The Ultimate Guide To Emotional Intelligence Coaching

Maximize the effectiveness of your coaching by using emotional intelligence coaching methods to guide client solutions.

The Ultimate Guide To Emotional Intelligence Coaching

Coaching, of any kind, is first about emotional intelligence.

Does the analogy feel overreaching? 

Like it is allowing one aspect of intelligence to eclipse all facets of a personality and life? 

If it does, consider this...

How many careers have you seen come undone because a brilliant subject specialist let their emotions get the better of them, found it difficult to communicate, suffered social anxiety, were left crippled by their mood swings, or worse still didn't realize their behavior was counter-productive?

How many executives' corner-office dreams have come crashing down because their peer review showed a lack of empathy or oversensitivity to criticism, even if it was constructive?

How many high-performers have struggled with a work-life balance?

The underlying thread in all these examples is an inability to manage emotions.

We have all seen "people persons" outshine the "textbook brilliant" every so often and inherently identified the differentiator — their ability to check and manage their responses while reading others' emotions.

We have also seen the professional growth of very likable and emotionally astute professionals stop because despite having every desirable quality, their emotional development was uneven — "they just can't handle the pressure at that level."

Despite a mass awareness about the importance of having a grip on emotions, we usually undervalue their importance in our day-to-day functioning, which adds up to define our lives and societies.

emotional intelligence

Why? Because there's a big difference between being emotionally closed, emotionally dysfunctional, and emotionally underdeveloped — a distinction we forget to make and address.

Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (E.Q.), THE most significant factor for success, is all about developing behaviors that serve us and others.
As coaches look for more efficient ways to ensure client success, emotional intelligence is emerging as the new elixir for high performance and work-life balance, i.e., lasting happiness.

We have for you a tell-all master guide on emotional intelligence coaching. This guide tells you everything you need to know about applying concepts of emotional intelligence to coaching.

It will help you:

why we need emotional intelligence coaching

Identify the building blocks of emotional intelligence

why we need emotional intelligence coaching

Understand how they contribute to personal growth

why we need emotional intelligence coaching

Find the best tools for E.Q. assessment

why we need emotional intelligence coaching

Time-tested coaching methodologies to build emotional intelligence

Let's get started.

What Is Emotional Intelligence Coaching?

What Is Emotional Intelligence Coaching

If you have ever led a team, you would know that it takes more than book smarts to get results. Being a leader is about intelligently maximizing people's potential by using your awareness of their group dynamics and personal strengths. Such behavior is often called street smarts or the ability to perceive, understand and solve tasks on the go.

Psychologists call this emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to
Relieve stress
Communicate effectively
Empathize with others
Overcome challenges
Defuse conflict.

Often ignored as the less important cousin of Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.), studies show that E.Q. is a better determinant of success than previously thought. In fact, according to Dr. David Goleman, whose book "Emotional Intelligence" became a runaway success in 1995, emotional intelligence is the largest single predictor of success in the workplace.

Emotional Intelligence Statistic

Emotional Intelligence Statistic by Dr. Travis Bradberry

Those numbers are significant!

Don't get it wrong, I.Q. is important. It defines how we can use information, reason, and logic to arrive at solutions and make predictions.

But without E.Q., what will be the nature of information a person gathers from their environment? What kind of solution would it lead to? Will this solution work for everyone — profit, people, the planet?

Let’s dive deeper with an example...

Take the case of team leader Peter, a highly accomplished engineer who is a people pleaser — a nice guy whose self-worth depends on whether people like him or not. He does not know how to address these limitations since the fear of displeasing compromises his information filters.

To keep everyone around him happy, Peter fails to give proper feedback when colleagues approach him to improve work feedback. He covers up errors but bad-mouths his peers instead of facilitating skill development — his strength. To keep his bosses happy, Peter undermines his team and their hardships, like not allowing time off for sickness. His behaviors have cost him trust and credibility. It indicates that Peter struggles with:


Communication (being assertive)

Resolving conflict

These are three of the 12 core characteristics of E.Q. as defined by Dr. Goleman's model and are not desirably showcased by Peter. The result is that his team often skirts him and approaches his boss affecting how the organization works.

what is emotional intelligence coaching

This is a typical case of how underdevelopment or uneven development of emotional intelligence can unravel people with great potential.

How Emotional Intelligence Affects Us

How Emotional Intelligence Affects Us

Traits of Emotional Intelligence

Many models define emotional intelligence and each has its own set of attributes that are presented under four basic categories:


Social Awareness


Relationship Management

According to Dr. Goleman, the interplay of these domains offers us a set of 12 capabilities that are key to recognize and regulate emotions for the growth and protection of ourselves and others.

Emotional Intelligence Domains and Competencies


No one can work optimally without these capabilities, which are learned during childhood, and remain learnable at any point of time in life.


No one can excel without even development across the 12-competency suit.

So, should Peter be fired and replaced with someone new who may turn out to be the same or pose a new set of challenges altogether?

What's the best way to address this problem at an organizational level?

Hiring a new person is expensive since the firm has already invested heavily in Peter. It is also cumbersome for the team and for Peter, who shows promise despite his shortcomings.

Can there be a win-win solution in Peter's case? Yes! 

what is emotional intelligence coaching

This is where E.Q. coaching comes in.

Emotional intelligence coaching is essentially a communication strategy. It helps clients regain control of their life by identifying the emotional shortcomings costing them dearly at home and work. The dynamic professional engagement allows them to self-regulate and manage stress responses and create new realities.

Telling a client what their shortcomings are would create results. Still, they would be short-lived because the new information has not been backed by the development of new skills, a plan to put them to use, and see if it worked.

So emotional coaching relies on educating clients about the entire suite of emotional competencies, their interplay, and coming up with actionable strategies to address immediate problems.

It requires:

Asking the right questions or assigning tasks that accelerate realizations

Analyzing areas of emotion deficit or unawareness

Devising a goal-oriented strategy to address behavior gaps

Giving the client goal-appropriate skills

Fostering accountability.

Since a coach leads, not feeds, the learner-action aims to create self-sustaining cycles of self-observation, pattern recognition, awareness, and action-taking.

The process also opens the clients to observer feedback for pattern recognition and remediation.

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Study the key characteristics of emotional intelligence, what they mean, and methods to develop each of them. Practice.

Using the wheel of emotions as a guide, see how each feeling may become positive or negative depending on the situation.  For example, anger is considered to be a negative and uncontrolled emotion. Still, it can be a reasonable and appropriate emotion in certain circumstances.

Wheel of Emotions

What Does An Emotional Intelligence Coach Do?

Peter's company called in an emotional intelligence coach to restore balance. The coach identified three core areas of change:

Self-awareness through one-on-one sessions so Peter could see that his behavior was inoperative. He learned to communicate what needs to be said instead of telling people what to hear.

Social awareness through observation and feedback. Peter was asked to investigate the impact of his people-pleasing behavior. When Peter asked a trusted supervisor, he discovered his actions undermine his authority, creating mistrust and promoting incompetence. 

What Does An Emotional Intelligence Coach Do?

Self- and team-backed Feedback Design so Peter can track performance without feeling fearful of displeasing anyone and succumbing to his behavior patterns. 

With these interventions, Peter and his team's work performance improved, and their office became a healthier, more productive workspace.

The coach did not make any radical changes, just minor tweaks that made a radical difference.

This case study underlines the importance of relationships.

The quality of our relationships dictates the quality of our interactions — how we respond to people and them us — and thereby success. 

Emotional intelligence coaches show how to create small yet significant changes to foster productive and positive relationships for everyone to perform the best they can. With their expertise, they also develop new behaviors previously thought impossible. 

Studies show that it only takes 21 days for new neurons to develop and 90 days to completely change the old wiring that makes us tick a certain way. All it takes is intelligent and kind, but tough, support. This is what emotional coaching does.

Roles of an Emotional Intelligence Coach

Emotional intelligence coaches help clients build strong and productive relationships with themselves and others by:

Roles of an Emotional Intelligence Coach
Facilitating exploration of current behaviors, values, attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, motives, emotions, and actions through self-reflection and feedback. This helps clients understand if their actions are based on unconscious response or conscious thought. This crucial step sets the tone for the outcomes expected from the coaching journey.
Goal-setting and creating motivation to work through emotions and change derailing behaviors that are hard-wired and difficult, but not impossible, to change.
Creating and implementing an action plan by identifying stressors or triggers and identifying new, desirable behavioral patterns, and creating opportunities for practicing them.
Breaking unhealthy behavior patterns by developing new, constructive outlooks that align with client values and drive positive change.
Conducting regular check-ins to ensure the client does not slip back into old habits.

The coaching journey ends when you achieve the desired level of behavioral effectiveness. However, this job is far from easy.

It needs hours of study and self-practice before you can take on any clients, each of whom will be different and feeling very vulnerable in front of you.

Skills of an Emotional Intelligence Coach

To achieve results, a coach should have these seven skills:

Skills of an Emotional Intelligence Coach

These are markers of emotional intelligence that all coaches should develop to ensure clients can consistently handle big emotions maturely, like:

Impulse control

Emotional self-regulation


Checking procrastination


Communicating needs

Knowing what's appropriate or expected in a given situation.

A great coach helps clients discover/rediscover their passions and values, and channels these in practical ways. Under the guidance of a great coach, a client realizes the impact of their habits and learns how to spot and break unproductive patterns.

Long after formal coaching is complete, the client of a great coach will find and channel their own inner coach.

Emotional intelligence coaches also ensure that high performers don't hit a wall. The potential of subject experts like Peter can be maximized.

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Every powerful coach should have the seven basic coaching skills. Within this list, some abilities become more important than the rest for emotional intelligence coaching, such as:

1. Deep listening skills, including pointed questioning

2. Picking up on non-verbal cues or body language

3. Assertive but kind communication

Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 for each of these skills. Identify where you fall short. Study and practice ways to strengthen these coaching skills.

EQ Coaching Skills


How can i Improve?


Tools And Methodologies For EQ Coaching

An emotional intelligence coach is a personal coach who just understands E.Q., right? Wrong!

EQ coaching helps clients achieve life goals by facilitating a lasting grasp on emotions and driving sustained behavioral change. This requires in-depth study of emotional intelligence, how to test it in a person, and other assessment techniques, such as interviews, for subjective investigation. 

There are three general ways to measure emotional intelligence

Tools And Methodologies For EQ Coaching


Tools And Methodologies For EQ Coaching

Peer Report

Tools And Methodologies For EQ Coaching

Ability or skill tests

Since emotional intelligence is a vast set of talents that develop because of an interplay between the 12 key traits, its testing is more complicated than that for I.Q.

Over the last few decades, hundreds of E.Q. assessments were developed as the popularity of emotional intelligence grew. But not all are backed by scientific data.

The typical score on a standardized E.Q. test is 100. The higher the score, the more emotionally intelligent a person is.

But a low E.Q. score does not mean that a person is insensitive, emotionless, or dumb. It simply means that they have trouble recognizing, understanding, and working with certain emotions, which can be improved through coaching!

How To Assess A Client’s Emotional Intelligence

Some of the most relied upon tests are:

EQ-i 2.0, or Emotional Quotient Inventoryis scientifically validated and among the most widely used assessment tools that uses decades of research to gauge and support real human performance and development. It tests 15 competencies for inspirational leadership, innovative work cultures, high-efficiency, high-engagement teams, and committed talent.
360-Degree Assessment, or the EQ 360, is a multi-rater assessment that combines clients' perception of emotional intelligence with the perceptions of others at work for a complete evaluation. Organizations use it as a development tool for insight into work competencies, behavior, and relationships.
M.S.C.E.I.T. is the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test consists of 12 separate sub-tests. These tests measure the four branches of emotional intelligence as per the Mayer-Salovey theory — Perceiving Emotions, Facilitating Thought, Understanding Emotions, and Managing Emotions. They reflect the type and extent of emotional development in each domain.
The DISC Profile or the Dominance Influence Steadiness Conscientiousness test is a standard assessment tool used to ascertain behavioral preferences. It sheds light on the subject's strengths, personality traits, and value system. In addition, it offers strategies for people to improve the way they communicate and connect to others.

All these tests give insight into the client's emotional strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations.

But these tools are only as good as the skill with which they are used. So, let's understand the coaching methods you will need to master.

Key Coaching Methods

  1. 1
    Goal Reality Options Will or the G.R.O.W. model: Was created by coaching industry pioneer Sir John Whitmore, who likened it to planning a journey. The step-by-step method answers the question "where do you want to reach" in life.
GROW Coaching Model
  1. 2
    Specific. Measurable. Agreed/Achievable. Realistic/Relevant. Time-bound or the S.M.A.R.T. model: This is traditionally used in business models where the results must always be tangible and measurable.
SMART Coaching Model

The choice and success of these methods will depend on what the client wants to achieve and the goal.

First, the coach must check if:

The client is driven to succeed — motivation.

The client is fully aware of what's at stake.

As coaches, it is most important to remember that everyone has some degree of emotional intelligence. Some people have a naturally high E.Q., while others need your help to build it through education and practice.

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1) Use the table below which lists low emotional intelligence and personality traits. These have been divided into four sections based on the DISC test. List the corresponding High E.Q. traits for each.

(eg. A situation that makes a low-EQ person aggressive may bring out assertiveness in someone with high E.Q.)















Easily distracted




Poor listener











Resistant to change














Hard to please




2) Take inspiration from conversations that fell through. Analyze your responses. Did you make any mistakes in reading the room? How could you have responded to keep the conversation from delineating?

Rope in a colleague, friend, relative who was there. Identify the E.Q. traits that could have changed, then rewrite those conversations to get the desired result.

emotional coaching exercise

How To Start Emotional Intelligence Coaching

If you sense great potential in emotional intelligence coaching, you're not alone.

The world is becoming a more stressful place, and stress has been identified as one of the most significant contributors to lowering E.Q. globally.

Against this backdrop, adding emotional intelligence to your existing coaching expertise or choosing to specialize in emotional intelligence coaching would benefit you and your clients immensely

Not only will learning E.Q. boost your coaching business, but you will also help hundreds of people successfully traverse a complex world.

Learning, practicing, and perfecting emotional coaching will also expose you to various other disciplines emotional intelligence coaching bases itself on, such as psychology, leadership and management, and organizational sociology.

All these disciples create a comprehensive coaching engagement that identifies managerial and leadership traits, counterproductive behaviors, understands the human psyche, and builds an actionable plan for change.

Are you ready to start impacting clients positively?

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