Give Your Emotional Intelligence a Boost
Do you want to:
Influence, motivate and inspire others?
Be a more effective leader?
Be a better partner to your significant other?
Then develop your emotional intelligence.
Coaching whether it's business coaching, executive coaching or ADHD coaching is a working partnership based on a proven action/learning model. A large cornerstone of coaching is trusting that the client has the answers within themselves. David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz illustrated this years ago with their ARIA model. When you enter a coaching relationship you learn to develop self-awareness through reflection, insight and learning. This insight boosts motivation and leads to ownership and more enthusiastic action. Self-awareness is a key element of both coaching and emotional intelligence.
My Path to Self-Awareness
Little did I know that in pursuit of my coach training I was also on a path of developing emotional intelligence (EI). The CTI training certification I completed put a great emphasis on self-awareness. It makes sense that coaches who help others develop their growing edge would be expected to understand and develop their own growing edge too. And self-awareness would be a natural expectation of any coach if they are helping clients to develop it themselves. At the time, though, I didn't understand this emphasis on learning about myself. Back in 2002 I thought I would learn some coaching skills and be on my merry way.
I didn't have an abundance of EI early in my training and it was getting in the way of my development as a coach. I didn't know I was lacking in EI since I had little self-awareness. This catch-22 phenomenon is the most typical obstacle to developing EI - not knowing what you know. I hit a wall after my 2nd of five weekend coach training programs. I couldn't discern the content from two successive classes.
In order to continue I had to turn my attention inward and develop some self-awareness. In order to do this, I needed to understand how my brain worked.
My ADHD made for excellent free associating but also it limited my ability to generate awareness of all types - from processing emotions and thoughts to reading social cues. Awareness of reality was constantly competing with distraction, severe judgement (mostly of myself), a desire to please others and a general sense of overwhelm.
The Turning Point
I made such a modest impact at my first training my fellow participants went out at lunch one day and bought me a pair of Armani socks! This was a metaphorical gesture to suggest I needed to assert more, to show up with more confidence. Until this moment I had little awareness of this behavior at all. Coaching forced me to address this issue regarding awareness and ultimately EI.
I suspended my CTI training and signed up for an ADHD coach training program. This was a really good move because as I learned about my unique wiring I started to tune into thoughts, feelings and social cues - all elements of EI. Once I finished the ADHD training I went back to CTI and finished my certification training in 2006. All the while practicing coaching and being coached by excellent mentors and fellow students. The coaching I received was the best thing for moving the needle on my own EI.
I can safely claim that I am not a poster child for the super aware. There is still work to be done (as my wife will attest to!). But I have embraced the concept that self-awareness is a process of never-ending learning and growth. I would not be where I am without a consistent coaching practice.