In my experience, the answer is an overwhelming yes! There are many unintended consequences of Emotional Intelligence skill acquisition for work related issues. Below are a few randomly selected case examples from my work providing Emotional Intelligence Coaching for physicians:
One physician client revealed that he and his teenage daughter were having serious disagreements. While the focus of our Emotional Intelligence coaching is designed to increase skills in self-awareness, impulse control, social awareness, empathy, relationship management and other EI skills, an increase of skills in any of these areas can be easily generalized to all interpersonal relationships including family relationships. In this case, the physician practiced the use of the EI skills to improve his relationships with his daughter while normalizing her appropriate developmental tasks for psychological independence.
It is normal for adolescents to experience mood swings and behave contrary to the wishes of parents. Empathy means sensing others’ feelings and perspective, and taking an active interest in their concerns. People with this competence: Are attentive to emotional cues and listen well, show sensitivity and understand others’ perspectives. When a parent is able to develop skills in empathy as this physician did, they are better able to help others including their children to master this skill.
A physician leader discovered from his EQ-I- Assessment, that he scored low in assertiveness, empathy, flexibility, emotional self-awareness, emotional self-expression as well as social awareness, he decided to focus his coaching on skill enhancement in all of these areas. While he accomplished the goals that he established relative to his workplace behavior, he was pleasantly surprised that his relations with his wife and two young children also significantly improved. This physician used the skills learned in EI coaching to respond more appropriately to one of his sons who was identified as learning disabled.
Lets take one of the skills that this doctor selected as a action item for himself, Emotional Self- awareness – The ability to identify emotions in one’s self and recognize how they affect thought and behavior. For example, if you are shopping with your son and he sees a game that he wants and you tell him that he can put it on his wish list instead, you want your child to be able to recognize that he may feel disappointed and upset which may be resulting in him wanting to lash out inappropriately.
A physician leader whose spouse is also a practicing physician decided after three months of the six month coaching program that he really did not want to continue in his leadership role as his responsibilities as a parent was far more important for him and his family. He therefore, decided to complete the coaching, as he found it useful, but to step down as Department Chief because of the time commitment. This was a decision applauded by his wife and reflected in the faces of his children in a photo he shared after he announced to his wife and children “Daddy is no longer going to spend as much time working anymore.”.
Evidenced based emotional intelligence competencies for work related issues are rarely compartmentalized (limited to one setting). Rather, new EI skills tend to result in radical improvements in all intra and interpersonal relationships. Two of the components for successful coaching are valid Pre and Post Emotional Intelligence assessments such as the EQ-i-2.0 along with client workbooks and ancillary coaching material. This is the instrument used by Anderson & Anderson, APC.