Updated: Jul 10, 2018
This is a different blog than my usual. This was written for a class I'm attending. I hope that the topic is of interest.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a recognized term in the psychological and corporate community and has gained traction within the self-help and new age communities. EI developed over the last 20 years or so out of the recognition that both in our personal and in our work relationships our ability to perceive and manage ourselves as well as sensitively and empathetically interacting with others is more important to our health and success in life than our IQ.
McPheat (2010) in a highlighted section of the MBT Training Emotional Intelligence published in 2010 says on page 9:
Emotional Intelligence involves a combination of competencies which allow a person to be aware of, to understand, and to be in control of their own emotions to recognize and understand the emotions of others, and to use this knowledge to foster their success and the success of others.
Although there is more than one model developed within the EI area, for purposes of this article I am going to use the 5 Goleman EI competencies. The 5 EI competencies are
· Empathy, and
· Social Skills.
A person’s EI in Self Awareness impacts how a person emotionally acts or reacts to a situation. A person with a lower EI is likely to emotionally react. A person with a higher EI competence in this area will be more likely to take time to allow his or her Frontal Cortex to step into the moment and exert self-management tools and techniques.
I have a friend that was my assistant in my legal practice prior to my retirement. She now works for a boss who stands over her while she is working to complete a project for that boss. It is really upsetting my friend, but she has not said or done anything. She knows that her boss intimidates her, and having her boss standing at my friend’s desk while she is working on a deadline is making her less effective, but to date my friend has been unwilling to talk to her boss. My friend is not self managing her situation. Currently my friend is working on Rehearsal and preparing to talk to her boss within the next 2 weeks.
In a separate situation I’ve been working with a woman. She has recurring arguments with her husband over work and money. At this point she is just starting to grow her EI competencies with regular study and practice. She is beginning to see that both she and her husband contribute to the recurring arguments. Once she accepts her responsibility and accountability for her actions she can begin to react less and raise her EI competence, lean new tools, and have her communications improve with her husband.
Accepting that there is always room for improvement and increasing Self-Awareness is a strong step toward improving EI, this Writer and a certain Client agreed to identifying some strategies for further development of Self-Awareness. As indicated by McPheat, S. (2010), Self-Awareness is the building block for all the EI competencies. After discussing the possibilities, the Client agreed to perform “Check-ins”. The Client agreed for one week to check in 4 times a day on how and what the Client is feeling, then, journal or note those feelings daily. One week from today at our coaching session we have agreed to review the notes and discuss what we have learned from this process.
McPheat, S. (2010) on Page 34 describes self-confidence as personal power and says, “People who are highly self-confident understand that they have a great deal of control over what happens to them in their lives.” Self-Confidence has always been an area of weakness for this Writer. This Writer never fully accepted as fact that having weaknesses or imperfections is not equal to having no value or being valueless. One way to work on self-confidence is for a Client to create a list of strengths to refer back to daily for 30 days or more. Secondly, the parties will create a weaknesses list they will use as a personal “To Do” list for improving their EI. These will be discussed and will be the basis of one or more coaching sessions.
In the literature in some articles Self-Management is also referred to as Self-Regulation or Self-Control. One tool to improve Self-Control is Reflection. Reflection asks the individual to look within and determine where the reaction is coming from. Often as can be seen in our day to day life fear or desire cause strong emotional reactions. It’s good to spend some time discussing our Reflections on a weekly basis with a therapist or coach.
An additional tool is Reframing. When reframing the individual can alter the emotional reaction by changing the internal self-talk. Internal Self-talk is often a “trigger” for the emotional reaction. Using the reframing tool, the negative internal self-talk can be turned into a positive statement, and then, with the internal dialogue change the Writer handles the situation without reacting to negative internal self-talk.
It is important for this Writer to set aside any personal issues to be present and in the moment with the Clients during coaching sessions. The Coach must stay in the position as Observer, not Participant in the Client’s problems. Being a Coach requires active listening skills. The Coach must listen and support the Client’s participation in the Session. As the Coach it is necessary to guide the Client toward new behaviors that can help grow their EI. The Coach, this Writer, must clear her head, meditate, relax, and review the notes from and memories of the last session with the Client. Once calmed, relaxed, and alert, then this Writer is ready for a coaching session.
If you have questions or issues you’d like to discuss whether they involve EI or some other topic, I am available and ready to assist. This is my chosen field. I am a Coach because I believe and know I can help people realize the life they want instead of the life they have. Come see me.
Williams, P. Menendez, D. (2017, 2007) Becoming a Professional Life Coach Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training, 2nd edition, New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Berg, I. and Szabo, P. (2005) Brief coaching for lasting solutions, New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
McPheat, S. (2010). Emotional Intelligence: MTD Training. MTD Training and Ventus Publishing ApS. Retrieved from:
Peltier, B. (2010). The Psychology of Executive Coaching Theory and Application 2nd ed., New York, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.