“Contemplative leadership coaching” is an innovative executive coaching approach that I have developed while studying in INSEAD in 2018.
In recent publications and discourses on leadership coaching, many scholars and professionals have called for leadership and professional development that addresses the “deeper” or “higher” aspects of human existence instead of focusing on learning behavioral or technical skills or attaining preset standards.
Since the 1970s, Contemplative Psychotherapy has developed as the meeting of the wisdom traditions of Buddhism and the clinical traditions of psychotherapy, building a bridge between personal contemplative practice and the clinical practice of psychology. In parallel, neuroscience research has demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness practice for health improvement and reduction of psychological disorders.
Making better leaders would mean making wise, insightful and humanistic leaders that consider experience as a whole, transcending self and concepts.
My research examines the main challenges leaders currently face in a world that is becoming virtual and how the Buddhist spiritual and philosophical theory of the mind can be a foundation for a more holistic and humanistic leadership coaching method. I describe the phenomenological and psychological theories of Buddhism, which can be called a contemplative science, and how they can be a theoretical ground for an innovative approach to embodied leadership coaching. I also draw a parallel between the psychodynamic and phenomenological approaches to coaching, reviewing the literature on both approaches.
Mindfulness develops focus, clarity and empathy. Through development of vigilant and panoramic awareness capabilities, clients can not only reflect on their behaviors, tendencies, thoughts or prejudices, but also deconstruct the subjectivity of their points of view and directly see their modes of functioning in an embodied way.
The recognition of the self and other’s brilliant sanity is the first step to building deep empathy and to the possibility of altruism and true collaboration. Leaders no longer see problems to solve, but rather opportunities through which they can develop their abilities and organizations.
Buddhist psychology considers that conflictual emotions have a root in brilliant sanity. These five emotions can be transmuted into five wisdoms.
Le leadership incarné est une approche intégrale du développement qui incorpore l’attention intentionnelle au corps et l’entraînement de l’esprit comme fondement d’une activité pleinement incarnée et présente.