Gohar Davtyan: “Develop Your Body, Soul, Mind, and Spirit”
Awareness, mindfulness, and inner transformations are relevant topics for everyone today. Gohar Davtyan, entrepreneur, business coach, and executive coach, believes that these qualities lead people to emotional wellbeing. In her interview with the Global Women Media news agency, the expert shared tips on learning to find resources within oneself and explained the values of coaching and the challenges of the modern world.
entrepreneur, certified business coach, member of the International Coach Federation, lecturer within the MBA programmes at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Moscow City University of Management of the Government of Moscow, author of The Balance Point bestselling book
Gohar Davtyan is a person who is in constant motion and continuous development. The expert has several higher education degrees and speaks three foreign languages. In any activity, love for people and service to society remain her main values.
Gohar Davtyan has extensive professional experience and a highly-developed spiritual culture. Communication with her is always filled with warmth and wisdom.
– Resourcefulness, mindfulness, and awareness are your key tools. What are these notions about? Why is it so important to pay special attention to these aspects today?
– We live in a rapidly changing, unstable, and stressful world. Oftentimes, events around us disturb our emotional and psychological balance. In order to restore inner harmony, many people start looking for resources in the external environment. They enjoy entertainment, do sports, and try to achieve all sorts of success in life and career. That is is good but, if turning to medical terms, such ‘treatment’ only eliminates the ‘symptoms’ but not the cause of the ‘disease’ itself. To restore emotional balance, a person needs to look inward and find the resources within him- or herself. There he or she will find the foundation for a resourceful state.
External calmness is the ‘tip of the iceberg’. The invisible and hidden part of the personality filled with mindfulness and aware of its own actions is much more important.
The word ‘mindfulness’ is used almost everywhere today. There are many definitions for it. I prefer considering it as a state, in which a person is fully concentrated on what is going on in his or her body, soul, mind, and spirit (the four key components of personality) as well as in the outside world.
As a coach, I find focusing on the inner world particularly important. It is not easy to learn that. However, it opens up enormous opportunities for the individual. Internal mindfulness makes it possible for people not to automatically follow their instincts but to make free choices being guided by their values. It helps people decide what is really important and valuable to them.
Mindfulness and self-analysis make people different from animals. They give us a powerful inner resource for overcoming challenges.
– Are all people able and ready to look within themselves?
– A person without a conscious attitude towards him- or herself and the world around can be compared to a sleeper. He does not ask questions about what and why is happening, who he or she is, and what he or she wants in this life. Such questions seem trivial but not everyone is ready to answer them.
I have been working with the topic of mindfulness for over 25 years. When I only started that path, I didn’t have any books or programmes yet. However, I had a philosophy that I was following. At that time, many people didn’t understand what I was talking about. Now I can see clearly that the topic of mindfulness is becoming increasingly relevant, demanded, and interesting to a wide audience. People are open to that information. That means that the world has really changed a lot and we are transforming together with it.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”, said the famous Austrian psychologist Viktor Frankl.
We often resist crises. However, it is important to remember about the inability to make progress and discoveries or acquire a new vision without crisis situations. I really like a Japanese proverb saying that “good times are good and bad times are even better”. It tells us that crises, difficulties, and problems contribute to our growth and transformation. They give us opportunities for our development.
The instability of the outside world, the multiple crises, and the pandemic have shown clearly that mindfulness and turning to inner resources are indispensable things today. Today, I see a particular demand for counselling and coaching. People want to sort themselves out. They have understood that emotional wellbeing is the key to not only health but also success and happiness.
– Coaching is particularly popular today. In what cases is it effective?
– It is very important to trust your coach. If there is doubt and mistrust, it is very difficult to achieve good results. That is why I find it vital to create a relationship of trust in coaching. Here is my tip: find a coach you trust.
In the past, when working as a doctor in a clinic, I sometimes had patients with serious diagnoses. It was only possible to treat them as inpatients. However, some of them believed in my professionalism and wanted to be treated by me so much that I agreed to do that on an outpatient basis. They recovered quickly because their faith helped them and accelerated the healing process. On the contrary, I also had patients with the simplest diagnoses. However, they didn’t trust outpatient treatment and were very suspicious. I didn’t agree to treat them because I understood that it would take longer without their faith in the result.
However, there is one serious difference between a coach and a doctor. A coach does not prescribe treatment or give specific advice, so the responsibility for the result rests on the shoulders of those who come to the session.
A coach can help in expanding a person’s consciousness or in revealing the ‘dark corners’ of thinking through in-depth questions. However, he or she will not make decisions for the person. A coach helps people develop that very consciousness and mindfulness. He asks the ‘right’ questions that make it possible for their clients to look at a situation from different perspectives, thus opening up the horizons of a new vision.
Symbolically speaking, each person looks at the world through his or her own ‘glasses’ or prism. Oftentimes, they see situations narrowly and notice the details that they are used to focusing on. A coach’s task is to help them expand the range of vision, to teach people to look not only at the situation but also at himself or herself from the outside. Thus, a person can come to the best decisions.
– What is the right way to choose a coach?
– In the first turn, look at the person, not just his or her CV or education. It is very important that the way he or she lives does not contradict the principles he or she transmits. If you look at someone with the undertaken path and the difficulties he or she has overcome and realise that you would like to learn a lot from him or her, it is most likely a good coach for you.
You should always listen to yourself when choosing a coach. There must be a connection between the coach and you. Everything that the coach says should resonate within you not only on a logical level but also in your soul.
Of course, you need to formulate the goals and objectives you would like to achieve with coaching. Every expert uses different approaches and techniques. For example, my sessions usually do not last long. As a rule, I conduct only 3-5 meetings with one person or with a group of people. I do not strive to keep clients with me for a long time. If necessary, I can become a mentor, of course. However, I strive to pass on the keys of self-knowledge to the person, thus making it possible for him or her to solve problems on his or her own.
Much depends on what guidelines, values, and expectations you have. I believe that everyone is able to find a coach today. The main thing is to choose responsibly.
– What can people do for their own emotional wellbeing today?
– Let me turn to the words of Viktor Frankl once again. He is my favourite psychologist and I often refer to his works. He went through a concentration camp and survived very hard times. He talked about his comrades with whom he was captured. According to Viktor Frankl, those who believed that everything would end soon were the first ones to pass away. Over time, those people simply lost hope and ‘faded away’. Those who did not believe at all that one day these horrors would end were the next to die. However, those people who did their jobs and dealt with their daily responsibilities were the survivors.
Staying busy is an effective way that helps under any circumstances.
Moreover, I recommend paying attention to the four levels of your personality: physical, emotional, intellectual, and essential. By putting them in order, we can maintain or restore emotional balance.
The physical level presupposes being active, healthy eating, and sleeping well. Restoring one’s emotional state is possible by surrounding oneself with loved ones, giving them warmth, and receiving warmth from them. On the intellectual level, you need to limit and filter the information you receive, read more quality literature, and broaden your horizons. On the essential level, you must not forget that the key to happiness lies in service, helping the needy, and being merciful.
– What are the most frequent requests from companies when they turn to you as a coach?
– As shown by statistical surveys in organisations during and after the pandemic, the demand for the emotional wellbeing of employees has come to the forefront. Many companies started inviting me to conduct online and offline meetings for teams on preventing emotional burnout, developing emotional intelligence, and managing stress.
Today, the demand for these topics is great. Oftentimes, my audience is no less than 200-300 people.
Even during the pandemic, I published a book titled ‘The Balance Point: How to Tackle Burnout and Become Happy’. It was written a bit earlier but was published very timely.
Great warm feedback and words of gratitude from my readers have demonstrated the relevance of the topic of finding inner resources. By the way, such feedback is what inspired me to write a new book. I am actively working on it today.
– You are not only a coach but also a social entrepreneur. What does business mean to you? What values and meanings do you put into it?
– My hotel in the mountains of Armenia is one of the most important projects for me. It was created as a ‘place of strength’ where people could relax not only physically but also spiritually.
I live in a megalopolis and I know from my own experience that modern life is full of routine and stress. Sometimes people lose themselves, forget about life values, and go against their own principles in the pursuit of success. As a result, they become devastated and discouraged even upon reaching the desired heights.
I wanted to create an ‘oasis’ of calmness, love, and harmony in the modern world. The project’s mission is to prevent people from experiencing emotional burnout. That is how it works.
That initiative is partly a social project. The village where the hotel was built was half-empty. The few people who lived there had nowhere to work. Today, the village has revived. We buy village food and farm products from the locals. We have built roads and helped them with electricity.
Every time I see the grateful and happy eyes of my guests, I get a huge boost of energy and inspiration. I have found that balance making it possible to not only make money but also do something useful to people. I think this is really important in business. Any activity should be based on such an idea.
Let me share a simple but bright example. When a person opens a restaurant to get rich, he or she may neglect the quality of food or service in order to increase income. Such an approach will be justified because the entrepreneur will achieve his or her goal. On the other hand, if a person opens a restaurant because of the desire to feed people, to give them products of good taste and quality, and sees his or her vocation in the chosen profession, the result will be quite different. It must be noted that the income will be only better.
A business started not just for profit but for service and love is destined to be successful.
I happy that more people who are ready to change the trajectory of their path taking into account their talents and values come to me today. I believe that a person can create and change the world if he or she is in the right place. The only thing needed for that is to slower the pace of life and check the life guidelines.
– How would you formulate your life mission?
– Once I took part in a leadership training. They asked me to write down my personal mission on a piece of paper. At first, I resisted. However, then I thought about what I would want if everything in this life were possible. “I want to be an ambassador of universal human values in business”.
After a while, I have prepared my own leadership programme. It became a demanded MBA programme at Russia’s top universities.
I am deeply convinced that our world will change for the better if every business is built on genuine human values and on service. We will have no problems with ecology, education, and any other spheres of society. When a person does something for the sake of serving, he or she will never harm people and the environment.
– What would you wish our readers?
– I would wish them love. We are all going through the love test today. It is important not to yield to negativity but to keep the good in our souls.
There are things, circumstances, and crises that we can’t affect. However, we can control all the things that are going on within us. That is also very important. If we manage to stop anger, irritation, fear, and any other negative feeling and not transmit it further to other people, there will already be a little less of it in the world. We will bring much benefit to the world if we broadcast love, acceptance, and respect in these difficult times.
Viktoria Gusakova, Global Women Media news agency
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov