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Effective Leadership Series: Part IV; Coaching Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

By Robyn Undieme | August 18, 2016

We're at the last part of my series on leadership. I hope you've identified with the aspects of Daniel Goleman's six leadership styles. It's important to remember this is just one model on leadership.  There are other models out there that can fill in some of the gaps where this model perhaps falls short.

The last style Goleman highlights in his article, Leadership That Gets Results, is the Coaching style. This leader serves as a coach to his or her employees, helps them find their unique strengths/weaknesses, and then ties them back to their personal career aspirations. Additionally, the Coaching approach gives plenty of instruction and feedback and is excellent at delegating. A Coaching leader gives challenging assignments with room to fail, as long as it leads to long-term learning. Interestingly, this is the least common approach or style found in leadership across organizations.

A coaching approach focuses more on personal development and less on work-related tasks. If done well, coaching will still improve results. The Coaching style works well in many business situations, but it's most effective when the employee(s) are open to being coached. If there's resistance from the employee's end, then don't bother trying to implement this style. This approach will also fail if the leader lacks expertise.

Now that I've covered the six leadership styles, it's important to circle back to Emotional Intelligence (EI). What is EI? Goleman sums up EI with four personality characteristics: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills.

  1. Self-awareness is a realistic evaluation of your strengths and limitations. It also includes the ability to understand your own emotions, as well as recognize how that impacts your performance, relationships, and the environment around you.
  2. Self-management is really about self-control. Do you have the ability to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control?
  3. Social awareness is focused on empathy; it's the ability to sense other people's emotions and understand their perspective.
  4. Social skills include influence, communication, conflict management, and collaboration, among others.

These four qualities in an individual make up what we often refer to as "soft skills" in management.  Technical skills help earn you the respect to get your foot in the door to management. However, soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, will help you keep your foot in the door.

Thank you for joining me for this series. I've enjoyed blogging on the topic of leadership, partly due to my research, which shows that across all organizations approximately 60 percent of managers are poor managers. Further backing of this statistic is the fact that little is being done to help train and prepare first-time managers. I want to do something about that, which is why I'm back in school.

I hope you'll continue to read my blog. I'll certainly continue to share nuggets of information with you that I learn from my time at Oxford. Of course, as you continue following my blog, I always enjoy hearing from you. Feel free to email your thoughts to me at: rundieme@cityoftulsa.org