to join me in a personal journey of self-
exploration and discovery. This is a book about coaching people to
develop their emotional intelligence. You cannot approach this topic
as a coach without taking a close look at yourself and the life experi-
ences, beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, and personal abilities that have
shaped the development of your own emotional intelligence.
There is an underlying assumption present in all coaching: that
the coach has developed deeper mastery of the knowledge and skills
of a topic than the person receiving the coaching. For most manag-
ers, this is no problem when dealing with the technical aspects of
the job. People get promoted and promoted again because they con-
tinue to demonstrate their insight into the knowledge, abilities, and
skills necessary to perform well in their chosen professions.
We must bring the same assumption to coaching for emotional
intelligence: that coaches have developed a higher level of mastery
of emotional intelligence than the people they are coaching. This
requires you to become a student of emotional intelligence and lead
the way by embodying the characteristics you want to develop in
others. This may strike you as an impossible standard to meet. In
truth, it is.
The mastery of emotional intelligence is a life-long journey. As
you set out to learn more about how to coach for emotional intelli-
gence, it is important to bear three things in mind:
1. No one has perfect mastery of emotional intelligence. Each
of us brings to this topic our own unique blend of strengths and
characteristics that develop over a lifetime of experience.
2. As opposed to IQ that is fixed at birth, emotional intelli-
gence is fluid and constantly evolving. As we grow older, our emo-
tional intelligence continues to develop. Life experience shapes our
perceptions of ourselves, our personal discipline and character, and
how we deal with the interpersonal aspects of our lives.
3. This book contains Reflections, Skill Development, and Skill
Application exercises. These are assignments designed to accelerate
the growth and expression of your own emotional intelligence and
your effectiveness as a coach. While the book is focused on coaching
others, you cannot approach this topic without expanding your own
self-awareness and developing greater mastery of those aspects of
your emotional intelligence that present opportunities for growth.
Approach this book in the spirit of self-discovery. I’ve structured
the writing much as I would structure conversations we would have
if I were serving as your personal executive coach. Where appro-
priate, I will share some of the personal lessons that have been in-
strumental in my own development, not that I claim to be fully
evolved emotionally. I don’t know anyone who is. But the more we
study this topic and apply what we learn to our own lives, the better
we become at coaching others to develop their emotional intelli-
If all you do is read this book, you might pick up some interesting
information, but in the end, the time invested in your reading will

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