The Impact of Mindfulness in Coaching in Leadership

By Alvin Codner:

Life coaching is filled with many components of course but it would not be as successful and valuable as it is now if mindfulness wasn’t involved within coaching sessions. Mindfulness plays a big part in coaching sessions, especially from the coaching perspective. In psychology, mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. Mindfulness is basically based off living within the moment and awakening to experience. According to ("WIM," 2015), when you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Another definition of mindfulness based off Weiss (Weiss, 2015, para. 1), mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environments. Weiss (2015) also goes on to say “mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imaging the future.”

With knowing what mindfulness consist of, as a life coach, observing and maintaining awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, surrounding environments, and as well as acceptance, is what coaches strive on to make the coaching session flow as smooth as possible. Mindfulness enhances ICF core competency skills that need to be used within a coaching session by coaches. Here are a few skills mindfulness definitely enhances within the ICF core competencies:

  • Co-creating the relationship: This deals with establishing trust and intimacy with the client as well as coaching presence.

  • Communicating effectively, especially with active listening

  • Facilitating learning and results: This deals with creating awareness for the client as well as managing progress and accountability.

A quote that I believe described mindfulness in the best way was from a Tibertan teacher named Chogyam Trung. He said “When problems arise, instead of being seen as purely threats, they become learning situations, opportunities to find out more about one’s own mind and continue one’s journey.” The main objective in any coaching session is to figure out the problem, set a goal, and find solutions to progress forward in achieve that goal. Mindfulness can indeed increase the chances of a successful coaching session from both the client’s and coach’s perspective. Mindfulness is what you want in your leadership whether it's within your for-profit or nonprofit organization... or your elected officials within the public sector... as well as city,county, and state level agencies. This is the key to sustainable change.


Weiss, L. (2015). Why Practice Mindfulness. Retrieved from

What is Mindfulness? (2015). Retrieved from

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