by Dana C. Ackley, Ph.D.
The EQ Coaching Blog is an interactive forum where readers can learn and share stories about EQ coaching, explore new ways to integrate EQ coaching into their work, and discover the role EQ coaching can play in creating organizational change. It is also a place where chief learning officers and others responsible for learning development in their organizations can come to learn more about EQ coaching, and exchange ideas about what works.
Why do we need another blog? Many people interested in leadership development either have blogs of their own or post excellent material for leaders on social media. This blog will not duplicate those efforts. This is a “how to” blog, written not for leaders, but for those devoted to leader development.
Why now? 2020 was an awful year. We couldn’t wait for it to end! But nothing changes simply because the calendar turns a page. To make things better, we need to act. Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, humanizes the world, its organizations, and its leaders. This blog is devoted to empowering us to take positive EQ action, enabling leaders and their organizations to do the same.
Why EQ? It is our job to help leaders succeed. Leaders succeed by helping others succeed. Several thousand studies done over the past several years demonstrate that EQ skills facilitate success. And given our times, it is important to note that EQ skills are antidotes to the hatred, divisiveness, and loneliness that characterized 2020. When we help leaders develop EQ skills, we create a “megaphone” effect. What good leaders model, followers follow. Ours is work that justifies the hope that 2021 will be better than 2020.
Why Interactive? To get the job done, we need all the help we can get, especially from each other. Effective leadership development is a complex process. Involving colleagues as thought partners can only make us better. As more coaches, consultants, and HR professionals add effective methods of EQ skill development to their tool kits, more and more leaders and their followers will learn these humanizing skills.
Some coaches may worry: “Help my competitors? Are you crazy?” It is natural for us to want to safeguard our livelihoods. But as you have probably experienced in other forums, helping our colleagues usually leads to our being helped as well. As American economist Mark J. Perry notes, competition breeds competence. And in some ways, competition actually breeds business. As more people are able to have something good, such as better EQ, and then talk about it, more people see the benefits, and want it.
There is a reciprocal relationship between supply and demand. Each encourages the other, as long as what is supplied has actual value. Coaching for EQ skill building has the value of creating success. Success creates more demand for that coaching, making room for more of us to provide it. And companies that offer development opportunities that create success attract high talent people and keep them.
Our Market: With that in mind, let’s engage in abundance thinking rather than scarcity thinking. Scarcity thinking stimulates the brain to look for threat. It worries: “There’s not enough to go around!” Abundance thinking recognizes that we have pretty much endless opportunities. Abundance thinking lowers anxiety and leads us to be more human with each other.
But let’s not just be “pie-in-the-sky”. Let’s look at some data. The average Fortune 500 company has 60,629 employees. Let’s say that about 700, or a little over 1% of those employees, are senior executives. 700 executives times 500 companies equals 350,000 executives. How many coaches would it take to serve that population? A lot! And that population is constantly changing, with people coming and going, which means that the real number is well north of 350,000.
But wait, there’s more! We haven’t even talked about the Fortune 1000 companies. And then there are the thousands upon thousands of smaller companies that also need and buy EQ services.
And why stop at the top leader level? There are models for delivering EQ services all the way down to front line supervisors. Then there are literally millions of doctors, lawyers, dentists, and other professionals who need EQ coaching and consultation. A colleague of mine works only with lawyers. He regularly vacations in the South of France. He seems to be doing OK.
Bottom Line: EQ skills are needed. We can deliver them, whether we are external coaches, internal coaches, or are charged with finding the best source of leader development for our organizations. Let’s work together to make good things happen.
Process: Every two weeks, I’ll post an entry. I’ll share my thoughts and experiences relating to integrating EQ into coaching, as well as looking at broader coaching and development issues. As a blog participant, you will be able to read, reply, support, challenge, share stories, ask questions, disagree, get advice, or speak to other topics entirely. In fact, go ahead and start now. What do you think?
For a look at my credentials, please visit: https://eqleader.net/about-dr-ackley/
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