Coaching developed because it met a need. People who weren’t in need of psychiatric therapy needed more in terms of advice and guidance than friends or family could, would or should provide, and were seeking this from various professionals in their lives – doctors, financial advisors, ministers and attorneys, to name a few.

One family law attorney I know took a counseling degree so he could feel more confident about the questions outside of law he was asked, and what he had to listen to. Family law, they say, is “where nobody wins” and where the emotions are intense “because more than money is involved.”

Thomas Leonard, the founder of coaching, was an account who found he had become a financial advisor and something else he decided to call “a coach” and made it into a legitimate field.

We needed people to talk things out with, or go to for advice on specific challenges or goals, or for more philosophical issues such as retirement or life transitions. Often we were confused, asking our internist about parenting issues, our ministers about financial concerns, our accountants about marital issues, our attorneys about dating problems, and our professors how to handle our anger and disappointment, while reserving licensed therapists for serious mental health concerns. After all, when we want to know HOW to handle our anger, we want to know what specifically to do, not get into a discussion about our mothers.

Coaching developed and it was advised that one have a niche. There is a niche for just about everything – parenting, ADHD, bipolar, relationships, Internet dating, career, accountability, fathering, tobacco cessation, addiction, goal-setting, and more.

And still it continues. The parenting coach finds herself talking about the marital relationship. The accountability coach has to deal with procrastination and career implications. The career coach finds the same issues are occurring in the individual’s personal life.

It’s typical in my own practise that “the presenting concern” is rarely where we end up. It’s a career issue and 3 weeks later we’re talking about his wife. It’s about potty-training, and the next thing up is a job problem.
I maintain that someone who needs accountability coaching isn’t there for another daytimer. There are a million daytimers out there and the person knows very well how to get organized. Look at how they plan their day: I will set the alarm for 6, and then turn it back twice until it’s 7:00. I will have carefully made sure there’s no milk for the cereal, and walk out the door forgetting to put the garbage out so I have to go back for it. I will lose my keys. It goes on like that, almost by design.

My point? Our clients are smart, healthy and functioning. They have adequate IQs, and they are aware of the vast array of self-help instruments, books and tools out there. What they come to coaching for almost always involves and issue of emotional intelligence. The person with the accountability problem above is really looking for Intentionality. He is intending to be late, disorganized, frustrated and angry with himself, instead of intending to be on time, organized, and functioning smoothly with pleasant emotions.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) covers every issue any client will bring to you. Specializing in it, or subspecializing in it (a matter of semantics) makes things exceedingly more clear to you as the coach, and enables you to help in ways that are truly beneficial.

In order to accomplish anything, including wellness, your client has to have all 3 brains up and functioning together. EQ is like an owner’s manual of the brain, and the brain is what runs the show. Studying it, in fact, is an exercise in brain integration and balance. This is talking about emotion intellectually, not experiencing it for corrective means, as in therapy. You can give the client The EQ-Map ( ) to see where the deficits are, and then simple exercises which strengthen the competencies that are missing.

It’s ideal for coaching because it greatly increases your ability to help, and also must be coached. You can’t just read about EQ, you have to put it into practice, and it goes without saying that if the person knew how to do it, they’d be doing it, because it makes your life work much better.

Coaches, HR personnel, ministers, teachers, physicians and others I’ve certified in EQ have called it “the missing piece.” It’s that powerful.

I hate to call it “hot” because that makes it designer, but it is “hot” and it’s global. I have trained people all over the world. You will quickly find it’s the common language amidst the chaos, which brings up another point.
Stress is probably a concern of anyone you coach, and this is because of the rapidity of change these days. Also because of the multicultural strain. A hypothetical example of an office one might se today is one where the age range is 29-62, ethnicity includes Hispanic, Hispanic-German, and Anglo-Saxon; religions include none, fundamentalist, Latter Day Saint, Catholic, Protestant, and New Age (which caused issues at Halloween, would you believe?); two “natives” to the city, 3 “northerners” transplanted to the southwest, a father-son pair, and one person in a wheelchair. In this office there is not one WASP male, if you remember that term.

The potential for cultural conflict in such a diverse group is astounding. A door closed means nothing to one person, and is an absolute barrier to another. One person is affiliative and wants everyone to help, while another is competitive and isolationist. One person comfort-distance is “in your face” to another.

The only hope for commonality in such a group is the goal around which they unite, general rules of etiquette (which is very much EQ), and a strong leader with authenticity and integrity who does not permit factions and gossip. Were it not for that, every day would be a quarrel about the smell of file gumbo in the break room.

Were you to attempt to coach this group, or any member of it around the problems inherent in the situation, you would end up like the coach in the UK I consulted with. He met the group and they couldn’t even agree on the parameters of how that session would go. The Germans got out their flow chart and grease boards, and the Mexicans wanted to talk about their families.

Where to begin? EQ, because they all want the same thing – what they want; and they all have one thing in common – how they feel about it.

Until the emotions are recognized and dealt with you can’t get to the problem-solving, and to coach this process, you, yourself must understand and be able to manage your own emotions and those of others.

To position yourself for coaching in the coming decade, get a certification in emotional intelligence. It will put you light years ahead

Author's Bio: 

©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, , Offering a wide range of EQ programs, Internet courses and ebooks for individuals and businesses, tailored to your needs. EQ Alive! program – training and certifying EQ coaches internationally. Find out why EQ is a global phenomenon and what it can do for your business. It can give your organization the leading edge. Available on-site and long distance.