In the third installment of Coaching for Emotional Intelligence, Kully Jaswal, a Meta-Coach for the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification discusses becoming fully present as a coach, career development, and more. Previous installments in this series include interviews with Meta-Coach Dot Proux and Faculty member Michelle Maldonado.
Kully is an executive coach who helps individuals maximize their drive, resilience, and performance in both work and life. She has combined her 15 years of business experience with Deloitte and Andersen with her coaching skills to deliver coaching assignments and group workshops on Executive Coaching, Mindfulness, and Personal Resilience. Kully is a Certified Coach and a teacher in training with the Google-born Search Inside Yourself program. In 2011, Kully founded her own Coaching business in Hong Kong and is now based in New York, leading a global team.
What led you to begin coaching?
During my tenure at Deloitte, I experienced firsthand the transformational benefits of coaching. It boosted my confidence, reframed negative thoughts, and led me to be more open to new opportunities. It was a life-changing experience, which piqued my interest in coaching and its powerful role in helping individuals to create more meaningful lives.
In what ways has your background in accounting and finance influenced your current work as a coach?
My corporate background in accounting and finance enables me to understand the actual pressures that professionals face on a daily basis in global, complex, and high-pressured work environments. Having led global client accounts and worked with teams across different services lines and countries, I recognize the challenges leaders face when dealing with people issues, difficult clients, and negotiations. My skills and experiences are fundamental to my coaching style and enable me to build credibility and trust with clients in similar fields.
What drew you to become a Meta-Coach for the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification?
Having been an avid reader of Daniel Goleman’s research on Emotional and Social Intelligence for the past few years, I was thrilled to hear about the Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification. I’ve utilized various resources from Goleman’s research and applied them to my coaching and training programs, however this is a practical program focused on helping coaches and leaders discover an alternative way of relating to themselves, to others, and the world around them. The fact that it’s based on research from neuroscience and evidence-based frameworks of Emotional and Social Intelligence is particularly compelling. Coaches are provided with a structured process to help clients and teams develop their positive human qualities and leadership competencies, which is much needed in today’s world.
“Being coached was a life-changing experience, which piqued my interest in coaching and its powerful role in helping individuals to create more meaningful lives.”
You were born in the United Kingdom and founded your own Coaching and Training business in Hong Kong. Are there any ways in which your approach to coaching internationally differs from the coaching you conduct in the United States? Do you find that differences in eastern and western professional environments necessitate different coaching needs?
I adopt a holistic approach to coaching, rather than focusing solely on obvious challenges a person may be facing. An individual may be looking for career coaching but to help them truly move forward, I would seek to identify what may be holding them back in the first instance. I would work with them to recognize any emotional blocks and reframe negative self-talk before even starting to explore career challenges.
Due to its holistic nature, my coaching approach hasn’t changed since moving from Asia to the USA. Recognising that every client has their unique challenges, I adapt my style to support them in line with their needs. Sometimes, I’m a sounding board and other times, I provide more tools, exercises, and assessments to deepen their awareness.
I do find the western world is more open to coaching and views the process in a positive light. High performers in organizations in the US and the UK understand the benefits of coaching to their increased success as do individuals simply looking for support whilst making difficult decisions. In Asia, however, there is still some perception of Coaches being ‘people doctors’ – we are there to fix people issues. This perception is gradually changing as coaching becomes more widely available.
Could you share a difficult experience you had with a client and how you handled it?
I had one difficult experience when working with a client in Asia. He felt his team was incompetent and disrespectful toward him by not following his instructions and fulfilling their responsibilities. In fact, issues were arising because he had a harsh style of communication and ultimately, a lack of EI. He had no idea that his annoyed facial expressions, tendency to cut people short, and his body language when communicating made his team feel highly uncomfortable around him.
As his coach, my role was to raise his self-awareness about the impact his behavior was having on team morale. Initially, this was difficult because as expected, he started out defensive and guarded. Accordingly, we gave him the space he needed to share his perspective, which allowed us to build trust and openness. He was then more willing to listen to the 360 feedback and acknowledge my observations.
Through various self-reflection exercises and mindfulness practices he was able to see the impact he was having on this team. He became aware of his own triggers and was able to pause before reacting, especially when communicating with his team. This had a positive impact on his own motivation and effectiveness as a leader and his team’s morale significantly improved. He continues to practice mindfulness to build self-awareness and has started journaling on a regular basis to reflect on his own behaviors, emotions, and frustrations.
How did you begin incorporating mindfulness into your coaching? In your experience, what are some of the unique benefits of mindfulness coaching?
When I initially started coaching, I would catch myself thinking: “What’s the next question I need to ask?”, “Is this helping?”, “Are we making progress?”. Through the integration of mindfulness in my role as a coach and facilitator, my inner voices are stilled. I am fully present for my clients, able to listen to not just what they are saying but what they are not saying through their body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, for example. It’s an incredible journey and allows me to be an effective coach and facilitator.
The practice of mindfulness has also allowed me to make more conscious choices about my own business and vision, enabling me to align my work with my core values and key strengths. I feel comfortable with saying no to work that is unaligned to our vision, and instead invest time and money on relationships and services that accomplish our goal of helping individuals and companies to develop greater resilience.
“Through the integration of mindfulness in my role as a coach and facilitator, my inner voices are stilled.”
You have also focused on career development in your coaching. How do you set about working with a client who feels stuck in their career or has yet to identify their passions?
When clients are stuck I typically use various assessment tools and self-reflection exercises to help them identify their strengths and passions. Harrison Assessment, for example, has a Career Assessment report that identifies ideal careers based on a person’s strengths and the things they enjoy doing. The Game Changer Index report enables individuals to identify how they can make the greatest impact to their team in terms of the type of role they are doing and who they are working with. Both reports can provide initial awareness of suitable next steps. Through coaching, we then further explore skills, strengths, peak performances, and a person’s most enjoyable moments to clarify potential roles or companies that could be of interest.
Often clients work with a Career Coach as they feel like they need a complete career change, but frequently a shift in mindset or making changes to their current role can lead to greater fulfillment. One client simply changed her mindset from saying ‘I don’t like my work and will never succeed,’ to ‘The challenges I am facing are great learning opportunities to help me develop and become a better leader.’ This shift in mindset helped her through the challenging period and later she was thrilled to lead a new and meaningful project on Corporate Social Responsibility, which aligned with her personal values and goals. She stayed with the company for 6 more years and was extremely grateful for the shift in mindset. It led her to focus on the impact she could make rather than looking for external factors to bring her success. This was a transformational shift from the way she previously approached life’s challenges and it all came from greater self-awareness and self-management.
What advice do you have for people who would like to become coaches?
If you naturally enjoy listening, problem-solving, and helping people, I would start by practicing your coaching skills on friends/colleagues to obtain honest feedback. If it feels like a natural fit, continue to research, find a niche market that aligns with your purpose, and ensure you obtain a professional certification before building a client base. Bringing consistent quality and credibility to the profession will help all coaches.
“Often clients work with a Career Coach as they feel like they need a complete career change, but frequently a shift in mindset or making changes to their current role can lead to greater fulfillment.”
Interested in being coached by Kully and becoming a certified coach yourself? Apply now for the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification. This in-depth program, akin to a professional degree, draws upon a range of evidence-based concepts and practices, including the Emotional & Social Intelligence framework. Coaches will gain meaningful new insights to impact their personal and professional lives through online learning, one-on-one guidance from a Meta-Coach, a coaching practicum, and more.