Conquering EQ-i coaching roadblocks


Encountering roadblocks in implementing the EQ-i in your organization? EQ expert Dr. Dana Ackley shows you how to get buy-in, deliver smart workshops, and coach like a pro.

When we asked professionals recently certified in the EQ-i what their biggest challenge is in getting an emotional intelligence initiative off the ground, the top response was “gaining buy-in from my organization.” Even organizations that recognize the connection between EI and performance are looking for more than a great concept. They want a solid program with a clear return on investment when launching training initiatives.

If you’re a dedicated people-person, it’s likely that researching case studies, writing proposals, and designing development activities don’t rank in the top-ten favorite aspects of your job. “Many coaches and HR professionals tell me that their success depends more on people savvy than on business savvy,” says Dr. Ackley, a psychologist and 16-year veteran executive coach.

Ackley is no stranger to the challenge of developing marketable services. Since earning his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1973, he spent over twenty years in private practice, writing a book along the way to help colleagues access their market potential and develop business plans to achieve both economic and professional objectives. Now, as founder of EQ Leader, Inc., Ackley has turned his business acumen to the realm of emotional intelligence coaching.

“There are so many studies linking emotional intelligence with desirable performance factors such as profitability, retention, production, sales, and the prevention of executive career derailment,” says Ackley, whose website,, offers a collection of free business cases and articles that you can use to demonstrate ROI using emotional intelligence-based inventories and coaching principles. His message is clear: “The bottom line is that scientific studies show that EQ coaching can deliver results, especially when properly positioned.”

Over the past decade, Ackley has developed and published a toolkit of resource materials, the EQ Leader Program, aimed at demonstrating the value of EI initiatives, and has gone on to make these materials customizable by professionals like you. One resource included in this toolkit is a complete introductory seminar with accompanying PowerPoint slides, designed to allow executives to gauge the value of emotional intelligence before committing to a development program. Other resources include everything needed to take clients through a ten-step developmental program, and a CD of customizable exercises and activities to improve each of the 15 factors measured by the EQ-i.

All of this is great news for those having trouble putting down on paper exactly what an EQ-i development program might look like. “Some organizations love the idea of emotional intelligence,” Ackley notes, “but need to know how assessment and coaching will take form. With the EQ Leader Program, it’s all right there.”

Those who use Ackley’s EQ Leader Program are able to implement EQ-i initiatives without spending hundreds of hours on program design or thousands of dollars on development. “The comprehensive nature of the toolkit is very helpful for putting together presentations and handout packets with less effort on my part to create from scratch,” reports business consultant Joanne Schultz. “Rather, I can focus on customization for clients.”  For example, if Schultz wants to help develop a client’s Impulse Control, she opens a Word file called “Building Impulse Control” from the CD, adds her company logo, deletes any exercises not relevant to her client, and prints off the handout for her next coaching appointment.

“Put your EQ-i training to use!” Ackley says, “Whether you are an internal trainer looking for a way to increase your value to your company, or an external coach looking for a solid program that you can bring to client companies, this is an effective, saleable program for facilitating EQ-i-based coaching.”

And it works. Marc Frankel, Ph.D reports, “The combination of the EQ-i instrument and the EQ Leader Program is by far the best set of tools for the consultant/trainer to use in helping coach others to develop their EQ.  The combination of robust psychometrics and thoughtful consultation is simply without peer.”  

Contact Dana Ackley if you’d like to discuss how his program could help solve your particular buy-in problem. If you are interested in purchasing the program, Dana can pass on his author’s discount to you if you order the program in conjunction with his new Train-the Trainer DVD.

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