Senior civil servant sharpens emotional intelligence

 Senior civil servant sharpens emotional intelligence

Long-term coaching helps Whitehall official strengthen leadership capabilities

A high-performing senior civil servant was offered coaching by his department’s HR function as part of a major change programme. He took up the offer in order to be more effective in gaining support for his policies. His initial goal was to develop better relationships with his peers and boss. He also wanted to ensure he was being the best leader he could be for his team.

Following several one-to-one coaching sessions and my observing him in meetings with peers and direct reports, the agenda for our work together became much wider. We developed a long-term relationship that lasted for three years. During that time, we worked on increasing his emotional intelligence and resilience and applying those insights to specific issues.

The client felt that coaching gave him a safe but challenging learning space in which to review his own performance, learn from it and determine how best to improve. It also gave him the opportunity to harness his strength and motivation during a particularly turbulent period in his department with many changes, redundancies and spending cuts.

The impact was a measurable increase in his perceived effectiveness with his peers and boss. He found it much easier to be heard and get his policies and suggestions accepted and he also learned to constantly adjust and apply emotional intelligence to his leadership style. Employee surveys indicated that his team regarded his leadership highly.

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