How do you sustain wellness and high performance?

At the bottom right corner of the picture is a brown, rocky cliff. A person is standing on the cliff, with their back to the camera. They are wearing a red T-shirt, a large backpack, black shorts, and hiking boots. The top half of the picture is taken up by a blue sky with some white clouds. left corner and center of the picture is taken up by green mountains in the distance with green valleys in between. The


In his article, Solution-focused cognitive-behavioral coaching for sustainable high performance and circumventing stress, fatigue, and burnout, psychologist Anthony Grant addresses the challenge many coaches experience in helping their clients balance performance and wellness. 

Grant highlights the prominent workplace stress and burnout associated with high performance individuals. Burnout syndrome is highlighted specifically, which according to Freudenberger consists of a self-defeating cycle resulting in individual’s focusing on work-related issues while neglecting their broader needs and general selfcare. In response to this issue, Grant believes that individuals can find great success when they balance reciprocity between the environment they find themselves in with their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. 

To aid with this balance, Grant proposes Solution-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral (SFCB) coaching. This coaching approach creates a cycle of self-regulated change through facilitating a client’s growth with the following steps:

  1. Identify potential outcomes
  2. Articulate specific goals
  3. Identify resources and options and formulate action plans
  4. Identify personal strengths/build self-efficacy to enhance motivation
  5. Regularly monitor and evaluate progress
  6. Modify actions (based on evaluation of  progress)

In addition to these steps, Grant utilizes the “Performance and Well-Being Matrix”. This matrix has performance and wellbeing on two axes, which then divides individuals into four quadrants. 

  1. Distressed but functional: (high performance – low wellbeing)
  2. Distressed and Dysfunctional (low performance – low wellbeing)
  3. Happy Nonworker (low performance – high wellbeing)
  4. Flourishing (high performance – high wellbeing)

Grant denotes in his article that ‘flourishing’ is an aspiration zone. Existence within the SFCB matrix is dynamic for individuals. The task for coaches Is to recognize what quadrants their clients are in, and to facilitate movement away from low wellbeing 

The goal within SFCB coaching is to help clients find a balance within their lives that promotes high performance and well-being. According to Grant’s research, SFCB (Solution-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral) coaching may be a positive tool to address workplace stress and move toward creating sustainable high-performing and flourishing organizational cultures. 

In the center of the frame in bold red letters, the quote by Robyn L. Gobin “Self-care is, fundamentally, about bringing balance back to life that has grown imbalanced from too many commitments or responsibilities.” This quote is accompanied by the Institute of Coaching’s Logo, a red shield. The shield is in the lower center of the image.

IOC's Tips of the Week are authored by Austin Matzelle