Emotional Intelligence and Coaching for Increasing Your Leadership Effectiveness
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Coaching are the dynamic duo for increasing leadership effectiveness.
“Although the coaching style may not scream “bottom-line results,” it delivers them.” Daniel Goleman
My coaching client, Robert was a corporate controller with a department team to manage.
He was an intense man, with good moral character and he was highly motivated to build a strong team. His 360 feedback survey reflected some of his valued qualities, as well as his growth edges:
Robert needs to learn more patient listening – sometimes I am rushed to speak because I know his time is limited and he wants to make a quick decision. He doesn’t make an effort to remember personal information. His lack of interest or investment in my performance growth is sometimes evident.
Robert took the feedback seriously and was willing to work at changing his behavior in order to build greater trust and respect in his team relationships. With coaching support, he designed practices for “patient listening,” such as remembering to pause and take a deep breath before speaking, remembering to say the person’s name, and showing an interest in who they are. He also cultivated the habit of starting conversations with a curious question instead of his previous “telling” mode.
One unexpected result of these new behaviors – he was only beginning to practice – was when one of his direct reports, who had given her two-week notice, decided to stay. When she withdrew her notice, she explained to Robert that she had decided to leave because of his behavior, and then after noticing his significant changes over those two weeks, she decided to stay. (Need I point out here the savings in the cost of turnover to the company?)
Robert continued to practice his “patient listening,” relationship-enhancing behaviors. His inter-personal relationship skills continued to improve, providing a variety of positive impacts in the organization. Within two years’ time, Robert moved up the ladder to VP Finance and then ultimately to CFO. He attributes these promotions to his soft-skills improvements.
According to EQ & Performance research (Learning in Action.com):
- EQ accounts for 67% of the abilities deemed necessary for superior performance
- EQ matters TWICE as much as technical expertise or IQ
- At the highest level of complexity EQ is the “ONLY advantage”
“Emotional Intelligence is the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.” Mayer and Salovey
Coaching is based on a principle that everyone is creative and resourceful, regardless of how they are showing up in the world. In other words, it asks us to stop judging the behavior of others and instead, do our best to take the empowering, compassionate or understanding view.
Holding this perspective requires that we are masterful with three specific emotional intelligence skills, which directly impact how we are in relationship with others.
- Self Awareness – how well we know ourselves and our ability to observe our own behaviors, as well as the impact of our behaviors on others.
- What do others experience in my presence?
- What is my impact on motivation when I ask for something?
- How willing are people to collaborate with me?
- How well do I demonstrate respect for the values, feelings and attitudes of others?
- Self Management – the ability to manage our own behaviors. It impacts how we show up in the world and the way others perceive us.
- Do I keep promises I make to others?
- How well do I manage my emotions so that I do not visibly react in unpleasant, stressful or conflict situations?
- Do I avoid discounting other’s opinion?
- Do I have daily habits that support calmness and mental clarity?
- Empathy – the ability to see things from the point of view of the other person. It impacts levels of connection, safety and trust with others.
- How well do I demonstrate a true interest in what others are saying and doing by asking questions and clarifying?
- How well do I listen and restrain myself when I feel tempted to give my unsolicited opinions rather than listen fully to the opinions of others?
- How aware am I of the other’s person’s experience?
Where do you see an opportunity for enhancing your leadership effectiveness?