Coaching from and for emotional intelligence
It is argued that promotion to management level is commonly given on the basis of demonstrating superior technical skills. These days, however, emotional intelligence is recognised as a significant advantage for manager’s performance[i]. Moreover, emotional intelligence is considered the main ingredient for achieving and maintaining ‘high performance’ and demonstrating ‘outstanding leadership’[ii].
So what is emotional intelligence? There are lots of definitions. A common one is the ability to ‘tune in to’ our own feelings and the feelings of others. Another definition that may resonate with some is looking at emotional intelligence as a ‘learned ability’, which help us manage our emotions in ‘healthy and productive ways’[iii].
There are complex models devised to understand emotional intelligence and how we can develop this ability. Goleman and Boyatzis have devised 12 leadership competencies based on the idea of emotional and social intelligence. Another model I came across is ‘The EQ Difference’ by Lynn, which dissects emotional intelligence as the sum of the following abilities:
- Self-awareness and self-control or the abilities to understand oneself and use that information to manage our own emotions in a positive way
- Empathy or the ability to understand others’ perspectives
- Social Expertness or the ability to build ‘genuine relationships and bonds’
- Personal Influence or the ability to lead and inspire oneself and others
- Mastery of Purpose and Vision or the ability of being authentic and demonstrating this through living authentic lives
What is clear to me is that developing emotional intelligence is a life long journey that we go through whilst relating with others and learning from those experiences. Its influence and mastery can be witnessed in how we interact with others and cultivate positive relationships. If we, as coaches, are to help others in management and leadership positions to work productively and demonstrate effective leadership, we ought to work on our own emotional intelligence first.
This week’s chat seeks to explore coaching and emotional intelligence through the following questions:
- What is your definition of emotional intelligence?
- Where do you find yourself in the journey of developing your emotional intelligence?
- How can you, as a coach, develop and demonstrate your emotional intelligence?
- How can you, as a coach, help your clients to develop their own emotional intelligence?