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Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Brings together diverse disciplinary perspectives in this research-to-practice text
  • Discusses workplace positive psychology coaching processes, measurement, supervision and ethical considerations
  • Provides practical tools and interventions for students and professionals

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About this book

This research-to-practice text explores how coaching can support thriving in the workplace. It focuses on positive psychology coaching in the workplace in relation to: the convergence with organisational psychology and coaching psychology, professional and ethical practices, resilience and wellbeing, team and systemic approaches, leadership, tools of intervention, convergence of clinical interventions and virtuousness, and the future of thriving workplaces. The chapter contributions represent a truly international scholarship and bring together complementary perspectives from the fields of positive psychology, coaching psychology, organisational psychology, organisational scholarship, neuroscience, education and philosophy. Written in a scholarly but accessible style, this text is of interest to a wide readership, including academics, professionals and postgraduate students of positive psychology, organisational psychology, counselling and coaching psychology, human resource management, mental health, health and social welfare.

"Smith, Boniwell and Green have brought together an outstanding collection of thought leaders from the field of positive psychology coaching to craft an in-depth exploration of the contribution positive psychology can make to delivering transformation change through coaching conversations. A fascinating read, full of evidence and insight".

Jonathan Passmore
Professor of Coaching & Behavioural Change
Director Henley Centre for Coaching, Henley Business School

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Table of contents (30 chapters)

  1. Convergence of Positive Psychology, Organisational Psychology and Coaching Psychology

  2. Professional and Ethical Practice of Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace

  3. Positive Psychology Coaching for Resilience and Wellbeing in the Workplace

  4. Team and Systemic Approaches to Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace


“Coaching is always well intended but not as often effective. And merely being supportive and positive is like finishing the external border in a jigsaw puzzle. Effective coaching requires a coach to be inspired as well as inspiring, feeling cared for as well as caring for others, and a myriad assortment of other states. Smith, Boniwell and Green have amassed an impressive array of perspectives, some from research, some from practice and some from theory about how to be a better coach. Read it carefully, then reread it and keep reviewing various chapters each day in a ritual of renewal. Your clients will love the renewed you!” (Prof. Richard Boyatzis, Distinguished University Professor, Case Western Reserve University, co-author of the international bestseller, Primal Leadership and the book Helping People Change) 

Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace has been written by experts, with chapters covering a wide range of topics relating to the workplace. Thisbook will be of great interest to both coaching and positive psychologists wishing to enhance their understanding of the theory and practice of positive psychology coaching with an important focus on wellbeing.” (Prof. Stephen Palmer, Wales Academy for Professional Practice and Applied Research, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK) 

“This book provides a solid foundation for practitioners and students who care about coaching for impact. The book offers a comprehensive grounding in the ideas, frameworks and practices of positive psychology, enriching and empowering coaches working in all kinds of fields with new perspectives and tools for making a difference with their coaching practice. This book is must-have for coaches who are engaged in enhancing well-being and effectiveness of leaders and teams in the workplace.” (Prof. Jane Dutton, Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan) 

“A thoroughlyinstructive and keenly relevant collection of original scholarly writings, the new book from Smith, Boniwell and Green feels ground-breaking and is ground-breaking. Organised around 7 core themes, its chapters are written by remarkable authors from across the globe including many of the seminal writers who continue to engage our curiosity and steer innovation in theory development, research and applications. The editors set the tone and then feature across the book guiding its golden threads throughout – showcasing the complementary synergy between positive psychology and coaching in the workplace. An exciting must-read resource for students, academics and practitioners and non-practitioners alike.” (Prof. Aneta D. Tunariu, Dean of School of Psychology, University of East London, England UK) 

“Wendy-Ann Smith, Ilona Boniwell, and Suzy Green have edited and produced an important and very significant book on positive psychology coaching. It is a rich, comprehensive compilation and an exciting new text. Further, this authoritative core edited handbook is an essential resource recommended for both coaching practitioners and academics.” (Dr. Ole Michael Spaten, Head of Coaching Psychology Unit and Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark) 

Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace provides new engaging material within a diverse range of work settings, utilizing positive psychological theory and practice. It is a must-read for not only academics but practitioners, students, coaches and persons who have an interest in positive psychology, coaching, organizational behaviour, motivation among others. The editors have done an excellent job with the arrangement of chapters and the diversity of topics in addressing a unique and emerging area.” (Prof. Aleksandra Kostić, Professor of Social Psychology, University of Nis, Serbia) 

“Although the importance of wellbeing at work is self-evident, the best way to facilitate it has been less clear. However, recent years have seen an increased appreciation and understanding of the value in this arena of coaching and positive psychology, and moreover their intersection as positive psychology coaching. The world is therefore ready and grateful for this incredible new resource, featuring many of the brightest and best names working in these fields, whose collective expertise spans academic theorizing, empirical research, and applied practice. Sure to be a must-read for anyone involved in coaching and positive psychology, and more generally for all those interested in promoting work-related wellbeing.” (Dr. Tim Lomas, Wellbeing for Planet Earth)

“With an international range of contributors and pioneers in the field, “Positive psychology coaching in the workplace” moves beyond the theoretical, blends the science of human flourishing, and coaching psychology. It is written with a strong eye toward recent workplace challenges. It offers the readers insightful reflections and exercises on how to build a sustainable enterprise and instil a positive organizational culture. The book represents a priceless contribution to the world of positive psychology and coaching psychology. Its chapters bridge theory, research, and applications to offer valuable information on how to enhance resilience, optimism, emotional responsiveness, motivation, and productivity in the Workplace. Organizational leaders, managers, psychologists, coaches and mental health professionals who want to promote human strengths and wellbeing will find this book to be an enlightening, comprehensive guide.” (Milad Hadchiti, Positive Psychology Expert, TV Host, Constructive Media Trainer, Founder of Humanship, Lebanon) 

“This edited book offers an important resource for anyone interested in how positive psychology is being applied in the workplace and includes a wealth and diversity of topics relevant tothis growing field.” (Dr. Ceri Sims, Chartered Psychologist, Coaching Psychologist and course leader for Masters programme in Applied Positive Psychology, Bucks New University) 

“The editors have done a great job of pulling together some of the latest thinking, research, theory and practice in the field of positive psychology coaching in the workplace – connecting the dots between largely separate fields of knowledge that may support, reinforce and complement each other. Expanding the definition of the workplace, incorporating systemic perspectives, emphasizing the role of leadership, and adopting a more rigorous research to practice approach is a valuable addition to the current literature.” (Angela Wright, Partner, CEC Global LLC) 

“The editors of this text, Wendy, Ilona and Suzy, leaders in the field of positive psychology coaching, have created a compilation here that traverses five amazing fields, all of which provide great insight and scaffolding for the topic of coaching.  In doing so they have brought together a collection of thinkers, theory and evidence that has something for scholars, coaches, workplace practitioners, well-being and mental health professionals, teachers and students. This is a much needed, and very welcome, contribution to the field of coaching. A must read because it’s a great source of knowledge and inspiration.” (Bob Easton, Chairman (ANZ), Global Consulting Company, Flourishing Researcher and Coach in Training) 

“The true purpose of coaching is to restore clients' state of flow. And the key to such restoration lies in the coach's ability to shift the client's paradigm into a positive one. I believe every coach needs to master positive psychology, and Positive Psychology Coaching in the Workplace is a great starting point to our learning journey.” (Remington Hu, Executive Coach and Author of Executive Coach, Developmental System REC)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Eclorev, Paris, France

    Wendy-Ann Smith

  • École de Psychologues Praticiens, Paris, France

    Wendy-Ann Smith

  • University of East London, London, UK

    Wendy-Ann Smith, Ilona Boniwell, Suzy Green

  • Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

    Wendy-Ann Smith, Ilona Boniwell

  • Positran Ltd, Epone, France

    Ilona Boniwell

  • The Positivity Institute, Sydney, Australia

    Suzy Green

About the editors

Wendy-Ann Smith, is a coaching psychologist, founder and manager of Eclorev, a boutique coaching and training business specialising in one-to-one coaching, group and team coaching to enhance workplace well-being with positive psychology coaching. A highly trained and respected psychologist and coach, she is qualified as a psychologist in Australia and France, and now practises in France. She is interested in workplace coaching and training assignments focused on professional and personal self-development and wellbeing; design and delivery of individual and team professional self-development experiential leadership growth workshops; project management of dynamic, community-oriented projects; design and delivery of theory and experiential courses (or intensive), coaching for university, business school students and executives. 

Ilona Boniwell, PhD, is Principal Lecturer at the School of Psychology and Sport Science, Anglia Ruskin University (UK and France) and heads the International MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (I-MAPP). Ilona also teaches positive leadership at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC Business School, and consults businesses and educational institutions around the globe as a Director of Positran, a boutique consultancy dedicated to achieving transformation through positive psychology. She has authored/edited 8 books and multiple scientific articles, delivered over 150 keynotes and invited presentations, founded the European Network of Positive Psychology (2001), organised the first European Congress of Positive Psychology (2002), was the first vice-chair of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA, 2007) and the founder and programme leader for the first MAPP in Europe (2006). She is a current columnist and a regular blogger for the Psychologies (UK, France) and Positive Psychology (France) magazines.

Suzy Green, PhD,is a clinical and coaching psychologist (MAPS) and founder and CEO of The Positivity Institute, Australia, a positively deviant organisation dedicated to the research and application of positive psychology for life, school and work. She is a leader in the complementary fields of coaching psychology and positive psychology, having conducted a world-first study on evidence-based coaching as an applied positive psychology. Suzy was the recipient of an International Positive Psychology Fellowship Award and has published in the Journal of Positive Psychology. She has lectured on applied positive psychology as a Senior Adjunct Lecturer in the Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Sydney for ten years and is an Honorary Vice President of the International Society for Coaching Psychology. She also currently holds Honorary Academic positions at the Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne, the Black Dog Institute and is an Affiliate of the Institute for Well-Being,Cambridge University. Suzy was the Stress-less Expert for Australian Women’s Health Magazine and the Positive Psychology Expert for Muse Magazine. She is an official ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and she maintains a strong media profile appearing on television, radio and in print. 

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