emotional intelligence competencies coaching leadership style

The personal behaviour of leaders impacts business results. We regularly ask workers around the world to recall someone who had a positive impact on their younger self. Our surveys show the common factor shared by those influential people is always a natural ability of emotional intelligence. It comes naturally to some but thankfully we can all develop emotional and social competencies through learning to coach.

Research shows that high emotional intelligence confers a significant performance advantage on managers. In fact, emotional intelligence is twice as important as cognitive ability in predicting outstanding performance. And studies show that emotional and social intelligence accounts for more than 85 per cent of “star performance” in top leaders (Daniel Goleman and Hay Group).

True Coaching is the Practice of Emotional Intelligence

Organizations large and small are waking up to the profound effect that a coaching culture has on the “triple bottom line” – people, planet and profit – and are rushing to send their managers on any number of generic coaching courses. All too often, there is little or no return on investment because the basic coaching skills they learn do not translate to results back in the workplace. They remain uninspired and unmotivated to change.

In the 1970s and 1980s, coaching and leadership pioneers Tim Gallwey and Sir John Whitmore combined the concepts of high-performance sports coaching with the primary components of transpersonal psychology to develop a performance coaching approach that is transformational rather than transactional. In his bestselling book Coaching for Performance, Sir John explains that true coaching is the practice of emotional intelligence; it is a behaviour not a skill set. And he reveals that the essence of good coaching is to build awareness and responsibility. It takes just a quick read of this seminal book to understand that coaching is more than coaching. It is a way of being, an emotionally intelligent style of management.

“I believe that emotional intelligence and coaching are inseparable; that emotionally intelligent people tend to behave in a coaching way even if they have not attended a coaching course.”
Sir John Whitmore, Founder, Performance Consultants International

To influence and work confidently with others and to contribute successfully to the growth and performance of an organization, leaders need to know what is happening around them, understand what they are experiencing in the moment and recognize what it might be like to be in someone else’s shoes. Crucially, leaders need to learn how to tune in to their inner signals and understand how their emotions affect them and those around them and the impact on performance.

“There is always an Inner Game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How aware you are of this game can make the difference between success and failure.”
Tim Gallwey, creator of The Inner Game

Awareness is the Foundation of Emotional Intelligence

For the past 50 years organizations have been operating in the Age of Information, where intellectual capital is prized as the key to profit. However, the most advanced organizations are moving beyond information and intellect into a new operating reality, the Age of Consciousness. At this exciting frontier of competitive advantage, cultural capital counts and high emotional and social intelligence are the game changers. In the Age of Consciousness, managers and leaders behave like that emotionally intelligent individual who helped us to feel special, valued, confident and, above all, believe in our self. They have what we call a “coaching style of leadership”.

At Performance Consultants, we believe the purpose of coaching is to unlock people’s potential to maximize their own performance. Training leaders to adopt a transformational coaching approach is the single most powerful way to develop the four fundamental emotional intelligence components proven to impact high performance: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management (Forbes, 2001). It all starts with awareness:

  • AWARENESS OF SELF – understand why you do what you do
    Learn to recognize your human tendencies, internal interferences and biases in order to self-manage emotions, judgements and reactions. Improve performance by self-managing and overcoming inner obstacles to potential.
  • AWARENESS OF OTHERS – see the person behind the performance
    Learn to spot people’s strengths, interferences and motivations in order to manage relationships and inspire and collaborate successfully with individuals and teams. Improve social skills by getting curious about, listening to and partnering with those you work with.
  • AWARENESS OF ORGANIZATION – create a positive impact on the culture
    Learn to align individual, team and organizational goals and develop a coaching approach which leads to high performance, learning and enjoyment.

Develop Your Emotional and Social Intelligence with the Pioneers of Workplace Coaching

Performance Consultants are the leading training company in developing authentic emotionally and socially intelligent managers and leaders through coaching workshops and 1:1 coaching. Emotional competencies are by definition not “analytical” or hard skills and cannot be taught through traditional didactic instruction methods. They are best impacted by rigorous experiential facilitation methods and honed during the training through practising real-issue coaching, not role play.

coaching develops emotional intelligence competencies

Having been built on the two pillars of awareness and responsibility, our inspiring Coaching for Performance workshops allow leaders to develop emotional and social competencies that give them greater agility, gain their people’s trust and create Vision that connects and inspires their organization. Participants gain the confidence to achieve their potential and to become catalysts of change and high achievement across their organization.

  • For more information on how our coaching workshops develop emotional and social intelligence, please contact James Neville.

The author Frances MacDermott is Performance Consultants’ Chief Learning Officer.

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