What makes coaching – often confused with therapy, consulting, or mentoring – essentially stand out is the combination of the practical with the emotional. It follows action plans and performance management, all while keeping an eye on developing your emotional intelligence skills (because, well, we can’t do much without it, right?).
Put plain and simple, it is about powerful conversations.
In this article, we set out to explore the ways in which emotional intelligence can enhance the coaching process within your organization, and how developing EI competencies as a leader fits into this framework.
How coaching and emotional intelligence connect
Coaching is about powerful questions.
About listening and guiding people, all while helping the other person map out their own path, in accordance with their needs and in their own time.
Growth cannot be forced and it needs kindness and time so that the seeds of knowledge get to develop and start yielding when you’re ready for it.
And so, professional coaches focus a great deal of their attention on understanding and stimulating one’s self-awareness, authenticity, self-management, other awareness, emotional reasoning and positive influence – all dimensions of emotional intelligence.
Great coaches demonstrate emotional intelligence throughout their work. They remain calm in difficult situations, they’re good listeners, they’re intuitive, curious, and rely a great deal on empathy to understand the other’s perspective and needs.
Emotional intelligence is essential when it comes to coaching. When both parties involved in the process demonstrate EI competencies, the communication is meaningful, vulnerable and honest and the coaching flows smoothly.
Coaching with an EI focus at work
In a McKinsey & Company study that looked at how companies manage their talent, the number one reason for leaving a job in December 2021 appeared to be uncaring leaders.
Managers are often viewed as supervisors instead of mentors.
And when a leader lacks empathy, they fail to effectively relate to their direct reports and help them meet the organization’s goals.
The key here is developing authentic, socially and emotionally intelligent leaders.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to use emotionally expressive language and non-verbal cues to help facilitate thinking.
And managers who use EI in their coaching help their people think more deeply so they can develop and access their inner resources and meet once feared challenges.
So where should one begin?
To coach (with) emotional intelligence to your employees, first, start developing EI competencies within yourself. EI Romania offers an excellent one-to-one coaching program. Check it out here: Instant EI.
Next, since EI has a lot to do with self-awareness, help your teammates and employees see themselves better: hold a mirror for them to look into. Because if you give feedback to people who haven’t yet acknowledged their weak spots, it won’t get you anywhere.
And then delve deeper with these ways of coaching EI in the office:
#1. Create a culture of team feedback.
Feedback shouldn’t only be coming from the management, encourage employee-to-employee and employee-to-manager feedback.
#2. Encourage vulnerability through the power of example.
Tolerate and support failure in the workplace. And learn from it.
#3. Create opportunities for people to get a better look at themselves.
Help develop their self and social awareness.
#4. Help create opportunities in which employees can develop collaboration competencies.
Good collaboration is essential for the well-being of your organization, all while strengthening relationships and helping people see themselves and understand their needs better.
They say leaders don’t have to know the answers to all the questions, they just have to know how to empower the people they work with. So help create value for yourself and others through powerful coaching with an emotional intelligence focus.