In my last two posts, we took a look at what emotional intelligence is and how it is compatible with a biblical worldview, and why it makes sense to pay attention to it during the college years. In this post, I will share how our Impact 360 student learning and living team does emotional intelligence coaching with our gap year students. By way of review, emotional intelligence is 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 (Multi-Health Systems, 2011).

Why do we put so much time and effort into coaching students in the first place?

Because it is a key part of our value proposition as a team of Christ-centered servant leaders whose calling is to help our students understand the depth and breadth of three-pillar philosophy of education:

Know. Be. Live.

We use a gold-standard emotional intelligence instrument, the EQ-i 2.0 Higher Education assessment, which is designed for college students. A professional executive coach administers the online assessment. Then, all students are asked to complete an exercise in which they estimate for themselves what their scores will be on each of the sub-scales.

For example, on a scale of 70 (low)-130 (high) with 100 being the midpoint (statistical mean for your age and demographic norm group), what do you think you would score on the empathy sub-scale? What about the impulse control, flexibility, and emotional self-awareness sub-scales? The students are then asked to compare their self-estimated results to their actual assessment results, which is itself instructive.

An experienced executive coach, with assistance from qualified members of the student learning and living team, guides the students through this interpretive process. At the conclusion of the coaching session, students have the opportunity to work with the coach to begin crafting goals that would help them succeed in their next season of college life.

These are some key benefits we have seen…

  • Key breakthroughs: Students realizing for the first time deeply ingrained habits that keep them “stuck” during the college years
  • Desire to engage more meaningfully with friends, family, and their larger community
  • Energy around creating goals to increase their overall emotional intelligence for the sake of greater productivity and deeper relationships
  • Students making practical connections between their emotional intelligence and how they think about their Christian faith and live it out
  • Parents who see that their adult student is far more mature and ready to handle college, work and life in general

Grace Croley, one of our recently commissioned gap-year alumni who also serves on our Immersion team and is currently a student majoring in Media, Culture, & the Arts at The King’s College in New York City, said this about her emotional intelligence coaching experience:

“Through my EQ-I experience, I was able to better understand how my emotions relate to my overall well-being. I walked away with seeing some of the areas I struggle most with (like my emotional expression and flexibility) and was shown ways to improve those areas with my coach. We were able to come up with an action plan and SMART goals to help me move forward with becoming a better steward of these areas. Overall the emotional intelligence coaching I received at the Impact 360 Institute has helped me improve and develop my relationships, as well as my leadership skills moving forward in life.”

Grace’s story is one of many success stories we’ve seen since we’ve been doing emotional intelligence coaching at Impact 360 Institute. Could you or someone you know benefit from this kind of coaching?