How Developing Emotional Intelligence Can Improve Your Coaching. (Part 3)
Controlling your own emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances
If you reflect back to the article in part 1, Goleman tells us that Emotional Intelligence (EI) is about being smart with your thoughts and emotions. Everyone is emotionally intelligent, it’s just that it is different for each one of us and we have to be aware of our own EI and that of the people who we come into contact with on a daily basis.
There is a great quote that is contributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle who said;
“Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way – this is not easy.”
In essence that quote summarises the self-management of EI and what I term Behavioural Agility.
Various pieces of research have identified that we have on average between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. Not all of those will influence what we do, but the skill is in managing the thoughts and emotions that significantly impact on the things that matter most.
As neuroscience discovers more about how the human brain works the role of EI in our behaviours is becoming more evident. In coaching terms it is highlighting that the “one style of coaching fits all” is becoming increasingly redundant. Coaches are having to develop new skills to meet their own psychological needs and those of the people they coach.
In their book ‘Emotional Intelligence Coaching’ Neale, Spencer-Arnell and Wilson (2009) propose six key areas for the self-management of EI.
- 1. Emotional Resilience
How well do you recover from setbacks and conquer adversity when things go wrong? Emotional resilience is around how we deal with these setbacks and turn negative situations into positive ones.
- 2. Personal Power
Are you someone who takes responsibility for their own actions or do you continually see yourself as the victim? Personal power is about taking responsibility for your thoughts, emotions and actions.
- 3. Goal Focus
Are you clear on your goals and what it is that you want to achieve? Do your attitudes, beliefs and actions support you in moving towards your goals? Or are you a procrastinator, spending time and energy on things that move you away from your goals and focus? Goal focus is around having clear achievable goals and having a clear path and focus to achieve those goals.
- 4. Flexibility
How do you react to change? Do you see change as an opportunity or do you find yourself continually resisting changes that take you out of your comfort zone? Flexibility is how we adapt our thoughts, behaviour and attitudes in times of change and managing challenges, rather than resisting them and trying to hold on to the way things always used to be.
- 5. Personal Connectedness
How open and honest are you with yourself about your feelings and how do you appropriately communicate these to others? Personal connectedness suggests that in order to develop significant connections with others we need to be aware of our thoughts, emotions and feelings and then be able to communicate them suitably to others.
- 6. Invitation to Trust
How much do you invite the trust of others? Are you consistent, true to your word, reliable? Or do you regularly change your opinion to ensure that you are liked by those around you. Do you fail to keep promises and say things that you don’t mean?
Have a look at each of the above areas and score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not very good to 10 being excellent. In terms of self-management of your EI, where are your strengths? Where are the areas you need to develop?
Written by David Doran of S4P Coaching
Dave is a Performance Coach and works with individuals and teams, in sport and business, developing Emotional Intelligence to improve performance.
He is currently working with coaches within Premiership Football, Rugby League and Hockey. He is an Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University working within the Sports Coaching Department lecturing on various aspects of Sports Coaching.