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Maslow Insights

Thought Leadership

09.21.2020

Meet one of the Maslow Centre Founders!

The details you will read about in this short series of interviews with our founders provide the ‘story behind the story’ if you will! The founders of Maslow Centre for Executive Leadership have rich biographies with work and educational experiences providing knowledge and expertise in the areas of leadership, culture, people development, self-actualization, coaching, and the list goes on. You can ‘officially’ meet these amazing personalities and thought leaders on Maslow’s ‘about us’ page; for a deeper look into the people behind our school of coaching, read on…  

Diane Bonneau

Q: Tell us about yourself; who you are, where you live/are from, and how you fill your days?

A: I am very dedicated to my work. This commitment means that I spend most waking hours focused on coaching my clients, many of them are leaders, C Suite folks and their teams, and I mentor many coaches through their ICF Accreditation mostly at the PCC and MCC level.  I have two beautiful adult daughters, one is an executive coach with 3-year-old twins, the other one is just completing her master’s in counselling psychology. They have brilliant minds and are courageous human beings. I am very proud of both and I love being a grandmother. When I am not working, I have taken up painting mostly on canvas and in the summer for quick pieces, I paint rocks that I leave on forest pathways for nature lovers’ pleasure to pick and enjoy. 

Q: Provide more detail about your work and specifically, why are you passionate about it?

I’ve been coaching for 23 years and my coach training and overall journey has transformed who I am. I’ve already mentioned my day to day work. In addition, and to complement that, I stay closely informed of what is happening at ICF (International Coaching Federation) in terms of changes they make to the accreditation process, i.e. the Coach Knowledge Assessment and the PCC markers. I am an SME with ICF, so I often participate in research projects, the latest being the revised ICF Core Competencies.   

Why am I passionate about coaching? I enjoy the in-depth conversations I have with my clients about what motivates them, helping them manage their careers, increasing their self-awareness, exploring inner beliefs/assumptions, enhancing how they relate to their teams, discussing strategy and implementation.   

Working with teams, I enjoy creating a safe space for courageous conversations that increase trust, reduce conflict, and increase collaboration. 

Working with coaches is a special passion of mine; we need great coaches to work in a world that is ambiguous, volatile, unpredictable, and constantly changing. Coaches need to be very skilled and courageous to do great work. It’s not about being polite but committed to supporting individuals to make changes that will support their growth and make them conscious and committed contributors in a world that needs their voice. 

Essentially life comes down to a few essentials. Some deep and important challenges have surfaced globally in significant ways we can no longer ignore such as diversity and inclusion.

Diane Bonneau, MCC

Q: What are your philosophies on leadership, and how do they relate to Maslow and the work being done to redefine the hierarchy of needs for the 21st-century organization?

Our work as coaches and at Maslow is to humanize the workplace. This is two-fold, developing leaders so they are self-aware, creative instead of reactive, and focused not only on achieving results but also focused on how they achieve those results through people. Culture around managing people has changed tremendously over the years. Individuals in organizations want to be challenged, developed, offered opportunities, and given feedback to identify gaps so they can progress and be strong contributors. Leaders must provide that, and they are often not trained or skilled for that aspect of their responsibilities. Often, achieving results is what has been rewarded and why they have been promoted to senior roles.

Q: The last several months have been extremely unique while the world experiences COVID-19; what is one thing you have learned, changed, or gained a new appreciation for in the last 6 months?

I have come to appreciate the value of quiet time, simplifying my life, and re-thinking my priorities. Many busy activities have taken on a new meaning. So much we took for granted now seems unimportant. I also realize how much I value quality relationships and in-person connections. I consider myself lucky to have meaningful work, health, and supportive relationships around me. I have more time for profound reflection. Essentially life comes down to a few essentials. Some deep and important challenges have surfaced globally in significant ways we can no longer ignore such as diversity and inclusion. This paradigm shift is also impacting my work. Conversations with clients address some of these concerns in meaningful ways. Leaders are being asked to be more empathetic and to lead with heart and courage.