Why businesses should focus on EQArticle by The MiNDSPACE team - 19 February 2019 - Read Time: 5 min
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Want some free business advice? Business intelligence alone won’t grow your brand in the crazy corporate world of today. It’s so crazy, in fact, that there’s even a four-letter word floating around to describe it: VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous).

Businesses across the globe, and across sectors, are using this term to describe their current market conditions – but what does it mean for the modern executive?

In many respects it means that executives and business leaders need to be the opposite – steady, certain, clear and unambiguous. This requires a high level of emotional intelligence (EQ) – especially when it comes to working with teams.

‘Executives need to reframe their role in their own mind.’
– Alison du Toit, business coach and facilitator.

How to improve emotional intelligence

Alison du Toit is a coach and facilitator at Symphonia Leadership Development and has worked with a wide range of corporate clients. She says that the biggest challenge executives present to her is ‘around their ability to balance the relational requirements of their role with their functional expertise'. She goes on to say: ‘They usually have exceptional technical and functional abilities and skills but they lack the leadership and relational skills to connect with people [properly].’

Clients will ask Du Toit questions such as: How do I lead people better? How can I help them manage the stress of change? How can I be more resilient in this chaotic, VUCA world? That’s where an executive coach can really add value, coaching business leaders to develop these soft skills.

‘Executives need to reframe their role in their own mind and as a coach we would help work on this,’ she explains. ‘We’d move away from the limiting assumptions that the 'people stuff' is soft, fluffy nonsense that HR should handle and help executives to understand the power of engagement and partnering with people to optimise their value and contribution.’

How executive coaching can help

Ellenise Pedro, HR Executive Old Mutual Corporate, says coaching has proven to be the most successful management intervention to drive a high-performance culture.

‘Coaching is not a corrective tool for poor performance, nor is it a remedial tool. As the coaching culture has advanced in corporate South Africa, more companies are using coaching as a developmental tool. An organisation with a high-performance culture will use coaching proactively to develop and support high-potential individuals and grow its leaders from good to great.

‘Coaching can accelerate growth and change, therefore a strong coaching culture within a business will increase performance and results, but a strong coaching culture requires top level support as well as internal capacity. We believe that individual change is at the heart of everything achieved at a team and an organisational level. We therefore incorporate personal mastery as the starting point of our core leadership competency framework.

'We have a very comprehensive leadership programme in South Africa based on the 70-20-10 principle – 70% of all development takes place on the job; 20% via coaching and mentoring, and only 10% is dedicated to traditional classroom training.’

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