Why emphasize emotional intelligence?

I have been on vacation this last week taking some time for personal reflection and rest. Here are a couple photos from my time in France with my wife, Kim, and some dear friends of ours:


While on vacation, I spent time reflecting on my business over the past 5 years; what has gone well and what needs improved. I also spent some time expressing gratitude for those partners who have trusted me to work in their organizations; serving, coaching, and developing leaders at many levels.

Another area of reflection was actually sparked by a question I was asked recently by one of my students in an executive coaching course I teach:

“Dr Livingston, why do you put so much emphasis on using emotional intelligence in your coaching practice?”

This question lingered with me while on vacation so I allowed myself some time to think more deeply about my answer.

Here are four of the top reasons I emphasize Ei in my coaching practice:

  1. Because developing leaders always has three interesting aspects:

    1. The culture they work in

    2. The person they are

    3. The change they desire to make.  

      In all three of these aspects, recognition of the impact that emotion has on performance is critical. Leaders often receive feedback on what they are doing well or not so well, but have a difficult time understanding the emotion that is driving their behavior.

  2. Emotional Intelligence has become a fashionable and accepted method to work on things that would otherwise be very difficult. Who likes being told they are seen as rude in certain situations? No one. But to study the results of an Emotional Intelligence self-assessment where the leader sees they are low in empathy can open the door for behavioral changes to occur.

  3. Receiving valid and reliable feedback on Emotional Intelligence is simple and cost effective. For under $100, in less than an hour, a client can receive a self-report of their Emotional Intelligence to provide a framework for their personal and professional development.

  4. Getting certified in a valid and reliable tool to measure emotional intelligence has become easy and cost effective. In 2 days (not counting about 6 hours of pre-work and a post exam) and for under $2500, leaders of all types can become certified themselves in emotional intelligence.

One of the things I have had the pleasure of doing over the last few years is certifying lots of different types of leaders on an emotional intelligence assessment (EQi 2.0 published by Multi Health Systems).  Here are just a few of the types of folks who have taken the time to get certified in the EQi 2.0:

  1. HR professionals
    Leaders who want to better understand the emotional intelligence model when a consultant uses such a tool in coaching organizational leaders. Some of these HR professionals are also doing some leader development using the tool in their own organizations.

  2. Executive Coaches
    People who are directly involved in leadership development and need a valid and reliable tool to support other types of feedback, such as a 360 interview, or even just to gain better insight into the emotional makeup of their client.

  3. Organizational Managers
    These leaders want to better understand the tools that drive organizational performance from a human perspective. The augmentation of individual development plans for those in their reporting structures is one very practical use.

  4. Pastors and Ministry Leaders
    These leaders often serve in counseling capacities or in the development of staff. The EI tool gives strong data for individual or team development at a very affordable price, depending on the report selected.

  5. Training and Development professionals
    These professionals are seeing the value of integrating emotional intelligence into behavior based training. Certification allows them to better understand the inner workings of an EI model and to work more closely with consultants who specialize in this work.

If you or someone in your organization is interested in becoming certified, please respond to this email and let me know. We offer certification classes every other month or so, with our next one being in June. I am happy to jump on a quick call and answer any questions you may have on becoming certified.

For more information on our Ei certifications, click here.