Few physicians are comfortable being mandated to do anything. However, mandating a physician to complete an Emotional Intelligence Coaching Program is easier than getting a child to eat ice cream. Therefore, Physician HR Managers, Chiefs and Credential Committees experience considerable difficulty getting physicians to attend mandated intervention for “disruptive behavior/burnout”. Even Continuing Medical Education Classes are considered an insult to most physicians who are mandated to attend such courses.
A more effective alternative that appeals to physicians is Emotional Intelligence Coaching for impulse control. Emotional intelligence is defined as, “a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. It reflects one’s overall well-being and ability to succeed in life.”–MHS. It is the EI assessment that sells the value of EI coaching. The EQ-i-2.0 includes fifteen scales designed to increase a persons’ ability to recognize and manage his or her feelings as well as the feelings of others. EI skills are needed for all healthcare professionals. Anyone who is motivated to enhance his or her emotional intelligence can do so by practicing the skills in which he scores in the low range. Emotional intelligence coaching is made more in-depth by using a minimum of three independent raters who are selected by the physician and the referring person to complete a 360 EQ version of the same assessment taken by the physicians. These raters provide the client with a more objective view of his or her EI competencies.
EI coaching is customized to increase the competencies in which the physician scores in the deficit range. Some of the skills that are the focus of the coaching include: self-awareness, self-control, social awareness, relationship management, empathy, assertiveness, stress tolerance, flexibility and self-regard.
Many of the physicians who complete this coaching model recommend it to others and some opt to continue on a volunteer basis once the six-month coaching is completed. Emotional intelligence is rapidly becoming the most popular intervention offered to health care workers as well as persons in leadership positions.
Unlike psychotherapy, counseling or mental health treatment, there are no stigmas associated with emotional intelligence coaching. Physicians respect learning and are highly motivated to gain new competencies that improve patient care.