Positive Psychology Coaching: Putting the science of happiness to work for your clients

Author: Robert Biswas-Diener, with Ben Dean
Price: £22.99
ISBN: 978-0-470-04246-5
John Wiley & Sons
Contact: http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/index.html

I opened this book with some trepidation, particularly when I read the author’s introduction and his reference to researching happiness among people living in the slums of Calcutta: “I have long had a soft spot in my heart for people living in poverty”.

However, a few chapters later, my confidence was restored. This book is an interesting and ‘un-schmaltzy’ exploration of what constitutes happiness, emotional resilience and fulfilment. Such concepts are relevant to coaching because they are tied to optimism, motivation, perseverance and, therefore, success.

Philosophical discussions are put into context via action lists for positive psychology coaches, and I became convinced that these lists could constitute a healthy approach to coaching and motivation. There are some easy-to-understand steps to setting appropriate goals and to planning coaching sessions, which would deploy a positive psychological approach.

The book is packed with erudite and reputable references, such as to emotional intelligence guru Daniel Goleman, and Viktor Frankl, who turned his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp into reflections on the importance of finding meaning in life. As such, its relevance stretches beyond the coaching session into a study for anyone who is concerned about their own emotional wellbeing or that of their organisation, and I have shifted position from bewilderment to endorsement of this book.

Relevance? ****
Well-written? ****
Value for money? ****

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