Coaching Creates Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Through our work and involvement in a PhD study on the effects coaching has on leaders, it is clear that leaders with high emotional intelligence have the greatest impact on creating a positive culture where people are performing at their best. Having a high level of self-awareness, awareness of others and the ability to self-manage your emotions comes naturally to some, in varying degrees but it certainly is not the majority. Thankfully we can all develop emotional and social competencies through learning to coach. 

Research shows that emotional intelligence is twice as important as cognitive ability in predicting outstanding performance. This research shows that emotional and social intelligence accounts for more than 85 per cent of “star performance” in top leaders (Daniel Goleman and Hay Group). 

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. He reveals that the essence of good coaching is to build awareness and responsibility. Coaching is more than coaching. It is a way of being; an emotionally intelligent style of management. 

To influence and work confidently with others and to contribute successfully to the growth and performance of an organisation, leaders need to know what is happening around them, understand what they are experiencing in the moment and recognise what it might be like to be in someone else’s shoes. 


Crucially, leaders need to learn how to tune in to their internal signals and understand how their emotions affect them and those around them and the impact that has 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. Coaching is a proven methodology for raising awareness. The above-mentioned PhD study on the effects coaching has on leaders, produced data highlighting a significant increase in emotional intelligence in all coaching participants. 

For the past 50 years, organisations have been operating in the “Age of Information”, where intellectual capital is prized as the key to profit. However, the most advanced organisations 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 have what we call a “coaching style of leadership”. They place significant importance on getting people into the optimal neurological state, where they feel valued, effective and get joy out of their work. 

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. 


1. AWARENESS OF SELF

Paying attention to your emotions 

Learn to recognise your human tendencies, internal interferences and biases in order to self-manage emotions, judgements and reactions. 

The Coaching methodology is about raising self-awareness to enable sustainable change in beliefs, habits and behaviours. 

Self Awareness is the first step in building a solid foundation for the remaining steps in the Emotional Intelligence picture. 


2.SELF REGULATION

The ability to control emotions and respond to them productively 

Taking the time to know your triggers, be aware of the emotions evoked in you and being intentional about who you want to be in that moment. Coaching teaches us selflessness, this helps greatly in managing our emotions. Rather than being inward focused on how we are feeling, looking outward to the situation and person in front of us then being curious and what is playing out. 


3. EMPATHY

Awareness of others 

Being self- aware is only half the emotional intelligence picture, being aware of others is equally important. 

Taking the time to look at the world through their lens and understand what is important to those around you is critical. 

Empathy is our ability to see things from another person’s perspective – and to consider their individual thoughts and feelings about an experience without judgement. 

As we improve “self-awareness,” we also improve “other-awareness.” We learn that there is sometimes a difference between our own thoughts and feelings and the thoughts and feelings of others. Coaching teaches human-centered practices that create the space to increase empathy naturally. 

4. SOCIAL SKILLS - Responding to other’s emotions 

Our emotional world has a social component to it. For example, emotions such as love, guilt, rejection, and embarrassment are almost strictly social emotions (they rarely exist outside the context of our relationships with others). 

To build healthy relationships it is important that we are attuned to other people’s emotions, especially how they respond to our own actions and speech. 

Coaching develops a heightened level of consciousness of who we are and what is happening around us on an emotional level, but further to that the skills to navigate our way effectively in our social environment


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Coaching Creates Emotionally Intelligent Leaders