Quadrant 2: Building Bridges

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After six weeks of coaching, Donna’s direct reports began to

comment to Donna that she seemed different.Most could not quite

put their fingers on the change, but they used phrases such as “more

relaxed” and “less intense.” Donna was pleased about this reaction

and eager to continue her progress. As an overachiever, she wanted

to be a “great coaching client.”

As Donna’s stress level started to recede, she became more aware

of her tendency to take over parts of her staff ’s projects whenever

she felt that a deadline was at risk. Donna recognized that this

pattern was causing her to feel overwhelmed at times and it was preventing

her people from learning how to deal with the challenges of

meeting deadlines. Donna noted that it was easier for her to take

over for others than it was to enter into the sometimes emotionally

charged conversations that are part and parcel of holding people

accountable for their deliverables.

With the help of her coach, Donna began to explore how to read

her own emotional reactions and recognize the emotions of others,

as she experimented with new ways of negotiating with her staff for

deadlines and holding them accountable for the results that were

agreed on. Not everything went smoothly, but eventually, Donna’s

staff started stepping up to the plate and delivering their work more

consistently on time. Donna found that the shift from taking over

her managers’ work to coaching them to successfully take on new

challenges had rewards that she had not anticipated for herself and

her team. There was less finger pointing and fewer fiery flare ups.

It took about two months and lots of reinforcement for Donna

to feel more at ease with stepping into difficult conversations. Over

that time, she explored these and other concepts in a variety of settings

and was really starting to appreciate that she had evolved an

effective and authentic communications style that was truly her

own.

_ Quadrant 2 is the space for enhancing interpersonal effectiveness.

Clients focus on broadening and deepening their abilities to

interact authentically and effectively with others in one-on-one

relationships. For some clients, this means addressing difficult

interactions with peers, for others it can involve developing

stronger ties with key constituents in their network of influence,

and still others may need to address their ability to effectively

manage others. Donna had to learn to hold her managers

accountable for their deliverables instead of taking over their

assignments. Although coaching situations are diverse, the

central themes are often similar: helping clients become clear

on the essence of what they want to communicate, guiding

clients to articulate clearly what they want to create through

their communications, and working on crafting a unique and

effective communications style for the client.

_ Emotional insight is enhanced in Quadrant 2. The main source

of insight for Quadrant 2 is the insight that comes from learning

to discern and decipher one’s own emotions and the emotional

context of situations. At her coach’s request, Donna

started to tune into her own emotional reactions when dealing

with her managers. When she was centered, Donna began to

notice the telltale signs that she was becoming anxious about

her managers’ abilities to meet a deadline. Rather than take her

usual step of doing the work for them, Donna began to discuss

her concerns with her managers in order to find workable solutions.

This led to the team deciding to implement an update

system that allowed everyone to know where they were in terms

of meeting deadlines. Donna now regularly tunes into her emotions

to gain valuable information for guiding her interactions

with her team.

_ Emotional centeredness opens the door to Quadrant 3. Emotional

centeredness is the ability to tune into one’s own emotions and

the emotional context of situations in order to derive valuable

information that is used to move the situation forward and

deepen relationships. People who are emotionally centered are

able to participate in emotionally charged situations without

being taken over by their own emotions or the emotions

of others. The physical centeredness of Quadrant 1 is the

foundation on which emotional centeredness is built. Donna

found that by calming down and tuning in, she was able to find

successful ways to engage in conversations she had previously

avoided.As a result of this change, Donna’s leadership style was

becoming more collaborative. This was new for Donna, and she

was enjoying the change. With this success under her belt,

Donna felt ready to tackle some of the bigger challenges she

had set for herself.