10th Global

Coaching, Mentoring, & Supervision Research Conference

2-3 July 2020 - University of East London, UK

10th Global

Coaching, Mentoring, & Supervision Research Conference

2-3 July 2020 - University of East London, UK


Shruti Sonthalia & Vijayalakshmi Chari

Coaching mindset for a new paradigm of power in leadership

Theme: Context

Area: Coaching

Type: Research (with examples of how it HAS been applied in practice)

Keywords: coaching, power, leadership, mindset, transformation

Session on 2 July 2020 15:25 cest - View on timetable


In the majority of systems in the world today, power operates via top-down authority. When our deepest conditioning comes from a power-over experience, we do not necessarily learn to locate power and seek solutions within ourselves. Those of us who identify with positions of authority rarely consider [horizontally] shared power.

By contrast, the coaching mindset holds that every human is whole, resourceful, and innately capable of generating solutions. Internalising this mindset can affect a radical shift in thought and behaviour around power – in both personal and professional contexts. For leaders in particular, recognising other individuals as innately capable, not always in need of problem-solving or fixing, can be a profound paradigm shift. Acquiring skills such as listening, curiosity, and empowering questioning can impact both the relationships and leadership style of coaches, leaders, consultants alike.

Our research focuses on this shift towards a more collaborative leadership style, its impact upon relationships with power and compassion, and the specific coaching elements that contribute to this transition. Could coaching mindset support a shift towards collective power in the world: from power-over, to power-with?


Shruti Sonthalia is a leadership development facilitator, executive coach,and coach trainer. She has studied Sociology at the London School of Economics (UK) and holds a Diploma in Economics (Singapore). She is a faculty and mentor coach at the international coach training organisation Leadership That Works. Shruti enables pioneering leaders to discover their leadership voice, distil their visions into roadmaps, and create top-team alignment. She has led organisational transformation assignments and coaching interventions in both corporate and humanitarian sectors.

Vijayalakshmi Chari (Vijji) wears multiple hats as a coach, facilitator, and storyteller. Over the past 19 years, she has worked with diverse organisations using theatre, storytelling, and experiential learning to facilitate individual & team transformation.  Vijji has worked with professionals across industries (product development centers, IT, hospitality, and retail). As a researcher, she has co-authored three papers for Association for Talent Development excellence awards, three papers on Diversity & Inclusion in India for Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad, and a book on 360 degree feedback and performance management systems (1999, Excel publications).