What was once looked upon with curious skepticism is now embraced as the way to a more enriched workplace. Executive coaching has boomed as an industry for one reason and one only – CEO’s, managers, small business owners, and leaders discovered that it works.
Executive coaching works so well that approximately 1.5 BILLION dollars was spent on it just last year.
Most of the larger companies across the globe employ coaches for upper management. What makes executive coaching so attractive to CEO’s? What is it that they hope to gain? In one study coaches were asked what was the main subject area for which they coached CEO’s, the answer overwhelmingly was “self-awareness.”
Coming in second place were “interpersonal skills, listening skills, and empathy.” However, upon closer analysis of these skills and a portrait of emotional intelligence emerges. An increase in the former, results in an increase in the latter, which is extremely important for the leadership positions of managers and CEOs.
As mentioned above, one of the main areas coaches target is self-awareness. There is a good reason for it; self-awareness is the catalyst by which growth occurs. Without that first step of realization, people blindly continue doing things in the same way as usual. Imagine going through life having certain situations, people, or thoughts trigger responsive emotions in you and being largely unaware of them. Maybe you are aware that you had a “bad” day, but why and what went wrong? Discovering the answers to these questions often begins with understanding ourselves. People with high emotional intelligence are very aware of their own emotions. This awareness leads them to regulate their feelings.
Often times, awareness of one’s emotions brings about discipline to control one’s emotions. At the very least, the task of self-regulation is made more attainable. For example, imagine a scenario at work where you have to oversee a new employee and you face feelings of inferiority, but you do not recognize what your feelings are (you are not self-aware). All you know is that you feel uncomfortable, edgy, or uneasy when you deal with the person. Self-awareness is the first step in regulating your emotions and handling the situation with ease and comfort. Individuals with high emotional intelligence possess better self-regulation skills. Self-discipline is not limited to uncomfortable emotions. As your coach moves you along the path of greater self-control, you will notice an increased self-management in your professional life, too. You gain control over every aspect of your professional life and see improvements in time management, organization, and work-life balance.
People with high emotional intelligence are better leaders, in part because of empathy. People under your leadership need to know you hear them, understand them, and more importantly, that you care about the situation. Colin Powell once wrote “Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”
As your executive coach helps boost your emotional intelligence quotient, you see a positive impact on the workplace environment. Securing an executive coach boasts several benefits, but enhancing self-awareness, and hence, increasing emotional intelligence rates at the top.