive psychology’s tenets do reflect certain religious themes, this does not mean that the field is a religion. In fact, positive psychology is deeply rooted in research and science, unlike religious beliefs.

Misconception #5: Positive Psychology Is Based on Too Little Evidence

Many psychologists and members of the scientific community believe that positive psychology is not research-based or scientifically sound. Like all psychological research, positive psychology is based on controlled, rigorous research. However, positive psychologists are also open to other non-harmful coping methods that make intuitive sense, such as meditation.

Another criticism of positive psychology is that the majority of its evidence is not solid and is merely anecdotal, not scientific. This is not true – solid research backs many foundations of positive psychology. In addition, anecdotal evidence does provide a starting point for many medical and psychological studies that are low-risk, including positive psychology. Once the evidence strengthens, positive psychologists can move on to more solid research.

Positive psychology can provide many benefits to those who are interested in its study, as well as the general public. However, these misconceptions can degrade the field. Through proper education and debunking of these myths, the public can truly reap the benefits of this area of psychology.