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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Emotional Social Effectiveness for Leaders

A Coach’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence: Strategies for Developing Successful Leaders
By James Bradford Terrell and Marcia Hughes with contributions from Julio Olalla, Terrie Lupberger and G. Lee Salmon

This book teaches coaches how to use the same approach that experienced FBI agents employ when interviewing witnesses, victims, or even criminals: Look well beyond the surface of the conversation at the person’s language, emotion, and body language (somatics). I particularly liked the authors’ framing their key focus as Emotional Social Effectiveness—because it is more than emotional intelligence (which sounds both high-brow and out of touch). The authors also introduce five critical techniques, which resonated with me as an executive coach and former FBI agent. Here they are with my personal interpretation of what they mean in a nutshell:
1. Value Self—Respect and trust ourselves
2. Value Others—Respect and trust others
3. Responsive Awareness—Be aware and act wisely
4. Courage—Do the right thing
5. Authentic Success—Balance meaning with achievement

The book not only provides a sound theoretical explanation of each of these techniques, but it also offers a number of concrete examples and case studies. I especially liked the chapter, “Coaching to Enhance, Develop, and Strengthen Emotional and Social Competencies in Government Leaders” by contributing author Lee Salmon (Federal Consulting Group, U.S. Department of Treasury). I only wish that this book had been around when I was teaching and coaching at the FBI Academy in a previous career. It would have helped me and my internal clients a great deal.

I felt like this book was an important read for me as an executive coach and will serve as a great reference book for the future.

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