If happiness is yellow, joy is gold. What’s the difference and why does that matter to your coaching?

What Most People Get Wrong About Joy (do you?) 🌱

by Joshua Freedman, MCC

 

Breaking news: the 2022 Vitality Report offers a surprising recipe for performance, one that could transform the way most people think about generating team effectiveness. Get the inside scoop here (for sharing, shortlink: 6sec.org/vitality22 )

Plus, join an upcoming livestream to explore the implications for business & leadership

One essential: Joy. But it’s not what most people think it is.

The Dilution Problem

I’ve written before about the problem with Happy. Likewise, joy is a very misunderstood concept.

Where happiness comes from expectations being met, joy comes from expectations exceeded. It’s an emotional signal of value beyond the daily norm. It is an outpouring of emotional energy unleashed when people love coming to work together.

How valuable is Joy?

Dr. Kim Cameron’s research offers clues to joy’s worth – in 20 years of study, he found the number of positive energizers to be the top predictor of performance (more than having high-ranking or well-connected team members). Moreover, it’s not about being bubbly or cheerful, there are many ways to be a positive energizer.

That sense of value is probably why teams who scored high in are more than 10x as likely to be high achieving and satisfied with their work. Joy, however, is not just about playing games – it goes far beyond ‘fun’ and into the realm of our highest aspirations. Joy is a source of energy.

So what’s the implication for us as coaches?

If joy is akin to the energy that charges a cellphone, how are we helping clients find, feel and collect electrons of joy? As a coach who values emotional intelligence, consider: how does your coaching presence and process increase your clients’ emotional energy?

Three EQ Coach Tips for Joy

Grow trust. 

As the new report shows, trust is the top predictor of overall team performance. When people feel safe, they can engage in the next two tips. Trust grows from care, consistency & competence. Show clients you care, show up over and over, and do your work well – remember trust is something people feel, and that you co-create over time.

Remove the blockers.

It may be that joy is always there, waiting below the surface, but it’s blocked. Our advisory board member, the late Dr. Candace Pert, shared this idea in her book, Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d, and in this interview with me about the neuochemistry of emotion. One of the blockers that inhibits joy is a fear of expressing authentic emotion. Clients frequently say to me, “I’m sorry for crying.” I say, “I’m an EQ Coach, crying isn’t something to be sorry for with me.” This is removing a blocker.

See the light.

Dr. Cameron talks about the power of Positive Energizers with the metaphor of how plants orient toward the sun, and how babies orient toward smiling people. My own experience of becoming an EQ Coach has made it easier and easier for me to see the light in my clients. I KNOW they have the answers inside. I KNOW they can create new options. When I see that light in them, they seem to see it more as well.

The stunning gift I’ve received: That light shines on me as well. It’s something we cocreate, and experience together. We could call it joy. 

🌱

What else would you like to know about EQ and coaching? I’d appreciate your feedback in the comments below, or feel free to reach out to me via our contact form. For more on EQ and Coaching 🌱, I recommend:

Introduction to EQ & Coaching

Effective Coaching with Emotional Intelligence

How to use coaching methods to support people in times of stress

The Algebra of Coaching 🌱 Through Challenge

See you next month for the next 🌱EQ Coaching newsletter.  

If you were lucky enough to have a friend forward this to you… please subscribe here!

Warmly,

– Josh

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