The Core of Emotional Intelligence
- Emotional Self-Awareness: Recognizing our emotions and their effects.
- Accurate Self-Assessment: Knowing our strengths and limits.
- Self-Confidence: A strong sense of our self-worth and capabilities.
- Self-Control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control.
- Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity.
- Conscientiousness: Demonstrating responsibility in managing oneself.
- Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing situations or obstacles.
- Achievement Orientation: The guiding drive to meet an internal standard of excellence.
- Initiative: Readiness to act.
- Empathy: Understanding others and taking an active interest in their concerns.
- Organizational Awareness: Understanding and empathizing (issues, dynamics, and politics) at the organizational level.
- Service Orientation: Recognizing and meeting customer needs.
IV. Relationship Traction.
- Developing Others: Sensing others’ developmental needs and bolstering their abilities.
- Leadership: Inspiring and guiding groups and people.
- Influence: Using interpersonal influencing tactics.
- Communication: Sending clear and convincing messages.
- Change Catalyst: Initiating or managing change.
Working with Others
- Conflict Management: Resolving disagreements.
- Building Bonds: Building relationships with others.
- Teamwork and Collaboration: Working with others toward shared goals.
Once the concepts of EI have been explained to Jack we would discuss how this theory could be helpful to Jack provided he is able to agree with and own the behaviors and wants to improve them. I would also make it clear to Jack that the value of EI is that ones EQ is not a fixed quotient. He is able to improve his skills from where he is today. EI unlike IQ can change and be improved. We would then discuss Jack’s EI strengths and his above average competence in the areas of experiential skills and strategic skill. I would then ask Jack some questions about his current leadership style and him if he were willing to keep an open mind around how we can utilize EI.
From here, we can review the strengths and challenges identified by Jack in the SOAR exercise. We can determine appropriate actions to take to begin to change behavior and reach the goals that Jack has set for himself. We will also discuss the conflicts and contradictions that may exist for Jack with regard to his emotional intelligence scores and how his sensitivity to the feeling of others and his need to be liked may inhibit his ability to give critical feedback or engage in robust conversations with subordinates. We can begin to explore how Jack’s conflict avoidance may also impact his ability to effectively lead his team.
The case study does not tell us how long the first session with Jack will be. It also does not tell us whether Jack has been coached before and if he is willing to make changes now and do the “heavy lifting’, involved here. I would say that if we spent 90 minutes together we still would have a lot of material to cover and we do not know, based on the feedback that we have gotten from other’s about Jack if he is a poor listener, over analyzes and in not good with feedback. Chances are that he will need some time to digest the multi-rater information provided to him, and if there are anecdotal comments this may be even more difficult for Jack to take. All that to say that he may need time to take this all in and get some context and perspective before we are able to delve into the real learning edges that Jack can work on.
Depending on where Jack is with the session, I would ask him to make a couple of commitments for our next session and ask him to let me know by telephone or email when he has actually achieved the tasks that he has set out to accomplish toward reaching his goals.
In working with Jack, as a coach in our initial meeting, I have attempted to establish rapport with Jack. Explain the process answer any questions he might have, explain the assessment instruments and get an idea of how he perceives himself. I have reviewed communication theory and used the SOAR technique to help Jack think about his goals. I have let Jack know that my job is to ask questions and spark his thinking about his leadership and then help him to move from thoughts to action. I hope that my support will assist Jack in becoming more successful.
In his framing of the entry phase of an engagement Peter Block states that the way in which you contract with your client in the first session is an indicator if how your coaching engagement will go. He feels that there may be a direct correlation between these two. I would tend to agree with this to the extent that it is incredibly important either in you coaching contract or in you information session that you lift up what the expectations are of the client and the coach. What the guarantees are for each party and what the rules of engagement are.
With the case study with Jack. He was a corporate client who was asked to participate in the coaching process. There was an expectation by his corporate sponsor that he would work on goals identified in in performance document and these goals would be cascading goals from his department and organization. Therefore he would have a hierarchy of goal management to contend with as well various sets of expectations to meet aside from his, and mine as his coach but also those of his manager.
The contracting phase was a time for us to talk about any constraints that he was feeling about the coaching relationship. We discussed whether he felt really ready for coaching and what is required to be both a good client and prepared for a coaching journey. Thinking about this at this early level of engagement is sometimes difficult for corporate clients because the sometimes confuse the coaching relationship with being mentored which is a term often interchanged in the corporate world. I do discuss these distinctions early on in our meeting, by relating that mentoring in often an internal tool that allows a mentor and mentee to establish a relationship that involves organizational culture, and getting things done inside the organization. There is a state in the outcome by the mentor and often a concept close to tutoring is outlined.
In coaching I explain that my degree of skill in a clients particular area of expertise makes no difference. And the heavy lifting is really up to them. I am their thought partner and in doing so I will often ask difficult or layers of questions that may create an assumption of intimacy- but I do not consult and provide the answers. I am in no way an extra pair of hands for my clients, but more like a mirror that acknowledges and helps them to unpack and develop their thoughts and feelings.
In the end, whether using the frame created by Peter Block to assist in a corporate or executive coaching relationship or following the suggested competencies outlined by level (ACC, PCC, MCC) by the ICF it appears clear that creating a strong entry phase with each client is a step that should not be skipped in the coaching process. As a lawyer, I know a coaching contract document is an important place to capture data and concretize each party’s obligations. However what seems equally as important here is the intellectual and emotional contract that is established between a coach and their client.
Block, Peter. Flawless Consulting – The Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used. Jossey Bass Pfeiffer © 1991,2000.
Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, BasicBooks, 1993.
[i] ICA, What is Coaching, 2014, ICF Coaching defined.
ii International Coach Federation, Coaching Competencies.