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ImageResearch shows that Emotional Intelligence accounts for 85% of what sets outstanding apart from average.

In part two of this article, Margot Katz shows how developing empathy will transform your communication skills.

Lack of Emotional Intelligence generally, and the empathy part of it specifically, wastes time, erodes productivity and increases hurt and frustration; it closes people down and diminishes them in some way. And that impacts business results.

How do I stack up?

Here are to reflect on and to help you to clarify your own levels of emotional intelligence:

Answering, Often: Sometimes: Rarely: Never,
    “The word for ‘listen’ in Chinese incorporates listening with the whole of you - ears, eyes, heart and undivided attention. ”
  • How often do you stop and think before jumping to conclusions?
  • Are you able to influence others about the way things are done?
  • Do others trust and confide in you?
  • Are you able to raise morale and make others feel good?
  • How often do you offer help and support to others?
  • Do you disclose appropriate personal information to build trust with others?
  • Do you make a point of involving others in making decisions or finding solutions?
  • How often do you praise or recognise others?
  • How often do you give constructive feedback?
  • Do you really listen to others?
  • Do you speak openly about issues or concerns you have at the time they occur?

It’s a crude indicator, but the more you scored ‘often’, the higher your EQ and empathy levels are likely to be. Another way to find out is to be brave and ask someone else to answer the same questions about you and then compare the ratings. By the way, asking for feedback is an emotionally intelligent thing to do; it shows you’re building self-awareness and helps to build trust.

What do I do?
Back to basics

When communicating with others:

  • Show respect for them; tell them what’s going on; give them positive and constructive feedback
  • Listen to what they have to say, don’t talk at them. Ask questions and don’t make assumptions
  • Be supportive; understand the issues they’re dealing with and understand what they need
  • Get their ideas and don’t just tell them what to do
  • Be open and honest, have integrity and share your views and concerns with them
  • Be organised; prepare for meetings, agree what needs to be covered and show up - on time
  • Follow through and do what you say you will do

Remembering not to have a personality transplant, following these simple basics will have an enormous impact on the effectiveness of your communication with others. Until they become habit, prepare in advance.

Don’t just listen but really listen.

The Chinese explain what I mean perfectly. The word for listen in Chinese incorporates listening with the whole of you - ears, eyes, heart and undivided attention.


We need to stop listening to our own self-talk and start tuning into what others are saying and what they’re not saying; noticing what they’re saying with their body language as well as with their words. And being interested!

s….Go out and talk to people and don’t be reticent about letting people know what you are looking for.

Act ‘as if’:

If it’s true that we behave in accordance with our beliefs, then it follows that if we change our beliefs we may change our behaviour. In the context of empathy, here’s an exercise to flex your thinking about other people and help you understand them better.

Select one of the beliefs below. You don’t have to believe it to be true but if you try it on ‘as if’ it were true, then reflect on what is different:

  • Everyone has a unique map of the world
  • Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have
  • All behaviour has a positive intention
  • The meaning of communication is the response that you get
  • The person with the most flexibility of behaviour has the greatest influence on others

Take on a different belief and spend one day acting as if it were true and then reflect on what you’ve learned.

South African-born Margot Katz has a proven record of achievement, working as a board director, executive coach and business consultant. She has delivered results at organizations including Reuters, AMEX, BT, Coca-Cola, Coutts and Toyota. She is the author of ‘Tarzan and Jane: How to Thrive in the New Corporate Jungle’.
Coaching: the X-Factor of Business Performance?

Coaching has emerged over the last 10 years as one of the fastest growing professions.  While many people have embraced life coaching, what this fledgling industry can offer the business world is not always clear.  Yet the impact of coaching on employee and business performance appears undeniable.  In a recent survey of South African executives*, 97% of respondents said they believed coaching delivered a real return on investment to their employer, with 18% feeling it had increased bottom line profitability.

ImageIn the first of a 2-part article, Jane Adshead-Grant looks at the emergence of coaching and its impact on business.

There has been a huge increase in coaching within the workplace, both internally where leaders are adopting more of a coaching style as part of their leadership toolkit and externally where organisations are purchasing external coaches. 

So why is this?  The nature of work and what we do has changed enormously.  We have moved away from the command and control paradigm towards a more involved and empowered paradigm within the workplace.  Individuals have more choice in where they work, who they work for and what they want from their work.  Responding to this change has led to organisations creating more of a coaching culture, engaging and retaining staff and, at the same time, achieving results and improving performance.

With the increase in demand for coaching, supply has risen to meet this and there are an abundance of individuals and organisations that now offer coaching.  How do you choose the right coach to meet what you or your organisation are looking for?  There are a number of elements to consider, but most important is to have rapport between coach and coachee.

Internal and External Coaching

Many organisations are seeking to create a coaching culture where Leaders and Managers are trained as coaches, developing their skills in building rapport, essential listening, asking powerful questions, providing inspiring feedback and supporting the achievement of desired results. 

Organisations are also increasingly offering coaching to staff, providing one to one tailored solutions in developing performance.  The results of the personal coaching approach are very powerful.  Not only does the employee feel valued, the organisation benefits from the increase in motivation, performance and often creativity and confidence in the employee.

Impact of coaching

The impact of coaching can have multiple benefits.  Improved performance and productivity is a primary benefit.  Coaching brings out the best in individuals and unlocks their capabilities, enabling them to achieve things they may not have thought possible of themselves. 

Coaching can lead to improved relationships.  It begins with the coach and coachee relationship where the coachee feels valued and truly listened to.  With the coach asking powerful questions, this enables the coachee to reflect and offer their answer and often their opinion.  For some, this is a rare experience.  This relationship can act as a role model where the coachee then begins to develop more powerful relationships for themselves, leading to more opportunities and achieving greater results.

A coaching culture can lead to a more creative environment where ideas are cherished and feedback is given openly, promoting continual learning and fostering creativity.  This atmosphere of learning and openness enables people to feel more valued.  This in turn leads to a faster and more willing approach to change, enabling the organisation to move forward in its desired direction.

ImageDeveloping staff is another major benefit of coaching.  Organisations are now looking at their investment in sending employees on training courses, only to find that the course manual is put on the top shelf once the employee returns to their desk, and within a relatively short period of time, the learning from the course has been forgotten. Coaching however, provides the individual an opportunity to take responsibility and accountability for their own learning.  This is a much more powerful way of learning.  A colleague of mine once shared the analogy of a coffee bean in a glass of water. Where a training course is when you drop a coffee bean in a cold glass of water and the bean eventually sinks to the bottom and the water stays the same.  Coaching on the other hand is when you drop a coffee bean in a warm glass of water and what do you notice?  As the coffee bean sinks to the bottom, the water gradually changes colour as the coffee permeates through the water, having a more permanent and lasting effect.

Performance Coaching

Performance coaching is most prevalent in organisations.  It can be offered in many different scenarios; an individual who has recently been promoted into a leadership role; a talented individual who is deemed a successor to a senior position; an individual who is moving into a different role and who is looking to develop effective interpersonal relationships across a variety of areas within the organisation; an individual who has identified a specific need to improve performance in a certain area within their role and more. 

What is performance coaching?  There are many definitions and one that stands out is as Tim Gallwey (author of the Inner Game series) suggests: “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance.  It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”  Within the workplace where Managers are coaching their employees, it is important that they see the potential in their employee and not their performance.  Through coaching, an employee’s true potential can be released resulting in higher performance.

Coaching is about concentrating on action for the present and the future.  It enables individuals to turn possibilities into opportunities and generate results.  Coaching can provide tools and techniques for someone to take their talent to the next level.  It provides a focus and encourages an individual to take accountability.  Coaching also challenges an individual and supports new behaviours.

[Part 2 of this article will be available on ReConnect Africa in July 2006]

With experience within International Law and Financial Services, Jane Adshead-Grant of Ashvale Consultancy Limited is a member of the Association for Coaching and a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coach and licensed NLP Master Practitioner.  Jane is accredited with the British Psychological Society for Level A & B psychometric assessment and is a member of the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


* Survey carried out by Jenny Hogarth, co-founder of Comensa, South Africa.

Case study : The Business of Coaching

There has been a huge increase in coaching within the workplace, both internally where leaders are adopting more of a coaching style as part of their leadership toolkit and externally where organisations are purchasing external coaches. 

ImageIn the second of a 2-part article, Jane Adshead-Grant looks at how to choose a coach and offers a case study of how coaching helped to improve business performance.

How to choose a coach

There are many coaches to choose from and much information is available on individual coaches and coaching organisations.  So where do you start?  Below are some considerations to think about:

  • Is the coach accredited with a recognised body?  The International Coaching Federation is one such body which accredits coaches after a thorough accreditation process and adheres to their coaching ethics.
  • What are the coach’s coaching principles, methodology and style of coaching?
  • What is the coach’s track record or experience in the type of coaching that you are looking for?
  • What is the coach’s speciality?
  • What does the coach’s coaching programme offer?  How long do clients typically work with them?
  • How does the coach handle confidentiality and reporting back to the organisation?

ImageRapport is essential when engaging a coach.  Usually an initial consultation is set up to meet or have a conversation with a coach, providing the coachee with an opportunity to feel if they can work with this person and establish and initial rapport.

Location is usually not so important.  While some coaches only have face to face meetings, often telephone coaching can be as productive, if not more so.  Sometimes a combination of both face and face and telephone coaching works well. 

The background of the coach in relation to the coachee is not so important either.  It is not necessary for the coach to know much, if anything, about the industry or specific role of their coachee. In fact, often the most productive coaching is when the coachee knows nothing.

A Coaching Case Study

Sue is Head of Collective Funds for a large Investment Services Organisation.  We begun our coaching relationship 10 months ago and have just completed the programme. 

One of Sue’s coaching objectives was to discover new ways that she could make a difference in the organisation.  The success indicators that she would notice as she progressed towards meeting this objective were that she would be more open to taking on new initiatives within the organisation and would generate more ideas for improvement in processes leading to increased business efficiency. 

One of the issues that Sue had highlighted for herself was her lack of confidence in speaking up in large meetings. Sue felt that she often had things to say that would contribute to a large discussion group, but felt inhibited.  We worked together in establishing what some of her underlying beliefs were about speaking out publicly. 

We also looked at what the benefits would be for her if she were to speak out more publicly and they included:

  • Receiving positive feedback from her boss
  • Being acknowledged for her contribution
  • Personal growth, raising her confidence
  • Sharing her ideas and thoughts for the benefit of others and the business

We looked at some of the costs of her not doing speaking out in such meetings and Sue concluded that she would get left behind and leave her feeling uncomfortable that she did not offer her views and thoughts when being invited to do so.

I encouraged Sue to think about and visualise what a ‘good contribution’ at one of these large meetings would look like and Sue quickly identified that information would be relevant, clear and succinct and presented in a professional manner.  So we began to look at what options were available to her to reduce her fear of speaking out publicly in such large meetings and Sue came up with the following:

  • Thinking about the subject matter before hand and planning ahead
  • Having a supportive environment
  • Understanding that the worst thing that could happen is that people disagree
  • Practice contributing more in a small group before stepping into the larger environment

We looked at where this problem of conquering fear had shown up before and highlighted a time when Sue began driving again after 10 years of not driving.  She was very anxious about getting into the car and her fear was that she might have an accident.  The parallel drawn here is that the same behaviour has manifested itself; the fear of something that might happen and yet has never happened.  We looked at what strategy Sue had adopted to overcome this fear previously and she concluded the following:

  • Enrolled in some professional re-fresher classes
  • Had someone join her in the car as she drove around to provide support
  • Took more trips out to build her confidence

We looked at what Sue might take from this strategy to serve her now and she considered the following:

  • Make the effort to contribute more in small to medium sized meetings
  • Remove some of the obstacles e.g. the inner voice and encouraging this inner voice to be more helpful and think more positively about the vision of her contributing effectively to the meeting
  • Focus on how this will benefit Sue
  • Consider the impact it will have on the meeting – others will learn from Sue and value her contribution

At the end of our coaching relationship, Sue has not only began to contribute more widely in large meetings by offering her ideas and improvements to the way things are done, she has also taken on a mentor role within the organization where she herself is using some of her coaching skills and really making a difference by supporting someone else and their development outside of her department.

With experience within International Law and Financial Services,  Jane Adshead-Grant of Ashvale Consultancy Limited is a member of the Association for Coaching and a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coach and licensed NLP Master Practitioner.  Jane is accredited with the British Psychological Society for Level  A & B psychometric assessment and is a member of the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


Be Your Own Coach

ImageCoaches work in many areas of human activity and specialise in different things. But what they have in common is helping their individual clients to be more effective, or happier, in some area of their lives.

In this article, Robin Alcock, a leading Career Consultant and Coach, takes a look at what prevents us from being more effective; how sometimes without intending to, we build these barriers ourselves, and what we can do about them.

Coaches don’t tell people what to do. They guide them to finding better ways themselves and they leave them with the decision about what they are going to implement. This article is written in the same spirit. It offers you some techniques, some ideas to think about, some ways out of difficulties, but it is up to you as free adults to decide what you are going to use and how.

So as you read this, please keep in mind, that even if something is written as though it is an “instruction” – it isn’t. It’s a suggestion to think about.

1. Decide Which Area(s) of your Life to Work On

Look at the different aspects of your life and give yourself a score out of 10 based on how content you are with each aspect. If you’re completely content with it, award 10. If you are completely discontented, award 1. Scoring is a good way of identifying what is most important and what is just a bit important or not important at all.

Give yourself a score for each of:

  • Your career
  • Friends and family
  • Money and possessions
  • Surroundings (including where you live and work)
  • Recreation, hobbies, interests, fun things in your life
  • Your own growth and development
  • Health and fitness

The score you give is only for you. And it is meant to represent how happy you are with that part of your life. So, for example, I might be perfectly happy with my job and career and award it 9 points. It is my view that counts. Someone else looking at my career may think it deserves only 5 points. But other peoples’ views are not relevant. It is how happy you are with the situation that matters.

This scoring exercise is intended to help you identify where you want to make changes and what changes are most important to you. Because you will get the best payback if you improve something in your life that is important to you.

Of course some of these things can be linked. For example, if I improve my job situation, I improve my money situation, and maybe can afford to, say, take the family on better holidays. But try to get at which of these is the important one to you. Because you can find that if you fix the wrong one, you get different benefits. You may get more money from a better job, but find that your quality of life has suffered because of the hours and the travel and the only time you see your kids is during your annual holiday (in the occasional gap between checking your cell phone and emails!).

2. Identify Some Goals Relating to This/These Areas

By developing a goal you are setting yourself something to aim at and a means of knowing if you are getting closer to accomplishing it.

Goals should be specific, able to be measured, have a time attached to them, and be realistic. For example, a health goal may be to lose 10 pounds within the next two months. That is quite specific – it’s not vague and general like “get healthier”. And you can measure it. And it has a timescale on it, and finally (for some of us) – it is realistic.

The trouble with an unrealistic goal is that it can’t be attained and makes you demoralized and give up. So if my goal had been, let’s say, to lose 40 pounds, and I only lost 12 pounds, I would feel I had failed and might as well give up. (Take me to the chocolate!)

A goal also needs to be within your control. A goal about getting someone else to behave differently towards you may not be within your control.

Try to identify about ten goals right across the important areas of your life.

3. Rank the List in order of how much they Matter to You

Missing an important goal is more disappointing than missing a lower priority one. Don’t be tempted to rank them in order of which ones look easiest.

You now know what areas of your life you want to work on, and what you are going to set out to achieve. But only if you have set specific goals. Let’s take a common goal in its vague form. You probably heard it a number of times:

“I want to spend more time with the family”

Nothing wrong with that sentiment, if that’s what the person wants to do. But it is not specific or measurable. It would be better expressed in more definite terms, such as:

“By the time we get to Easter, I will be spending one full evening each week with the family, getting in from work no later than 6pm, and on one day each weekend, I will ….etc”.

4. Identify the Obstacles to Progress – and deal with them

We are talking here about the obstacles that we create for ourselves, not the ones that are external to us or that we cannot control. Let’s take a look at a few that coaches often encounter:

Putting things off

Psychologists tell us that procrastinating is often caused by anxiety, or frustration tolerance, or rebellion.

Anxiety means you fear something as a result of doing the task. For example you put off asking someone for a date as you fear them saying ‘No’ and rejecting you. Or you put off preparing that work presentation because the prospect of doing it makes you anxious. You put off making those job search networking calls because meeting strangers makes you anxious.

Low tolerance of frustration simply means we cannot persist enough in the face of set-backs. Or we can’t handle the boredom and difficulty some tasks involve. So we don’t start them.

Rebellion means we resent having to do something, or the way we were asked to do it, so we put it off in protest. Our partner goes on and on about fixing something and we build up a level of resentment about “being told what to do” – so instead of fixing that shelf (or whatever) and being done with it, we put it off again and again.

Overcoming the problem
  • Think through the consequences. What happens if I don’t get my CV finished? I guess that means I cannot send it out, and if I cannot send it out, what happens then. Presumably I cannot get a job interview….and if that happens……..and so on. If I don’t do that important report on time at the office, what is going to happen? ……
  • Action is more important than motivation. If something needs doing, it doesn’t actually matter if you are motivated to do it. What matters is getting it done. Learn that you can do things you don’t actually enjoy or want to do.
  • Learn to put up with how you feel. Maybe you are angry at having to do that report or fix something around the house, but you can learn to get on with it and tolerate how you feel.
  • Getting on with it, can often reduce or eliminate the feeling anyway. Once I have got over the fact that I have to write another chapter, when I would rather be playing tennis, my resentment reduces.
  • Recognise when you are winding yourself up. If you have taken an adult decision to paint the fence because it needs doing, then try to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Don’t feed yourself with thoughts about how much you hate doing it.
Poor Time Management

Sometimes the intention is there but we never get time to action it. There are many fine books written about time management, which is indicative of how widespread the problem is and how many people are affected by it. Its symptoms include:

  • Lateness
  • Rushing all the time
  • Low productivity compared with the effort put in
  • Perfectionism
  • Feeling overwhelmed
Overcoming the problem

The one thing that all good time management experts agree on is that to manage your time well, you have to set priorities. You have to decide what is really important to you and contributes to your goals. That means you also have to let some things go.

Give your goals a high enough priority and don’t give in to the tyranny of the urgent. This is not an invitation to put off things you should be getting on with.

It has long been observed that 80% of the results come from 20% of the work. And that means making some sensible decisions about what matters and what does not. Here are some suggestions that have been shown to work – if you apply them consistently.

  • Keep an up to date to-do list
  • Sort it into priority order – what is important at the top
  • Work on the top priority items and don’t be tempted to get rid of lower priority ones to make the list shorter
  • Doing a bit of an important task that moves things forward is a better use of your time than completing something of lower importance
  • Make time to be uninterruptible, by having your co-workers know when you are available and when not.
  • Be firm and enforce your non-availability. None of this “it only take a minute” stuff.
  • If your position allows you to delegate work – do so, but read about how to do it well.
  • Subject to the capability of the person you delegate a task to – be prepared to let it go, and don’t interfere. Hold people accountable for results.
  • Focus on results in your own work and not on input or being busy.
  • Concentrate on goal-related items, and take preventative measures to reduce the crises in the future. What do you need to be doing now to meet your goals a few months down the road?
  • If you still find your time is leaking away, keep a log for a couple of weeks and note what you do and how long it takes. It is particularly revealing if against each item you award a score for how relevant it is to achieving one of your goals.
Insufficient persistence

It is an unfortunate fact that to bring about enduring change requires sustained effort. Some of these reasons may explain failure to persist:

  • Short-range gains. We agree we need and want to aim for the long-term goal, but the effort seems too great and the opportunity to do something easier is more appealing. For example, having some chocolates may have more appeal than sticking to my diet plan; going to a party more appealing than completing some study assignment.
  • Feeling not up to the task. It is too difficult. Some people can (quit smoking or whatever) but it is too hard for me and I have a poor opinion of myself for needing to do it anyway.
  • I am how I am and cannot change. In other words it is pointless persisting because a leopard can’t change its spots.
  • I am not making progress so I may as well give up
  • Benefits of not changing are getting in the way
  • Habits take a time to break and new ones take time to become second nature. Repetition is called for.
  • The remedy for these problems is often just to accept “no pain, no gain”. Acknowledge that attaining some of your goals may be a long haul and will need applied effort over a long time. But comfort yourself by knowing you are working toward something you want and you can detect steady progress most of the time.
5. Be Prepared to Take Decisions and Calculated Risks

As all change involves a measure of risk, learn to evaluate the upside and the downside and to take decisions accordingly. This means accepting sometimes that there can be no certainty. Becoming self-employed for example, may bring many advantages and be really productive and liberating. But this is not certain and there can be no guarantee going in.

But if you think through any decision in terms of the likely consequences for you and others, you have a basis for taking a reasoned decision.

Look at the good consequences and at the bad ones. For example “If we relocate I get more money but our daughter moves away from all her friends”

List the Costs and Benefits, short and long term, for yourself and others. And we don’t just mean in monetary terms. Think about and write down the advantages and disadvantages.

Short term
Cost To me
Benefit Cost to
other People
Long term
CostTo me
Benefit Cost to
other People

The discipline of writing it down can help you not to do a thorough job and not to overlook anything. It can help you to take off your rose-tinted lenses and see things as they are, not as you would like them to be. It can be a good way to talk it through with a friend or family member.

6. Identify any potential problems or risks

When you have identified the risks involved in whatever it is you are considering, you then need to assess how likely is the risk and how serious would the consequence be if it happened.

We all vary in how comfortable we are with risk and some of us are very risk-averse. But whatever your comfort level, you need to get an understanding of what the risk is, before you decide to take it or not.

Knowing the risks, it is also obviously a smart thing to reduce them as much as you can. Either reduce the probability of it happening or the damage if it does.

When you have done your analysis, take a decision and work out how you will implement it. Being indecisive can be as big a problem as being impulsive. In order to make progress toward your goal, you have to take action. Thought alone will not be enough.

Robin Alcock BA (Hons), FCIPD, MAC is a personal development Coach. Robin retrained as a Counsellor and Coach after a business career with IBM and various international banks. While at Bankers Trust, he ran a series of seven week training programmes in London for guest bankers from developing countries. He now works with individuals assisting them with career issues and professional development. He can be reached at Mail@RobinAlcock.com
ImageMaking the Case: A Business Case for Coaching

While the value of coaching is clear to its recipients, making it a priority for the business can be a challenge. In this article, leading Coach-Mentor Tony Philip looks at how to make a business case for coaching and mentoring.

“Greater confidence and belief in my own abilities”… “60% of a course is forgotten after one hour”…... “Coaching returns average 570%”.

Jane Adshead-Grant’s articles described coaching and its benefits . So how do you get coaching into your organisation? The statements above illustrate the spectrum of business situations you may encounter which I shall describe as Core Values, Effective Budget and Commercial Decision. Each requires a different type of business case and this article outlines some approaches to making the case for coach-mentoring and ensuring that you get the benefits you are targeting.

Structuring a Business Case

What is a business case? It is a structured proposal addressing a particular business goal that is justified in terms of expected business benefits and expected costs, with feedback. Monetary values, whilst desirable, are not always appropriate or even practicable to isolate, e.g. the benefits of providing e-mail communication. However, an estimate of business benefits, or avoidance of negative consequences, is essential. When estimating costs, think about the direct costs of coach-mentoring as well as the indirect ones such as time off work, disruption and travel time which are usually much less than classroom/seminar training. Feedback comes from a thorough evaluation of actual outcomes so that the organisation can learn from the experience.

The most likely starting point for a business is the Effective Budget i.e. you already have a people development budget and wish to spend it in the most effective manner. Can coach-mentoring be a more effective alternative? Coach-mentoring follows the individual’s agenda, not the trainer’s, spread over a period of time ensuring that practical feedback is incorporated into the learning and its effect is usually long-lasting. Most people nod knowingly when they hear the research findings that 90% of what is learnt in a training class is forgotten within 30 days, and 60% is forgotten after one hour.

Work out the real cost of class room learning from that! To maximise overall effectiveness, the goals for the development budget should translate into a small set of SMART “what should we be doing better” criteria against which the actual outcomes of development activities are scored and weighted by cost. Give coach-mentoring a small trial and compare relative results!

Commercial Decision Business Case

A Commercial Decision business case quantifies business benefits in monetary terms and will probably use Return on Investment (ROI). The best ROI calculation that I have seen estimates probable monetary business benefit, estimates that part due to coach-mentoring, and compares benefit with the expected costs. Use conservative estimates of probabilities and business benefits and expect a considerable margin of benefit over cost.

When estimating tangible benefits think about the financial evidence that you want to see that the goal is being met. A manager with a goal of building a team’s job satisfaction might focus coach-mentoring efforts on skills and behaviours which improve staff retention e.g. avoidance of recruitment and induction cost, temps, less sick leave; a goal of improved teamwork might focus on improved productivity e.g. more effective decision making through shorter meetings, using fewer people, less use of advisors, earlier decision implementation, less overtime and not using contingency.

Only a portion of the benefits are due to coaching, e.g. 50%, and whilst this looks subjective, people are actually well used to apportioning cause to effect. In this way intangible benefits can be quantified through the evidence of their financial impact.

Core Values Case

The Core Values case will focus on learning attitudes and behaviours as the key to an adaptive and flexible organisation. This approach can be seen in highly successful teams for example, where the coaching culture may be the only way to survive against the competition. In this case coaching is related to maintenance of a particular Core Value and alternatives are evaluated in a best-value-for-money case.

Tony Philip is a Chartered Accountant, freelance finance consultant and professional coach-mentor. tony.philip@btinternet.com
ImageQualifications for the job are a ‘given’. It is now emotional intelligence that will differentiate you and set you apart from the crowd. Author and business guru, Margot Katz, shows you how.
What’s it all about?

I remember once struggling with the process of upgrading my mobile phone when everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong. I was passed from one person to another in the company as I tried in vain to resolve my problem. Every time someone said, ‘I can’t help you in this department’ or ‘Sales should have dealt with this for you,’ or ‘you’ve got it wrong, madam, we never do that,’ my frustration and stress levels went through the roof as my humour and politeness flew out the window.

It only needed one person to ‘get it’, to understand how I was feeling, own the problem and to take action for me to completely capitulate, become charm personified and sing their praises ever after. We all have a hugely strong need to be understood. Most of us think we’re right anyway so it’s only logical that we expect others to see things our way. That’s what sits at the heart of this topic.

Twenty years ago, it was sufficient to build brand trust through quality and consistency. Today brand trust is earned through the emotional relationship the brand has with the consumer.


Emotional Intelligence (often abbreviated to EI or EQ for Intelligence Quota) hit the corporate headlines when the guru of the subject, Daniel Goleman brought out his book, Emotional Intelligence in 1995.

Unlike IQ, which measures our Intelligence Quota, EQ is about our capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions effectively in others and ourselves. Generally speaking, there are two components to EQ: the first is about our self-awareness, self-regulation and self-confidence.

This article is about the second component, which is used in managing relationships. It’s about reading and understanding people and being able to see things from a different perspective, or in other words, about empathy.

Empathy is not Sympathy

“The number one reason that people leave organisations is because of a poor relationship with their boss.”

A dictionary defines empathy as ‘the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person’s feelings.’ It’s all about being able to shift our perspective on things, to understand others by seeing the world through their eyes, to stand in their shoes.

This is not the same as sympathy, which is all about sharing the emotions of another person; understanding is not the same as ‘I feel the same.’ So, it wouldn’t have helped me if the customer services manager at the mobile phone company had said to me, ‘Oh, I feel so angry too, madam.’

Why then is empathy viewed by some as negative? Probably because people wrongly think of it as having to showing concern, having to be nice to people.

Case Study

Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash, the top tier headhunting firm believes you need emotional intelligence, intellect and ambition to succeed. He encourages the leaders to look after their people because in his experience, those who have focused purely on themselves have always failed.

‘Being a humble servant leader is what makes you valuable.’ For a CEO in what is often perceived as a hard-edged industry, he is unusually open and honest. He is open to feedback and with his executive coach, actively works on his own self-development. For someone in his position, in his sector, he is also refreshingly Emotionally Intelligent. His self-awareness is part of it, but he also has a high level of empathy.

He has learned to put himself in others’ shoes. Not doing so has led to harsh mistakes and he has paid the price in some relationships. ‘We always think we’re right and we see the world a certain way. This can limit our flexibility and effectiveness.’

We’ve all witnessed the personality transplants of those fresh out of a communications skills course, oozing a false niceness that is quite alien to their usual style. Empathy, like everything else, is about being yourself, being straight and authentic, acting in a way that’s consistent with your personality.

It’s not something you do once, get the formula right and that’s that. It’s an organic skill that means fine-tuning your responses and approaches and making adjustments. You may get things wrong, but you can always go back and put things right.

For leaders, here’s a salutary statistic. The number one reason that people leave organisations is because of a poor relationship with their boss. Bosses need to hone their relationship building skills.

You get far more from people when you’re emotionally aware

Here’s the effect a difficult boss had on Sarah Deaves, CEO of Coutts, the Private Bank, early on in her career. ‘The worst boss I ever had was a woman who’d take credit for others’ ideas and had a way of undermining people.’ Her style sapped energy and confidence leaving people in the team feeling debilitated, upset and too preoccupied to be productive.

This experience taught Sarah a formative lesson: never be that kind of boss yourself because you get far more from people when you are emotionally aware.

South African-born Margot Katz has a proven record of achievement, working as a board director, executive coach and business consultant. She has delivered results at organizations including Reuters, AMEX, BT, Coca-Cola, Coutts and Toyota. She is the author of ‘Tarzan and Jane: How to Thrive in the New Corporate Jungle’.

 * The competition closes at midnight GMT on 30th January 2008.

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