What inspired you to specialize in emotional intelligence coaching?
I am passionate about leadership development and have an extensive background in this area. Through my work, however, I started to see that emotional intelligence was the missing link in leadership development, because emotions are an integral part of our lives, both personally and professionally. Emotions matter! Coaching emotional intelligence has given me an opportunity to combine two key areas: leadership and emotional intelligence. I firmly believe that the professional learning of leaders isn’t complete unless it includes emotional intelligence.
As a coach, what tools and skills do you bring to your coaching?
Coaching is an opportunity to explore your internal world (your inner self). As a coach, I support and challenge clients to improve their effectiveness and performance. Skills such as active listening and asking powerful questions can assist the client to reflect and think through problems and solutions, and most importantly, become more self-aware. Self-awareness is key to one’s personal and professional life, especially in leadership. Helping the client to discover things for themselves is crucial, thus strengthening their ability to act on their goals. The client decides which path they will take and which goals they want to pursue. I am their thought partner providing them with a trusting and safe environment where they can reflect and think things through out loud and explore different perspectives and insights.
In what ways have you seen your clients’ lives transformed through your work together?
Emotional intelligence coaching includes conversations about self and social awareness. Paying attention, understanding and knowing how to use your emotions is vital because they provide clues and information that will help you understand yourself and the world around you. Conversations in emotional intelligence, especially social awareness, prompted several clients to practice and hone in on their listening skills. They started to see things from the perspective of others, which helped them in both their personal and professional relationships. This led to better rapport with their staff, parents and students, thus affecting their organization’s environment. Moreover, the information that they gathered by listening attentively was vital to running a more effective district or school. The enhancement of this skill (active listening) led to better relationships and informed decisions, which made them better leaders.
What does success look like for your clients at the end of the coaching process?
Success is different for every client. However, a running theme that has become apparent with most of the clients has been that they are much more aware of their emotions and how emotions play an integral part of their leadership. Recognizing their own emotions and that of others and managing them has helped their leadership. It is common to hear clients share how they now think twice before they confront a demanding situation. They have become more reflective and are able to step back and analyze challenging situations before they respond. While reflection may take a little more time and exercising self-control is not easy, it actually saves time in the long run because as one principal stated, you don’t have to “spend precious time cleaning up the ramifications of an initial poor reaction.” As leaders, they start to notice how they react to difficult situations and, with greater awareness, they can more quickly identify triggers and are able to respond more effectively rather than just react. Meeting your goals is vital but to be able to do that and change your mindset and develop your skills and abilities at the same time is awesome.