Coaching for happiness. Can people train how to be happy?

Often people go to a coaching session, with a comparative, technically simple to overcome problems. They want to be more effective managers, to defend their opinions more robustly, or to delegate more effectively. But the thing, that underpins all these desires is often much simpler, and that is happiness.

„If you solve this problem, how would you feel?“

In fact, a simple question can reveal radically different motives in a person. Usually, in coaching for happiness, a simple question is asked about a person’s current problem: “ If you solve this problem, what would that mean to you?“ The answer begins to deepen usually with the words: „it will make me happy„ or „I would be less stressed“.

The all-important feeling in coaching for happiness is that the customers understand their needs the wrong way. Instead of treating problems in business and career as paths to happiness, they believe that when they are better at their job, they will achieve happiness and will eliminate stress.

Extremely successful people are often so happy that it makes them pleasant, even if they only hover around you. So, strangely, but personal happiness is also key to success.

So how does coaching help people reach personal happiness?

Trying to understand human happiness is not always easy. The way they do it in happiness coaching or life coaches is to use the logical levels of Robert Dilts. Some of you will be familiar with them, but for those who don’t know them, the model is made to determine where the problems hide and guarantee that the coachers will interfere in the most efficient level.

The logical levels of Dilts are:

  • Environment;
  • Behavior;
  • Skills;
  • Faith and values;
  • Identity;
  • Vision.


The most basic level is the Environment:  the outside world, things around us and people. The coach can’t do much about it, but these aspects of life can be important factors for happiness. 

At the same time, it is worth remembering that one can often meet people who seem to externally „have everything“ and yet are still unhappy. But the inability to achieve a point at this level, should not prevent coaching from helping the cliches on their journey to happiness.


People’s behavior is usually, unconsciously and casually. Once you’ve learned about certain types of behavior, you’ll start performing them automatically. For example, people often have negative thoughts in their heads or panic. To be aware of your behavior in every single moment and know how to manage it, can be extremely liberating for you and you will certainly be happier with the results.


There are many skills, that help us become happier, and in the coaching for happiness, you will learn some of them. Good examples are relationship skills and emotional intelligence, the ability to organize and know how better to take care of your health, as well as manage your energy.

Beliefs and values

Misery often stems from conflicts, just that, at a deep level. Two things we cherish deeply may collide in our lives. A frequent example is an integrity and loyalty. We often face pressure to replace an important principle to please someone or to do what seems to be right for an organization, which we belong.

The ability to deal with this type of conflict is by determining which value is more important (and then acting accordingly) can help tremendously.

More complex are the limiting beliefs, ideas we hold so deeply that we don’t even know we hold them, but that create inner pain. You must have heard someone saying, „You can’t hate and love someone at the same time.“ Once you know it’s just a conviction, not a fact, you’re going to get a huge positive change in your life.

A classic belief, which life coaching encounters while training successful but unhappy people is something like, „If you don’t work hard, you are …“ (if you continue the dots yourself, maybe you will get too useless, lazy, etc.)

This belief usually is created in childhood, makes people work relentlessly. This may be useful at the beginning of working life, but ultimately unsustainable and damaging. Faith can also destroy a person’s ability to relax, replacing the necessary rest time with constant anxiety.

Life coaches will carefully challenge such beliefs and this can have a big offloading effect on your life.


Believing in yourself has a huge impact on happiness. Happiness coaches often discover the identity of customers, or customers’ perceptions of their identity, creating difficulties when faced with a change. Coaches for happiness work to help people deal elegantly and successfully with such problems.


The highest of Dilts’s levels is that of the Vision, which makes sense for a life goal beyond personal ambitions.   This may be the main element driving change:  as the philosopher, Nietzsche said, „Whoever has reason to live can cope with almost any haw.“

Forcing customers to think at this level can be extremely powerful and can inspire them to change not only themselves but also the systems in which they work. When you work with a sense of purpose, your work makes you happy.

In conclusion

All six logical levels play a role in the complex business of human happiness, and the key of happiness can help at any level. The key point to remember is that there can be one overlooked level where the coach’s work can be highly effective.

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