• Whether you are at work, at home, or at school, change is all around, and it’s a sign of life. But so often, change brings about a sense of urgency that requires focus and attention to get things done. Tight deadlines often choke out any opportunities to talk about change, putting engagement and creativity at risk. With a focus on results, leaders can underestimate the power of emotions and performance.

    Emotions drive people, and people drive performance.

    The change process is filled with emotions. Becoming more self-aware of your own emotions and thoughts during change will help you lead others through it.

    Recall and recent or current change you are experiencing and consider the following.



    1. Easy Street

    Typically, Easy Street provides comfort and familiarity. This is where you reside before change takes place. You know where you are, and what is expected of you.

    2. Pity City

    When change takes place, a natural reaction is to think, “What’s in it for me?” While in Pity City, there is often a focus on the negative effects of the change. Your thoughts and emotions can determine if you either set up camp in Pity City, or choose to engage your emotional intelligence as a strategy to navigate through Pity City.

    Not sure what emotional intelligence is? Click HERE.

    Critical questions to ask yourself:

    • What is the first feeling that stirs when you think of the concept of change? (ex. dread, excitement, fear, curiosity)
    • How are you feeling about this change? List as many feelings as possible.
    • What does this change trigger?
    • What beliefs do you have related to this change?
    • How do you know these beliefs are true?
    RU going 2 set up camp in pity city, or navigate through it? #EmotionalIntelligence #coaching #change Click To Tweet

    3. Happy Valley

    As self-awareness increases, Happy Valley brings greater insight to the choices you have. You are now able to change your perspective and re-frame the change so that you can see the positive benefits. This brings new understanding and the beginning of accepting the change.

    Critical questions to ask yourself:

    • What are the consequences of this change for yourself?
    • What are the consequences of this change for others? (your peers, your employees, your family, your friends, etc)
    • What new possibilities open as a result of this change?
    • What obstacles will you need to overcome?
    • What support do you need?
    • What will motivate you through this change?
    • What’s important to you during this change?
    • What thoughts need to change to navigate the change?
    • What feelings need to be re-framed to navigate the change?
    • How can my words and actions get behind this change and support others through it?

    4. Pleasantville

    With greater self-awareness, and a consideration of your choices, Pleasantville empowers you to accept the change, choose a response that supports the new reality, and provide support to those who are in the earlier stages of the change cycle.

    Critical questions to ask yourself:

    • How can I support and connect with others going through this change?
    • Where do I need to show myself a little empathy with this change?
    • How can I prepare myself for the next change?
    • What am I learning about myself?

    Leading others through change requires a connection with others to help them understand the change cycle and to draw out their thoughts and feelings about the change.

    I remember one high level leader saying, “I just want my team to get on board, accept the change, and move forward.”

    A growing body of research shows that learnable, measurable skills of emotional intelligence are invaluable in leadership. When leaders engage their emotional intelligence, or people skills, others are empowered, inspired, and equipped to navigate change effectively.

    Research shows that learnable, measurable skills of #EQ are invaluable in leadership. #coaching Click To Tweet

    Leaders who effectively lead change:

    • Push pause to engage with others and talk about the change cycle.
    • Engage in conversations to help others process their thoughts and feelings about change.
    • Encourage others recognize their typical reaction to change.
    • Encourage others to consider consequences of change, seeing the change from all perspectives.
    • Cast a vision to inspire others see the benefit of change.
    • Connect the change to key values and beliefs.
    • Affirm others feelings about change and empower them to re-frame those feelings.
    • Empathize and connect with others.

    When emotions and thoughts are blended together, optimal performance can be achieved. So often, we are moving at rate that makes is very difficult and challenging to connect with the people around us. As leaders, it is so important to not lose sight of the fact that emotions drive people, and people drive performance.

    Emotions drive people, and people drive performance. #EmotionalIntelligence #coaching @6s_EQ Click To Tweet

    The skills of emotional intelligence can be developed through assessment, coaching, and training. To learn more, contact EQuip Studios here.

    About Kelli Schulte, ACC, EQAC, EQPC

    Kelli is a Chicago-based consultant and coach helping individuals and organizations grow in emotional intelligence. With a natural curiosity for how people think and feel, she enjoys helping others increase self-awareness, build greater connections, and experience a healthier sense of well-being, in order to take positive steps forward.

    In addition to being a wife and a mom of two young adults, she is also a certified coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Preferred Partner with Six Seconds, Certified EQ Assessor and Practitioner, an EQ Area Network Leader with Six Seconds, a Panelist with the Six Seconds EQ Community Forum, and a regular contributor with 30Seconds.com.

    Kelli’s combined experience working as a consultant with Fortune 100 organizations, and working with students and adults in church ministry gives her a unique coaching platform.