Once upon a time… Santa Claus went to a coaching session. Yes, you read it right. Santa Claus thought he was needing a help, especially on this time of the year when he’s full of work.
The starting point was EQ-i 2.0 (Emotional Intelligence) so that we could understand which areas were stronger and those that needed some development. It was an inspiring first session.
I met with an interesting client. He runs a non-profit operation with a global reach. He brings toys, cheer and hope to people – especially children – all over the world. While active all year, he is apparently fiendishly busy in the fourth quarter of the year. He was interested in Emotional Intelligence, so I had him take the EQ-i assessment, and we met today to discuss his results and next step goals.
Where Mr. Claus was active
This guy was highly engaged with most EQ elements, among them Stress Tolerance, the element of EQ concerned with coping with, and even alleviating life’s anxieties. Mr. Claus reported that his job was quite stressful, especially this time of year; apparently he does a lot of traveling. But he keeps his stress under control with an active lifestyle (and an occasional cookie and shot of liquor). What is most notable in this guy’s EQ-i results are his Interpersonal elements (Interpersonal Relationship, Empathy and Social Responsibility).
Interpersonal Relationship & Empathy
Right off the bat, Mr. Claus tried to put me at ease. He made me call him Nick. This guy just exudes warmth, joy and concern for others. He seemed so attuned to me and what my needs and concerns were (even though I was the coach), and he deeply listened to and really seemed to care about the things I had to say. He was so caring and giving that he created a totally safe space. He would actually make a wonderful coach.
Nick is driven to support others, deeply valuing both other people as well as the ideals of giving and service. He told me many stories of times throughout the years when he’s given so much and driven himself to the point of physical exhaustion – not for any personal gain, but for the benefit of those he supports and cares for. His concern for others is remarkable.
Where Mr. Claus needs some development
Nick’s intense and at times, perhaps, overdone attachment to other-focused behaviors (Interpersonal Relationship, Empathy, and Social Responsibility) can sometimes make him look like a martyr. When I brought this up, he admitted that the Clauses were known for their reluctance to accept or ask for help for themselves. They are always too busy providing care to others. As a result, Nick decided, for the sake of balance, to exercise some Independence behaviors – actions that would allow him to be more autonomous and self-directed. Attention devoted to Independence would allow for (and even demand) more self-care.
Also, Nick decided to work on Problem Solving, the EQ element that deals with the personal and emotional sides of addressing problems. Basically, Nick is a conflict-avoider, and he admitted he would be more effective if he could lean into interpersonal turmoil more often. A number of times he mentioned a naughty list. Apparently his organization keeps a database of children who have been rude, disobedient or in some other way “bad,” and his group’s policy is to deny these kids end-of-year rewards, but the thought of holding back – even to these kids to whom he’s not contractually obligated to give anything – gives the man serious pain and anxiety. To this end, Nick decided to work on this EQ skill set that will enable him to enforce this naughty list and to face whatever conflicts and bad feelings may arise as a result.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Mr Claus—I mean, Nick. So warm, giving and gracious—the man was a saint. We agreed to continue our coaching relationship so that I could help him with his push for more Independence and Problem Solving, but his schedule is a little intense this time of year. It will be January before we are able to meet again.
Are you interested in Emotional Intelligence? You can know more about EQ-i 2.0/EQ360 – the tools that help you measure and develop it in http://p4s.pt/ferramentas/ferramentas-eq-i/ and you can get your EQ-i 2.0/EQ360 Certification in 2017.
Original article “Coaching Santa: an EQ challenge” by Hile Rutledge (in, OKA Blog, 2016)