A scientific basis for our work. Or why coaching works!

At The Core Questin, our approach to coaching is rooted in knowledge and best practice from multiple sources: the ICF ethics and competencies, the work of coaching masters such as Peter Reding and Marcia Reynolds, neuroscience, positive psychology, research on leadership and purpose, and approaches to innovation, including design thinking and lean startup.

Here is a brief rundown of all the science behind the science of coaching, that gives us confidence in our philosophy, out platform and approach and our products.

  1. Supported by neuroscience

Our approach operates off multiple tools that create a positive emotional state, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, and physiologically creates greater relaxation and openness. Creativity and learning get activated, and new neural pathways get formed in the brain.

This state also activates the brain’s lateral visual cortex, an area of the brain associated with imagining things. As a result of this activation, the person can see options they couldn’t earlier, and be more open to new ideas, change and learning.

An additional aspect of our approach is that it helps create a balance in the use of the analytical and the empathic brain. While we often use the analytical brain at work, in order to be successful as leaders, we also need to use the empathic brain – the network that helps us scan the environment for trends, be receptive to our own and others’ emotions, and be open to new ideas.

Together, all of this allows for new ways of thinking and sustained behaviour change.

2. Positive Psychology

Our work is embedded in application of the science of positive psychology to the workplace. This involves identifying and nurturing the inherent strengths of individuals, and cultivating what is best within them, thereby allowing them to thrive in the different roles they play and make impactful contributions.

The approach is also grounded in developing a mindset amongst leaders of “build what’s strong” instead of “fix what’s wrong”. This reframing allows individuals to focus on positive attributes and emotions in order to fulfill their potential.

We engage with individuals in order to embolden two of their attributes – their strengths or inherent talents, as well as the meaning or fulfillment derived from deploying these at work and their personal lives.

Our work draws from the scholarship of pioneering positive psychologist Martin Seligman.

3. The Power of Purpose

An increasing amount of research and data demonstrates that purpose holds tremendous power to drive performance, both individual and organizational. The corporate world is recognising this, and it is becoming increasingly relevant across multiple stakeholder groups (investors, customers and employees). Purpose and alignment with purpose are central to our approach.

  • BlackRock is one among many investors to emphasize the criticality of purpose to all the CEOs in their portfolio. And they are one amongst many. As per Korn Ferry, investment groups controlling $114 bn are telling leaders to let purpose, not profits, be the guiding force in their businesses.
  • Purpose is also critical for employees and prospective employees. Brighthouse research finds that 9 of 10 people are willing to take a pay cut to have more purpose in their work; and another study found that 90% of employees are engaged at purpose-driven firms vs 32% at ordinary firms, leading to better retention. 
  • Purpose is becoming central in purchase decisions as well. Brighthouse also quotes that 88% of consumers would rather buy products from a purpose-driven company. Brands with purpose demonstrate stronger customer loyalty.

Given all of the above, it is no surprise then that the impact of having a strong and sustained commitment to purpose shows up in financial results

  • A BCG study of firms across technology, media, telecom, consumer products and financial services found that a deeply ingrained purpose correlated strongly with 10-year total shareholder return. Similar results have been found by Claudine Gartenberg, a Wharton professor
  • A Korn Ferry study found that while purpose-driven consumer-products firms grew their sales at a 9.9 percent annual clip from 2011 to 2015, their peers averaged only a 2.4 percent growth rate.

4. Design Thinking

Our methodology closely links to the proven practices of design thinking.The journey from awareness to action, is a process of design built into our work. In our one-on-one work, our clients start from the point of awareness (internal and external), build a view to success, create prototype plans, continuously align to their purpose and strengths, iterate and move forward in their journey and their specific agendas. A similar process is used to drive innovation and out-of-the-box thinking in our group programs.

The science behind the science of coaching is compelling and convincing. It explains why the process is so effective. If you would like to experience coaching or know more about our products and services, send me a message here. I look forward to hearing from you

About Shweta Anand Arora

Shweta Anand Arora is the founder of The Core Questin. She is a Leadership and Life Coach, who works with leaders across the corporate, social enterprise and non-profit space. Shweta holds an M.Ed. from Harvard University, an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and is a graduate of Coach for Life, USA.

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