How important is emotional intelligence for coaches?

Author: Carrie Wallis 15 Nov 2017

importance of emotional intelligence

Coaches with a high level of Emotional Intelligence (EI)have been proven to be more effective at influencing others, making better decisions, and coping better with stress.

What exactly is E.I?

Emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to not only recognise their own emotions but also those of others.

To not only recognise emotions but be able to effectively regulate their own emotions so they remain in control.

I'm sure we all know people, and maybe this is you, who lose their cool when put under pressure. It can be incredibly tough to control your emotions, especially when someone is pushing your hot buttons. This is where learning the tools and strategies that come with high EI can be tremendously helpful.

​High EI enables you to take the emotional information revealed to guide unbiased thinking and optimise behaviour. This will mean you get better results more of the time.

If you are a coach, it means your clients will feel you truly understand them, enabling them to open up more and be more willing to try different things. This in turn means they will achieve the changes they hired you for in the first place.

Emotional intelligence describes the ability to understand how emotions can influence both motivation and behavior.

The concept of Emotional Intelligence has been around since at least the 1900s, but the term was first introduced by Wayne Payne in 1985.


As a result of the growing acknowledgment by professionals of the importance and relevance of emotions to work outcomes, the research on the topic continued to gain momentum, but it wasn't until the publication of Daniel Goleman's bestseller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ that the term became widely accepted by mainstream media.

There are four key components to emotional intelligence:

​1. Self-awareness: This includes both awareness of your own emotions, but also a recognition of the situations and events that can trigger heightened emotions as well as awareness of assertive ways to handle such situations.

​2. Self-management: This area focuses on how you control yourself, your emotions and avoid letting your emotions rule you.

This domain also includes how psychologically flexible you are and enables you to deal creatively and flexibly with difficult situations and people thus ensuring a more positive outcome more of the time.

​3. Social Recognition: This domain tells you how well you are able to recognize emotions in others and how aware you are of situations that can cause stress and distress to others.

Increasing your social recognition skills enables you to improve your interpersonal skills and better relate to others. Critical skills in leadership and business owner roles where you may be facing situations of hostility or bias that you need to overcome in order to influence outcomes.

​4. Social management: This domain is one that focuses on your ability to effectively influence others, negotiate successful outcomes in conflict situations, and become the catalyst for change.

Developing social management skills will enable you to successfully navigate the sometimes tortuous path through work negotiations and change management. If you are a business owner, this skill will be particularly useful to apply during client enrolment conversations. You will find more prospects saying yes to working with you if you do!

When you add these domains to Robert Bolton's work which identified that 80% of the people who fail at work so do for one reason: they do not relate well to other people. You can recognise the importance of developing your emotional intelligence.

​Greg Anderson says "you cannot expect to prevent negative feelings altogether and you cannot expect to experience positive feelings all the time. The law of emotional choice directs us to acknowledge our feelings but to refuse to get stuck in the negative ones"

​The good news is that Emotional Intelligence can be learned and improved. Effective coaching and training can create an enhanced performance at all levels. Developing an EIQ system in a workplace produces the organisational climate and culture of peak performance and long-term success.

​Warren Bennis says that in his fields of study he has realised that emotional intelligence is a much more powerful measure than IQ in determining who is successful in business. IQ is a threshold competence, you need it but it doesn't make you a star. Emotional intelligence can.

How can you know what level of emotional intelligence you have?

There is a simple 'assessment' that you can take which will show your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ). My assessment tool will also give you a detailed report that not only describes your EIQ but also gives you practical actions you can take to raise your level. You will also get a complimentary hour-long meeting with me to explain your report and share more strategies for you to use.

Sound interesting? You can see the level of detail you will get in your personal report by downloading a sample report here.

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