CiPP Spotlight: Lynda Wallace
by Suzee Connole
Lynda Wallace walked away from a job running a billion-dollar global business to create a new career she would genuinely love. She had been doing a lot of reading in positive psychology, beginning with Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, and she remembers thinking, “This makes sense. This is right. Everyone needs to hear about this!” Her mission to achieve well-being while aiding others through coaching was kindled in that moment.
As a WBI faulty member, Linda teaches two online coaching courses: Positive Psychology Coaching and Building a Thriving Coaching Practice. She also teaches on-site programs, including Positive Psychology Coaching: Skill-Building Intensive, at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.
Lynda grounds her New Jersey–based coaching practice in positive psychology research and concepts. “Positive psychology has certain themes, including appreciative inquiry, strengths-based coaching, and solutions focus, that form the basis of my approach to coaching,” says Lynda. She uses these tools to help her clients map their path forward.
Lynda’s personal and professional experience with coaching has shown her that attaining happiness is not as easy as an “if/then” statement. In our achievement-oriented culture, she says, people tend to believe that happiness comes as a reward for something they’ve accomplished—while the most valuable work is actually the ongoing process of building resilience. “We as a society can benefit from training ourselves to be strong,” she says. “Our focus should be on sources of joy, connection, and meaning.”
Lynda says her journey from business executive to positive psychology coach has been filled with not only joy but also knowledge, friendship, and the sharing of ideas. “I live this life every day and sometimes forget that not everyone is as immersed in it as I am,” she says. “We need to generously share these findings to benefit those around us.” She suggests recommending articles, exchanging books, and sharing videos with people who are also on the path to well-being.
It’s important to remember, Lynda notes, that coaching is not entirely future-focused. “We can also focus on what we can do to make things better today or this week,” she says. Regardless of our long-term goals, positive psychology supports us in noticing and appreciating our accomplishments and connections right now, in this very moment.
Lynda Wallace is a highly sought-after coach who meets with local clients in her sunny office in Montclair, New Jersey, and with clients from around the world by phone and video. She wrote the best-selling book “A Short Course in Happiness,” and teaches Positive Psychology Coaching courses for WholeBeing Institute. Lynda spent 20 years as a senior executive at Johnson & Johnson and holds an MBA from the Wharton School.
Suzee Connole is the Marketing Assistant for Wholebeing Institute. Part of her role at WBI involves highlighting how alumni, faculty, and guest speakers are taking positive psychology principles and applying them in the communities where they live and work.