EQ@Work - Peer Coaching for Women in Early Career
ISSUE: In small ways that add up, women behave differently from men when they first start out at work. As author and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has shown, healthy networks are among the most powerful factors in ensuring that women learn the emotional, social and professional skills to thrive at work – and to support themselves and each other in the process. Many women feel nervous about starting or joining a network. EQ@Work solves that problem by setting up a ready-made coaching network to grow your professional EQ.
DERAILMENT RISKS FOR WOMEN IN EARLY CAREER:
PROPOSAL: Peer coaching circles create a network to support your success, your wellbeing, and your EQ. EQ@Work has been designed to grow your emotional intelligence. By the end of this series, you will have learned how to be thoughtful about the choices you are making and the impact you’re having; how to negotiate for what you want and to push back effectively on the things you don’t - and how to relate to others in a way that adds zest and meaning to your professional life in the critical early years while your work identify is still forming.
OUTCOMES: A stressed young woman executive who can fall back on the support of a network which has become skilled in mutual support is less likely to derail, and more likely to craft a satisfying professional life that will see her stay, and succeed at work. The peer coaching process offers participants an increased capacity to engage with self and others: you learn new tools and then apply them in real time. It also allows for the formation of trust and strong social bonds, setting the group up to engage deeply for change, and to continue informally beyond the life of the coaching program - independently of the coach. These outcomes are protective factors against attrition of women in early career.
METHOD: A relatively new professional development method, peer coaching brings a maximum of ten people (none of whom are in a supervision relationship) together for 90-120 minutes to progress professional goals. This format harnesses the knowledge of each person in the group toward problem solving. It creates an empowering environment where people learn about agreed topics from each other over a specified period of time and commit to bold action at work with the support and accountability of the group. Personal and group goals are developed by peer participants in a discussion facilitated by the coach (following consultation with the responsible Human Resources professional). Typically, the group meets monthly for ten months.
WHILE THE DETAILED CURRICULUM IS AGREED WITH PARTICIPANTS, THE PEER COACHING ARC IS BROADLY AS FOLLOWS:
The length of the EQ@Work program (10 sessions) means change lasts far beyond the coaching program.
WHO WILL DO WELL IN PEER COACHING? Peer coaching works best with people with a high level of motivation and who are not in a supervision relationship with anyone else in the group. It requires an interest in working on professional challenges and an interest in examining current habits (mental, emotional and behavioural) to find possibilities for change. It requires “ripeness” – an openness to work with others and be open with the group about what’s happening as your emotional intelligence grows. Attending each session is essential for the success of each participant, as well as for the group as a whole.
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