A Research Paper By Diana Youngblom, Peace Development Coaching with Horses, UNITED STATES
Emotional Intelligence’s Role in Private Client Coaching and Business Leadership Coaching
To be successful in personal and professional life, individuals need to be self-aware of their emotions to control and manage them when interacting with others. This is what is called emotional intelligence EI (Stephen, Lisa, and Liz 7). EI recognizes two aspects of intelligence: intrapersonal intelligence, which is the acknowledgment and comprehension of oneself, goals, behavior, or intentions, and interpersonal intelligence, which is the understanding of others; their emotions, thoughts, and feelings (Stephen, Lisa, and Liz 7). Some of the advantages of being intelligent emotionally include improved communication with others, improved relationships, acting with integrity, managing change more confidently, reduced stress levels, feeling confident and positive, fewer power games in work settings, improved career prospects, and being respected by others (Stephen, Lisa, and Liz 7). Coaching, whether private client coaching or business leaders coaching, requires that the coach demonstrates EI. Being a catalyst for a positive change is the bottom line of coaching. Coaches help individuals be the best they can be and realize their full potential in personal and professional life. Tim Gallwey describes coaching as a means of evoking the best from people, including oneself (Stephen, Lisa, and Liz 32). This paper discusses the role of emotional intelligence in private client coaching and business leadership coaching.
The world is increasingly becoming volatile, ambiguous, complex, and uncertain, and professional and personal success can be hindered by the inability to create productive interactions with others (Stephen, Lisa, and Liz 8). The prospect of overcoming these challenges is minimal, thereby creating the need to rely on executive and life coaches. Professional coaches working in this stressful environment need to have practical tools and an effective conceptual framework to guide their clients. The effectiveness of any technique used relies on the relationship between the coach and the client. The sustainability of any relationship relies on the quality of experience between the two, whether in private client coaching or business leaders coaching.
Emotional Intelligence in Private Client Coaching
Private coaching is one-versus-one coaching with a trained professional determined to help the client reach their greatness. Private client coaching is a client-driven process in which the coach helps their clients get support in a specific area of interest. It is flexible and tailored to meet the client’s immediate goals, long-term goals, or both. When interacting with clients, coaches need to be emotionally intelligent because many issues can arise between them. For instance, the client may be frustrated when they do not meet their goals immediately. When this is the case, the coach needs to be persistent and encourage the client not to give in to frustrations and continue to work hard, which cannot be possible when the coach himself or herself is not emotionally intelligent. To demonstrate emotional intelligence in private client coaching, a coach needs to focus on these elements: self-awareness, empathy, motivation, self-regulation, and social skills (Gill).
Self-awareness describes individuals being conversant with or aware of the situations around them and thinking “outside the box how” to handle them (Gill). Coaches need to be self-aware to enhance their performance levels during private client coaching. Successful coaches have control of their emotions even when their interaction with clients can be frustrating. They also need to display a great understanding of their clients. There is a range of possibilities by which they can develop self-awareness. For instance, a coach needs to understand that a client who feels nothing is going according to plan will demonstrate different emotions to the one whose everything is going according to plan. Three tips can help private client-coach become self-aware. First, coaches need to identify practices that enable them to become self-aware of their positive and negative emotions as they experience them during coaching sessions. Second, they need to develop routines that enable them to promote their self-awareness when interacting with their clients. Third, coaches need to enhance awareness by utilizing strategies that help them to identify their own needs (Gill).
Self-regulation describes the ability of the coach to remain calm even when confronted or pressured in particular situations (Gill). Therefore, self-regulation is an important attribute that a successful coach should possess. When training a client for a competitive task or adventure ahead, both the coach and the client are under pressure to deliver. As a close person to the client, the private coach should help the client balance between mind and body during these situations. Reflections can help the coach develop effective self-regulation. Self-regulation helps a coach adjust to various demands and lead their client through pressurized situations. For instance, when being critical of the client’s progress or behavior, the coach needs to keep their emotions in check so that they do not demoralize the client by using sharp or hurting words. To develop self-regulation, first, the coach needs to identify negative and positive emotions during their coaching sessions (Gill). When confronted with pressurized situations, the coach should try to remember positive times during coaching sessions to reenergize their mindset and thinking. Second, through self-reflection, they need to develop strategies that offer room to regulate their emotions (Gill). The coaches should provide themselves a quiet corner where they examine themselves, asking questions such as what they could have done differently, how they will formulate different strategies next time, whether they dealt with the client in the right manner, and provide satisfactory answers, among others (Gill).
Motivation is a critical element of excellent coaching. When conducting coaching sessions, motivation is the inner or altruistic desire to meet the target set together with the client (Gill). The coach is expected to maintain this enthusiasm despite any challenges along the journey. To meet this objective, the coach and the client can set short-term achievable targets that lead to long-term goals (Gill). He or she should also inspire their client to stay motivated despite challenges that they might encounter. The coach should ensure that regardless of the pressurized situations, the client stays motivated. This includes modifying targets when it becomes clear that they are not realistic under the prevailing circumstances.
A coach should show empathy during private client coaching sessions. Empathy calls for understanding own feelings as well as those of the client (Gill). Building empathy is important because it helps the client feel part of the coaching sessions. The coach should use appraisals and emphatic listening to the client’s needs. He or she should discuss with the client regarding progress and areas of improvement. When clients understand that their coach care, they can open up and talk about what is preventing them from meeting coaching goals (Gill).
The last aspect of emotional intelligence in private client coaching is the ability of the coach to instill social skills during coaching sessions. The coach should identify opportunities to enhance harmony and rapport with the client during coaching. This includes developing activities that can trigger social cohesions with the client. A cohesive unit can realize its goals (Gill).
Business Leaders Coaching
The modern business environment is increasingly becoming volatile, ambiguous, complex, and uncertain, and navigating through this environment demands resourcefulness, creativity, and resilience in both professional and personal life. Navigating this environment can be made easier by having someone with the right temperament and skills to talk to. If they have the requisite attitude, tools, and values, executive and life coaches can fulfill this goal. Successful coaches employ client-centered, solution-based, and experimentally-oriented coaching to help themselves and their clients prosper (Stillman et al. 10).
When coaching business leaders, coaches need to exhibit emotional intelligence as it can help them deal with the ambiguity of their tasks, providing the right balance between discovery and inquiry and guidance and advice. They need to challenge business leaders’ assumptions and mental models, exposing patterns and beliefs that do not serve them any longer, even as they introduce new mindsets (Stillman et al. 11). Coaches need to be emotionally intelligent when dealing with business leaders because, according to Grossman (2005: 3), some traits hinder their ability to build and gain trust. Some of them include coming across people as opinionated or arrogant, not treating subordinates with enough respect, trying to be relational versus right, figuring out what people have to say even before they say it, not letting other people finish their sentence, and being impatient (Grossman 3). Cultivation of emotional intelligence can help overcome these problematic leadership habits.
Emotional intelligence is a means to construct the self and develop personal meaning. Coaches can use the empirically-based principles of emotional transformation, regulation, and awareness to achieve this goal. Boyatzis et al. (2013: 22) combined the dimensions of emotional intelligence and the objective of business leaders’ coaching and concluded that emotionally intelligent coaches are those who coach with compassion. According to them, emotionally intelligent coaches emphasize the creation of a caring, trusting interaction between themselves and the business leaders and base the coaching sessions on positive emotions and realization of the true self (Boyatzis et al. 22). A compassionate coach uses his or her skills to nurture vibrant leaders who have the same dedication to purpose, connection, and insight.
The elements of emotional intelligence, such as self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation, have gained acceptance in business leader coaching (Stillman et al. 11). The EI elements, assessments, and applications have helped practitioners and researchers to devise more rigorous and creative approaches for more productive coaching. The diffusion of emotional quotient (EQ) into performance-centered methods to develop employees, managers, and leaders, combined with advancement in practice standards and coaching theory has resulted in the incorporation of emotional intelligence in coaching. The professional coaching framework is described by the International Coach Federation standards combined with the model of transformational change advanced by the Six Seconds model to create an emotional intelligence training program. The coach is required to develop strategies that are data-driven, value-enriched, relational, and client-centered (Stillman et al. 12).
Advances in technological application to coaching are complementing efforts to increase coach-client relationships through EI (Stillman et al. 12). The growing accessibility to artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and the rapid expansion in the utilization of executive coaching have combined to trigger a more sophisticated application of business coaching practices. For instance, there is an AI application in coaching and mentoring at Six Seconds (Stillman et al. 12). The Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence (SEI) assessment focuses on specific limitations of leaders and managers to produce desired outcomes (Stillman et al. 12). The coaches can focus on conserving the most critical elements of the coaching and devise various scenarios that can help the clients develop. Some of the areas the coach can work on include communication and blind spots (Michael).
Communication entails both listening and speaking. Managers are expected to converse with direct reports, and when they do not communicate effectively, they will have challenges giving directions and feedback. The coach is expected to use interpersonal skills to help managers improve. They should be taught how to remain objective when engaging with their followers, knowing what to say depending on the situation. It is common for most leaders not to recognize their blind spots, which indicates a lack of self-awareness. Coaches need to help such managers to recognize their blind spots. Some managers may be in denial, and as such, the coach needs to employ emotional intelligence when engaging them. This way, the business manager or leader can also build their emotional intelligence (Michael).
Feelings, emotions, and behavioral expressions are at the heart of human beings. Most of these expressions are habitual and unconscious, which makes it challenging to confront them. With emotional intelligence, there is a high chance of addressing them. EI continues to gain acceptance in every field, and coaching is not exempted. Coaching helps a client to respond to situations in life and work wettings rather than reacting to them. When it comes to the bottom line, IQ is less important than people skills. In private client coaching, coaches need to build trust with their clients, and this necessitates being emotionally intelligent. They can achieve this by developing their self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation. These elements also need to be applied in business leader coaching. By employing emotional intelligence, coaches can help managers and leaders improve their communication skills and identify their blind spots. Therefore, emotional intelligence is integral to coaching.
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