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Coaching for Emotional Intelligence

Does your technically proficient employee fall short on people skills? Coaching can help.

Coaching for Emotional Intelligence

Psychologist Daniel Goleman coined the term “emotional intelligence.” Your “emotional quotient,” or EQ, may be more consequential to your success and happiness in life than your IQ. A person can be intellectually brilliant yet their emotional shortcomings can interfere with their relationships and cause problems. Luckily, unlike your IQ, you can improve your EQ through deliberate practice. A manager or coach can help you troubleshoot weak areas.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

You have what amounts to two independent minds, one that feels and one that thinks, says Goleman in Emotional Intelligence. The amygdala is the seat of the feeling brain. It reacts impulsively to stimuli in the environment, sometimes before a person is consciously aware of it. The thinking brain pumps the brakes. If something triggers your amygdala and your neocortex can’t control it, your strong emotion can hijack your brain, interrupt your attention and undermine rationality.

Image of: Emotional Intelligence
Book Summary

Emotional Intelligence

Your IQ is only 20% of your success. Emotions play a much bigger role. How do you feel about that?

Daniel Goleman Bantam
Read Summary

Emotional intelligence is a factor in “self-awareness, managing emotions, motivation, empathy and handling relationships.” Unconscious emotions can infect your mood and influence your behavior. Develop your self-awareness by becoming more attentive to your feelings and your thoughts about them. This is a necessary first step to managing your emotions, for instance, being able to change your bad mood.

Knowing something is right ‘in your heart’ is a different order of conviction – somehow a deeper kind of certainty – than thinking so with your rational mind.

Daniel Goleman

Learning how to manage the constant ebb and flow of emotions is a core life competency. Rage can be addicting and energizing. If you’re already angry, your mind is primed to be more easily provoked, and the resulting emotion can feel especially intense. Distractions, exercise and time alone are all potential ways to cope with anger. There are ways to handle other emotions that have the potential to overwhelm you such as depression. A coach can help people develop healthy coping habits for stressful situations.

Successful Organizations Invest in Emotional Intelligence

In Working with Emotional Intelligence, Goleman addresses how to build “emotional competencies” in the workplace. This is an ever more vital skill for businesses as they embrace team structures and coalitions to accomplish projects. Positive values such as openness and reliability are important individual as well as organizational traits. Companies that value emotional intelligence look for employees with people skills. These are people who can listen, can accept criticism, are self-motivated and, above all, who can get along with their co-workers.

Image of: Working With Emotional Intelligence
Book Summary

Working With Emotional Intelligence

Emotions convey lessons you – and your organization – need to know. First step: self-awareness, for you and the company.

Daniel Goleman Bantam
Read Summary

In his lecture “The Art of Managing Emotions,” Goleman says the goal of leadership is to coach people into peak performance states, or “flow.” In this optimal state, work is inspiring and feels almost effortless. It’s conducive to creativity. Leaders or coaches can help facilitate this in four ways:

  • Outline clear goals.
  • Provide continuous feedback.
  • Challenge employees in ways that afford them opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Assign projects commensurate with an employee’s skills.
Image of: The Art of Managing Emotions
Video Summary

The Art of Managing Emotions

If you want to get the best out of your employees, put them in the right state of mind.

Daniel Goleman WOBI
Read Summary

Moods are contagious, so spread a good one. Because of mirror neurons in the brain, people pick up the emotions you are signaling. Because of their position of power, bosses can employ this biological phenomenon to help employees set the right emotional tone for productive work. Remember, leaders set the example not only in their approach to work but in interpersonal approaches as well. Coaches can use the “Simmons Management Systems Profile” to assess the EQ of their clients. Some companies use this when hiring; EQ is an especially important factor in sales success. Managers who take the time to coach their employees create more independent workers, and free up more of their own time.

Influence entails handling emotions effectively in other people…Star performers are artful at sending emotional signals, which makes them powerful communicators, able to sway an audience – in short, leaders.

Daniel Goleman

To Coach Others for EQ, First Improve Your Own

When coaching others, make sure your own house is in order. Be sure you’re clear about your own goals and values. Demonstrate your own ability to ignore distracting thoughts and emotions and stay fully present in the moment. As you hone these skills, you’ll be better able to figure out sensitive office politics and act with diplomacy. In The Master Coach, Gregg Thompson recommends a “3C Coaching Model” built upon personal “character,” developing “connection” to others, and productive “conversation.”

Image of: The Master Coach
Book Summary

The Master Coach

If you want to coach or be coached, read this honest, open description of what it means to coach well.

Gregg Thompson SelectBooks
Read Summary

Coaching is neither therapy nor critique. Your goal as a coach is to help someone else figure out how to achieve their goals. Instead of telling them what to do, you guide them to find their own path and solutions. A coach helps professionals improve an aspect or aspects of their skill set to improve job performance. Effective coaching takes great self-awareness and the humility to put someone else first. Look past the other person’s shortcomings and offer uplift for their highest potential.

Coaching is an attitude and a commitment to having a positive influence on the lives of others. When we master this art, it is not something we turn off and on at will; it’s a way of being.

Gregg Thompson
Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Emotional Intelligence Coaching
Book Summary

Emotional Intelligence Coaching

Improve your “emotional intelligence coaching” by combining emotional understanding and a focus on results.

Stephen Neale, Lisa Spencer-Arnell and Liz Wilson Kogan Page Publishers Read Summary
Image of: Emotional Intelligence Superpowers
Video Summary

Emotional Intelligence Superpowers

You may be smart, but are you also emotionally intelligent?

Marc Brackett Talks at Google Read Summary
Image of: 5 Skills to Help You Develop Emotional Intelligence
Article Summary

5 Skills to Help You Develop Emotional Intelligence

You can improve your EQ score by working on yourself in five areas.

Mark Manson Mark Manson Read Summary

Effective Coaching Relies on Building Rapport

Establish an emotional connection with the person you’re coaching through purposeful conversations. Sharpen your listening skills to improve empathy and to better understand other people’s perspectives. Understand the goals of those you seek to coach as a launching point for conversations about how they can best achieve them.

Image of: The Tao of Coaching
Book Summary

The Tao of Coaching

Change other people’s lives – and your own – by becoming a great coach.

Max Landsberg Profile Books
Read Summary

To give meaningful feedback, focus on specifics. In The Tao of Coaching, author Max Landsberg suggests the “AID” acronym – “Actions,” their “Impact” and the “Desired” outcomes – to focus your conversations. Asking questions is a great way to guide your conversation and allow your mentee to make their own discoveries about tasks, obstacles and time frames. Read Sara Kupfer’s article “How to Use Questions as a Coaching Tool” for more insight.

Goal, Reality, Options, Wrap up…That structure always seems to work if you want to have a really effective coaching session which goes beyond simply providing feedback.

Max Landsberg

In Coaching for Emotional Intelligence, executive coach Bob Wall also emphasizes conversations. Employees want and need feedback about their job performance. Recognize and reward behaviors you wish to encourage. Encourage employees to think of coaching as a partnership meant to improve performance and lead to greater career success. Keep your comments professional. The best results come when your mentees believe you genuinely care about their improvement.

Image of: Coaching for Emotional Intelligence
Book Summary

Coaching for Emotional Intelligence

Coaching your employees to help them fulfill their potential is one of the greatest parts of leadership.

Read Summary

Frequent informal feedback in the moment yields great results and takes less than a minute. Begin each short session with the same sentence such as, “I’d like to talk to you about…” to differentiate a coaching moment from other conversations. Listen carefully if you’re doing corrective coaching to be sure your message is getting through and that there aren’t any previously unforeseen obstacles to execution. Hold more structured conversations when the spontaneous approach doesn’t work.

The ability to leverage diversity revolves around three skills: getting along well with people who are different, appreciating the unique ways others may operate, and seizing whatever business opportunity these unique approaches might offer.

Daniel Goleman

When coaching for teamwork, be aware of and respect cross-cultural differences. This means “zero tolerance for intolerance.” Focus on what people have in common. Model open communication and willingness to improve based on feedback. When leaders value their employee’s contribution, it boosts the EQ of the entire organization.

Learn more about Emotional Intelligence and coaching others:

Related Summaries in getAbstract’s Library
Image of: Emotional Intelligence Superpowers
Video Summary

Emotional Intelligence Superpowers

You may be smart, but are you also emotionally intelligent?

Marc Brackett Talks at Google Read Summary
Image of: Sales EQ
Book Summary

Sales EQ

What’s your sales emotional intelligence? Make more and better sales by leveraging client emotions.

Jeb Blount Wiley Read Summary
Image of: Performance Conversations
Book Summary

Performance Conversations

Replace the annual performance review with more frequent and effective coaching conversations based on powerful questions.

Christopher D. Lee Society For Human Resource Management Read Summary
Image of: Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers
Book Summary

Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

To become a more effective project manager, enhance your self-awareness and relationship-building skills.

Anthony Mersino HarperCollins Leadership Read Summary
Image of: Coaching


How much of coaching your employees is guiding them, how much is teaching, and how much is asking the right questions and listening…

Open Channel
Image of: Executive Coaching

Executive Coaching

Whether you are offering your services or seeking a coach, make sure you stress these main strengths: honesty, trustworthiness, business savvy and foresight.

Open Channel
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13 We have curated the most actionable insights from 13 summaries for this feature.
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