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Do you use the EQ Profile with everyone you work with? I don’t. (Uh oh. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that). I do use the EQ Profile with every team I work with because I want to know what I’m getting myself into when I challenge them. (See an example of our new EQ Playbook for Teams here). And I don’t use the EQ Profile right out of the gate with every coaching client. I want to look for signs that the client is essentially asking for EQ Profile before I introduce them to it.
When I say asking for it, I mean that my clients expect me to help them see what they can’t see about themselves. And when a client’s blindspots become apparent to me (and not so much to them), I’ve found that is the ideal time to introduce the EQ Profile to them, to help them see themselves more fully.
Here are five signs or indications that a client is “asking” for the EQ Profile by how they are showing up in the coaching:
A number of years ago, I began to see a pattern in myself that I could no longer overlook. Whenever I coached an older female client, I experienced an internal dialogue that was critical of them. YIKES! That’s a big f-ing deal!
The foundation of my work as a coach is in seeing the hero in every client. My internal disparagements were infecting me and my client relationships and souring our results. Oh, I could always justify or explain away my criticism. “She’s being a victim.” “She’s just wanting attention.” But when I looked at my default patterns and the results they created, it was clear. I was the problem.
We all have patterns. Patterns of thinking, feeling, and wanting that reflect experiences from our past and how we’ve been shaped by them. Not metaphorically or figuratively shaped, but literally, neurobiologically shaped. Our brains, our minds and our bodies have been shaped by the events of our lives and the meaning we’ve made from them. And if we are not aware of it, we bring that pattern of being into our present moment experiences with our clients.
The perniciousness of these patterns is that they tend to be invisible to us. They are our “default settings.” They lie outside our conscious awareness. And because our patterns are largely hidden, we will tend to cling to, explain and defend them, even when they don’t serve us or our clients.
We will experience a given moment and believe that our internal reactions are reasonable and responsive to the unique situation at hand. And yet with help from reflection and self-examination, we can see that we’ve had many moments just like this one, with different people, in different circumstances, that yielded similar results. And we are the common denominator. (more…)
This week, while Alison Whitmire takes a week off from her blog, we welcome a guest blogger: our own Corrie Weikle*, Learning in Action’s Director of Training.
There were five minutes left on the clock. My ice hockey team was down 2-1 to move on to the national championship. It was the classic “Not enough time left, and my team is down by one point to get to the big game” story. You’ve heard it before.
The bench where my team sat was a depressing place to be.
Having little emotional literacy at that point in my life, I’d say we were a bunch of doubt-filled, negative Nancy, glass half-empty miserable people. The stakes were high, stress was soaring, and we were consumed by our own risk-driven internal experiences.
If you’ve happened to take the EQ Profile and you recall the dimensions, you’d say my teammates and I were primarily negatively-oriented, and likely over-accessing many of our distressing feelings.
I didn’t see myself as angry early in my career … and I was.
I accessed higher than ideal levels of anger, but didn’t recognize that within myself. Looking back, I can now understand both why I didn’t see the anger within me, and how my unrecognized anger hurt my working relationships.
This blog post is written with the hopes of opening the eyes of others who have high access to anger, but can’t see it.
In my early working life, I was acting out a pattern of behavior that had been modeled in my home throughout my childhood. To be clear, I, and only I, am responsible for my behavior. Now and then. And what is true is that I was shaped by my earliest relationships. And anger played a role in the shaping.
I didn’t see my anger because it was my default experience. It’s what was modeled for me and how I was wired to conduct day to day interactions. I didn’t experience myself as angry or not angry. I just was.
We are all shaped by our primary relationships. And not simply metaphorically, but also, neurobiologically. Meaning, the neural wiring of our brains, our mental models, our implicit understanding of what is is and isn’t acceptable are all shaped by our earliest relationships. And it can blind us to certain aspects of ourselves. (more…)