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Grounding Professional Coaching Practice with Positive Assessments of Emotional Intelligence

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Figure 3. The Emotional Learning System published in D. Nelson and G. Low’s Emotional Intelligence: Achieving Academic and Career Excellence (Pearson Education, 2011). Reprinted with author permission.

Explore

We see exploration through self-assessment as the necessary first step in a positive change process. Many learning models omit this vital first step, and then educators/coaches can wonder why some of their students/clients act bored, become disillusioned, or complain that the discussions are not relevant to them.  Without facilitated self-exploration, the coach will fail to invite the client to engage meaningfully in the coaching process.  Conversely, by beginning with Explore, the coach is reminded to invoke the initial core competencies used by all successful coaches; to (a) set the foundation through ethical practices and a coaching mindset, and (b) co-create the relationship by establishing and maintaining agreements and cultivating trust and safety. Beyond engendering engagement and reminding us about some of the core competencies for successful coaching, the explore step is recommended as an integral debriefing tool for helping coaches interpret the results of any formal assessment instrument that may be used with their clients. When using positive assessment we begin by establishing whether the client thinks the assessment results reflect an accurate picture of how they see themselves.  If yes, then we move to the next Identify step.  If not, then a conversation and possible additional assessments are needed to resolve gaps.

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