Existential Leadership – bringing philosophy into the business world

Using an existential coaching approach

Download slides from Monica Hanaways lecture.

Coaching lecture series "Coaching - Research and Practice"

Monica Hanaway

Monica Hanaway

Monica Hanaway, Coach, Mediator, Psychotherapist, Consultant, Trainer & Author. 
Founding Partner: Corporate Harmony, M&D Associates; MIMs: Mediation in Media. 
Director: Accredited Psychologically Informed Mediation Course, Jesus College, Oxford University.


In this presentation Monica Hanaway looks at what is meant by ‘leadership’, and the psychological and societal reasons we have leadership. She gives an overview of different leadership styles and introduces the concept of ‘existential leadership’.

To understand this, she considers leadership through the lens of existential issues such as authenticity, relatedness, meaning, values and beliefs, time and temporality, and uncertainty. She explores how the existential dimensions (social, personal, environmental, and spiritual) are important in the business world.

Finally she looks at how leadership and business coaches can formulate insightful questions to use with their clients which are based on existential concerns, and she leaves us to consider the existential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on leadership going forward.

Recently Published Books

Published by Routledge Academic Publishing (Taylor & Francis Group):

  • The Existential Leader (2019)
  • Existential Approaches to Leadership Challenges (2020)
  • Handbook of Existential Coaching Practice (2020)
  • Psychologically Informed Mediation: Studies in Conflict and Resolution (2020)
  • An Existential-Phenomenological Approach to Coaching Supervision (2021)
  • Existentialism in Pandemic Times (2022 – publication date May) 

Published by Palgrave MacMillan:

  • Existential Perspectives on Coaching (2012).


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Further information
Reinhard Stelter, Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Copenhagen

The lecture is part of a series of lectures titled "Coaching - research and
practice", which is sponsored by the EMCC. The lecture series aims to build a bridge between research and praxis in coaching and at the same time embed coaching practices in the research discourse. The intention is to hear from researchers, who explore coaching from a business, health or sports related angle. The Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Copenhagen was established in order to launch and coordinate interdisciplinary research, education and dissemination in coaching.