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Coaching for Emotional Intelligence: Patricia Figueroa on Executive Development in Mexico

Coaching for Emotional Intelligence: Patricia Figueroa on Executive Development in Mexico

by Tessa Menatian June 10, 2019 Time to read: 4 min.

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Interested in the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification (EICC)? Patricia Figueroa–a participant in the first cohort–reflects on her background as a psychotherapist, Emotional Intelligence in Mexico, and her experience in the EICC.

Could you begin by sharing some insights into your story? Where are you from? How has your career progressed?

My name is Patricia, I’m Mexican, and after over ten years of experience in private practice as a Psychotherapist, my story in Executive Development begins at SuKarne, a Mexican company with a large presence in the global market for animal protein. Along with two other colleagues, I created a Human Development Program for employees, based on the hypothesis that happier employees perform better.

My desire to specialize more led me to attend training in Leadership Coaching at Harvard. From there I began working with clients, and later made the transition from a private coaching practice to Executive Coaching and Facilitator of Executive Development workshops.

In what ways does your background as a psychotherapist inform your current work as a coach?

The main reason I became a psychotherapist was to help people become a better version of themselves: improve their well-being, quality of life, take better control of their lives. I realized that I could serve those same goals with Emotional Intelligence (EI) coaching.

My career as a psychotherapist has given me the tools and experience to be a better coach. Connecting with people, empathizing at a deep level, guiding them to find their own answers, staying curious, listening well, being comfortable with silences, and trusting the wisdom of the client are essential tools for both psychotherapists and coaches.

Do you find that Emotional Intelligence is typically valued and utilized by organizations in Mexico?

Yes, definitely. In these times when everything is changing rapidly, and with Artificial Intelligence beginning to exceed us exponentially in the cognitive field, Emotional Intelligence skills are a very important differentiator.

For all these reasons, smart and ambitious Mexican businesses are taking a closer look at human performance and motivation. EI is at the core of the successful management of human dynamics—something that for now, remains uniquely human and necessary for organizational success. 

What led you to join the first cohort of the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification?

Working with companies, I came to realize that Emotional Intelligence defined successful leadership and successful companies. The ability to listen, the ability to communicate effectively, and the ability to build relationships­–all those skills were at the core of success, but companies weren’t always hiring for or aware of them.

I came across companies with very smart people who lacked some of these skills. So, from there, I committed myself to learning more about EI because I wanted to be as effective in my coaching as possible.

What I found most interesting about Emotional Intelligence is the biology behind neuroplasticity–the fact that our behavior can be changed. I constructed a real emphasis in my own practice on helping clients develop EI.

Since I was excited about Emotional Intelligence and saw first-hand the effectiveness of EI coaching, I decided to go to the source of EI, and apply for the Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification.

What aspect(s) of the Coaching Certification have you found most rewarding?

The Twelve Self-Discoveries have been amazing. I cannot fix what I am not aware of. Transformation starts within, and the possibility of helping others transform themselves using a scientific based methodology is really rewarding.

The micro-techniques and journaling have also been very beneficial. The micro-techniques help you integrate the new learning, and writing about in the journal helps you anchor it. Mindfulness exercises or mental training helped me to be more intentional with my approach and, therefore, more efficient and productive.

Is there a particular Self-Discovery that resonates with you?

“You don’t have to believe everything you think.” Learning to silence my internal dialogue has helped me immensely, because it is in those moments of silence and mental stillness that answers arrive.

What EI competencies and/or coaching techniques you’ve cultivated in the Coaching Certification have been most beneficial in your work with business leaders?

In this hasty world where we all agree that time is a scarce resource, teaching people how to invest in time to pause and be intentional with their focus leads to greater productivity.

It has helped my clients in many ways: to focus, reduce procrastination, improve their work performance, reduce work stress and anxiety, develop cohesion and a sense of belonging in their teams, be more adaptable, and of course, better manage their emotions and control their impulses.

What has been your experience as an international member of a largely international cohort?

It’s been incredibly rewarding. Sharing such diverse points of view is extremely enriching and also demonstrates how we all converge in our humanity. We not only learn about our differences, but about our similarities. We are not as different from others as we might believe.

Do you have any advice or wisdom you’d like to share with participants in the second cohort of the EICC?

Enjoy this journey of transformation and learning, where you will be nourished by the experiences and knowledge of your learning partners and facilitators. At the end of the program be ready to find in the mirror a much stronger, more resilient, aware, positive, inspired, and compassionate self.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

There are only a few spots remaining in the second cohort, which will take place just outside of Vienna, Austria this summer. You can learn more and apply here.

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Tessa Menatian is a Writer & Editor at Key Step Media. In this role, she collaborates with Daniel Goleman to write and edit articles for LinkedIn and other media sites. She also designs and develops innovative content–including online courses and actionable articles–to help leaders at all levels cultivate their Emotional Intelligence.