I love the Stages of Change Model postulated by James Prochaska et al (if you’re unfamiliar with this model, check out the February EQ Toolshare of the Month) In fact, I think it’s one of the best arguments for coaching that exists. If people are going to change (as is the case with EQ development), they are going to go through a predictable set of stages and understanding the model will help us to help others.
We are, however, limited in emotional intelligence skills training in terms of how far we are able to move training participants through the Stages of Change. For example, we are not often able to move past Preparation to Action (unless you count role-plays ;-) because many times we don’t get to see those individuals again. I joke that I lead a lot of horses to water in my training courses. If they actually drink (develop their emotional intelligence skills), I usually don’t get to hear about it – unless we enter into a coaching agreement. Then, with a series of regularly scheduled meetings, I actually have the privilege of seeing change right before my eyes.
This can also happen with sequential training. One of my favourite contracts in my career was with first time managers where we had them for two days each month over 18 months in a leadership development course that I designed (the initial contract was for 6 months and was continued for another year). Wow, what a great experience watching them ‘change’ from anxious new managers to confident, competent managers who were able to deal with the issues that they faced.
The same is true for one-one coaching where we are able to direct our coaching toward the specific issues and challenges that individuals face in creating change in their own lives. If you’ve never tried coaching or had a coach, and you’d like to be more effective in your work and life, please consider EQ coaching. You can read more about it on our website as well as meet two of our gifted EQ coaches.
What do you think? Tell us about your experience of coaching.