Emotional Intelligence

Why I Became A Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach in 2013

Strengths Coach, Emotional Intelligence Coach

For the entire year of 2012, I mentored under someone I consider to be an expert in CliftonStrengths™ Coaching. The year I invested under my mentor working with technology-gifted coaching clients was priceless to my development as a Career Coach who leverages the CliftonStrengths assessment in his coaching practice.

I’ve been privileged to work with some of the smartest people on the planet as my coaching clients. Strengths Coaching provides a rock-solid foundation for building authentic, Self-Awareness.

One of my entrepreneur real estate investor clients shared her thoughts after we completed her Strengths Development Coaching.

Without having you by my side, I wouldn’t have left my comfort zone or confronted my fears. Thank you for helping me to develop authentic self-confidence.
— Debbie, Real Estate Investor

Even with sound Strengths Coaching training and experience under my belt, I knew there was something more I could be delivering to my clients to guide them to their future success.  

It was late in 2013 when I ran across an opportunity to work with instructors in Denver who both possessed Ph.D. education in psychology. It was through this mentoring that I was trained and certified as an Emotional Intelligence coach.

When my clients learn their potential Strengths, they discover that when their Strengths are intentional, fine-tuned, and polished, the output from their Strengths is unstoppable.

On the flip-side, when a potential Strength is operating in its infancy stage and it is still an unpolished Trait, the output an unpolished Trait can produce can often result in more harm than good.

This poor performance that comes from an unpolished Trait is often tied to behavior that can be measured by an Emotional Intelligence measurement tool I leverage called EQ-i 2.0. This is a tool that can only be purchased and evaluated by someone who has been trained and certified in the use of the tool.

Emotional Intelligence or EQ (Emotional Quotient) enables my coaching clients to truly discover, develop, polish and fine-tune the best versions of themselves. They know exactly and precisely who they are and who they are not. The deeply understand themselves, how and why they do what they do, and they gain strategies to generate their best performance.

My clients also gain an understanding of how they are coming across to other people. Once they know how they are being perceived, they are in a position to choose behaviors that will enhance their audience’s perception of them.

Combining Strengths Coaching with Emotional Intelligence Coaching is one of the strongest Strategic moves I’ve ever made on behalf of my clients. Not sold on this EQ idea yourself?

This is what Jack Welch had to say about Emotional Intelligence.

No doubt emotional intelligence is rarer than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it.
— Jack Welch

This is what one of my “C Suite” Emotional Intelligence Coaching clients had to share about his journey towards developing healthy Emotional Intelligence.

You’ve taught me that connecting with people on an emotional level is significantly more effective and more positive than my formerly, pure left-brain approach, of proving my point with charts, graphs, and data.
— Tom, CISO

Why should you want to discover and develop your unique potential Strengths?

  • Once you take the CliftonStrengths™ Assessment, 33,000,000 more people will have to take the assessment before a match to your Top 5 potential Strengths is discovered. You really are this unique! You should discover exactly and precisely how unique you truly are and learn how to articulate what is unique about you in a confident manner.
  • My coaching clients ace interviews. They know exactly who they are and who they are not. The result of Strengths Discovery is crystal-clear Self-Awareness. Psychological research suggests that only 10% of the population possesses accurate and authentic Self-Awareness. You could join this small percentage of the population.
  • People who invest time and energy to do more than just read their Strengths report, people who actually invest in developing their Strengths, learn when to say Yes and when to say No. No more settling for what one CAN do. My clients hold out for what they SHOULD do in order to produce the best version of themselves.
  • The list goes on…

What’s the benefit of discovering and developing one’s Emotional Intelligence?

  • People who possess strong Emotional Intelligence know precisely who they are and who they are not.
  • Emotionally Intelligent people understand what’s going on in their own minds.
  • Emotionally Intelligent people understand how they come across to others.
  • Emotionally Intelligent people learn to strategically adjust the way they come across to others in order to produce more desirable outcomes.
  • Emotionally Intelligent people are equipped to build deep, meaningful, authentic, and trusting relationships.
  • Emotionally Intelligent people can become the greatest bosses their employees have ever had.
  • The list goes on…

One of my Emotional Intelligence Coaching clients said it this way.

You didn’t just change my profession. You changed my life and my marriage. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without your help.
— Duaine, "C" Suite Executive

Who Benefits From This Coaching?

The coaching I deliver to my clients isn’t just for executives. My coaching clients range from 24-years-old to 60-something years old. They’re high performing people who desire to take their personal and professional performance to the next level.

If you’d like to take your personal and professional performance to the next level, Schedule a call with me to discover how.

Jeff Snyder’s, CliftonStrengths Coaching, Emotional Intelligence Coaching, Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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Self-Awareness Coaching + Emotional Intelligence Coaching + Trusted Advisor Coaching = >$1M in new Sales (Kelly Approved)

Woman Taking Action


Kelly is on a Roll!

Kelly (name changed) is a Cybersecurity, IT Risk Management, GDPR Consultant. She introduced herself to me after I gave a presentation on a stage in front of a large audience of her colleagues several years ago.

Kelly came to me for Coaching

  • To find the clarity that showed her what she was uniquely gifted to do professionally.
  • To gain a strategy for getting in front of the right employers to interview for the best jobs.
  • To gain a strategy for Resume Writing and LinkedIn profile optimization.
  • To learn how to present herself with clarity and confidence when she interviewed.
  • To build Self-Confidence and to escape opportunity-limiting comfort zones she’d created in her head.
  • To close the deal with an offer when she found herself in front of the right employer.
  • To deliver the best version of herself in the workplace.
  • To learn how to leverage her unique strengths to become the best boss her team members have ever had.
  • To learn how to fine-tune her emotional intelligence skills with the goal of building deep, meaningful, trusting relationships with superiors, colleagues, peers, subordinates, and customers.
  • To learn to build the relationships that positioned her to earn the right to lead her consulting firm into what is becoming more than a $1M piece of the ongoing advisory services business. Sue isn’t a sales or business development titled professional.

How Kelly is Getting Things Accomplished

By carrying herself with authentic, honest, accurate self-confidence and by crushing fear-based limiting beliefs, Sue has catapulted her career to new heights. As her employer discovers that Sue is naturally gifted to lead, guide, mentor, grow and inspire others, they’ll give her more people to develop. She’ll be promoted soon, and she’ll undoubtedly be earning more money based on her recent breakthrough accomplishments.

Jeff Snyder’s, CliftonStrengths Coaching, Emotional Intelligence Coaching, Trusted Advisor Coaching, Career Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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The Value of Connecting at an Emotional Level

Business Men Shaking Hands

Transformational Personal Breakthrough

When through emotional intelligence coaching, a brilliant technologist experiences this kind of transformational personal breakthrough, his career is on the verge of escalating to the next level.

Connecting with people on an emotional level is significantly more effective and more positive than my formerly, pure left-brain approach, of proving my point with charts, graphs, and data.
— C Suite Executive

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One “C” Suite Leader’s Personal Benefits from Developing Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence Improvement

Emotional Intelligence

The term “emotional intelligence” was coined and formally defined by John (Jack) Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey of Yale University in 1990.

Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey define Emotional Intelligence as “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional meanings, and to reflectively regulate emotions in ways that promote emotional and intellectual growth.”

Research has shown that there is no difference between emotional intelligence in men and women. Women do however frequently score higher in some emotional intelligence skills than most men.

Men are more likely to dismiss the value of emotional intelligence than women.

A “C” suite coaching client of mine who has been working with me as his coach for several years now, shared these ideas with me yesterday.

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence

  • “I’ve become much more efficient in my relationships.”
  • “I now pick up on other people’s behaviors that I didn’t notice before because I was too busy focusing on myself.”
  • “When you understand emotional intelligence, you learn to break through other people’s acts.  It’s as if you learn how to decode other’s sincerity or lack thereof.”
  • “Knowing my emotional intelligence has caused me to make a lot of behavioral adjustments that I could have never made before when I was unaware of how I was coming across to others.”
  • “Developing EQ has pushed me to learn how to leverage my gift as a Strategic leader and I no longer feel the need to convince others that I know everything. I stick to the strategy and delegate the details to people on my team who are more capable of carrying out detailed assignments.”
  • “My recent presentation to the Audit Committee was a 10 on a scale of 10.  My presentation to the Board of Directors was a 9.5 on a scale of 10. These ratings came to me from my boss.”

This was one of my most favorite conversations of all time. To have worked with someone for several years to improve behavior, the most difficult task on the planet, and to learn about these kinds of results was priceless.  Then the feedback got even better from my perspective.

What you’ve exposed me to today has touched me at the core of my being. You are amazingly talented at coaching.
— "C" Suite Executive

While these are not the only benefits to be gained by understanding one’s emotional intelligence, these are benefits that came to my client’s mind in one conversation.

This “C” suite executive’s life has changed because of the work we’ve done together to improve his emotional intelligence. No, I’m not guessing at this. I’ve been told on many occasions by this same client that the work we’ve done together has impacted him professionally as well as at home with his wife and his son.

It’s never too late to learn the current state of your own emotional intelligence. It's also not too late to learn how to improve your emotional intelligence.  The benefits of doing so are virtually endless. The sooner you get started the more time there is to create lasting impact.

Jeff Snyder is a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coaching delivering his Emotional Intelligence Coaching services through Jeff Snyder Coaching.




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TOP 10 Business Skills for 2020

Business Professionals
CREDIT: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum

CREDIT: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum

Top 10 skills required in 2020 according to the World Economic Forum report

All of the top 2020 skills listed above can be measured with the combination of the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the EQi-2.0 Emotional Quotient Inventory.

Your Unique Strengths

In the hands of an experienced Strengths Coach, the results of the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ can be interpreted to show a coaching client exactly and precisely how they are internally wired.  The 34 traits represented in the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ are broken down into Strategic Thinking Traits, Influencing Traits, Relationship Building Traits and Executing Traits. How a person's traits uniquely line up determine whether they'd be a better Engineer or a better Engineering Manager, a better Accountant or a better Chief Financial Officer and so on.

Notice in the chart above for example that People Management, Coordinating with Others (Collaboration) and Emotional Intelligence are all people-oriented topics.  People skills or Soft skills are, have been and will continue to be highly valuable skills moving into the future.

Emotional Intelligence

The EQi-2.0 Emotional Quotient® Inventory is an assessment used to measure a person's Emotional Intelligence.  This assessment can only be purchased and interpreted by someone who has invested in training and certification through the assessment's owner.

Through this assessment, a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach can show their client where their Emotional Intelligence stands relative to other people who do similar work. The good news is that the 15 different emotional intelligence skills measured by the EQi-2.0® can be improved upon when working with an experienced coach.

The business wants, needs and expects job candidates who have a blend of Strategic Thinking skills and Emotional Intelligence skills to name just a few.  It takes time to fine-tune and polish the traits found in the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ into Strengths.  It also takes time to fine-tune and polish the skills found in the EQi-2.0 assessment.  

Those who invest themselves to learn about their natural Strengths and those who invest in themselves to improve their current level of Emotional Intelligence are the individuals who will earn the best jobs of the future.

Jeff Snyder Coaching


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Hey Technology Professional…They Didn’t Teach You This in Engineering School

Psychological research suggests that a person’s IQ (Cognitive Intelligence) is worth +-10% of career success. The same psychological research also suggest that EI / EQ (Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient) could be worth +-60% of career success.

If you want to progress in any career, what initially gets you going and what gets you to a certain level of success is frequently going to be a different skill set than the skill set you need to continue progressing.

What is the skill set required to progress in any career?

Here are some specific examples. This is what the business is currently asking for from the Director to the “C” Suite in technology job descriptions. Every trait or skill mentioned below that can be measured can be improved upon if a person is naturally gifted with a specific trait.

For some skills or traits, you either have them or you don't. We're all wired differently and we all have potential to deliver a great performance. It's simply a matter of figuring out how a person is uniquely wired and then aligning them with the right work to maximize their performance.

Notice that most of the traits or skills mentioned below are people skills or soft skills.

  • Leadership Presence (can be developed)
  • Leadership that is both Visionary and Strategic (can be measured)
  • Leadership that inspires people (influencing skills can be measured)
  • Thought Leadership (can be measured)
  • Deep Problem Solving Skills (can be measured)
  • Complex Analysis Skills (can be measured)
  • Excellent Verbal Communication Skills (can be learned)
  • Excellent Written Communication Skills (can be learned)
  • Excellent Collaboration and Partnering Skills
  • Superior Presentation Delivery Skills
  • Integrator of People, Process and Technology
  • Change Management Skills
  • Consensus Building Skills
  • Budgeting Skills
  • Business Analysis Skills
  • Contract Negotiation Skills
  • Vendor Management Skills
  • There's more...this list just gets the discussion started!

It is a person’s cognitive skills that gets them into an engineering degree program. It is their cognitive skills that gets their technology career started. Cognitive skills are the skills the brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, calculate and pay attention.

What you see in the list of employer requirements above require some cognitive skills. Most of what is required to move beyond leaning almost purely on cognitive skills are emotional intelligence skills, soft skills or people skills. 

These are the skills that when developed, enable us to lead, influence, persuade, mentor, manage, collaborate, build partnerships, negotiate contracts, manage vendor relationships and more.  Additionally, beyond what a person learns in engineering school, the further up the ladder one wishes to climb, roles require much more emphasis on business skills than on technical skills.

What if you don’t want to be a manager, director or “C” suite technology leader? 

At the Analyst, Engineer or Architect levels, development of the soft skills mentioned above will provide exponential return on investment to your career. Not everybody is built to lead, guide, mentor and grow other people and you shouldn't feel as if you have to move in a managerial direction in order to progress in your own career development.

In addition to people skills, there are also business skills mentioned above. Business skills in this case include the ability to read and interpret financial statements. The ability to present one’s case for technology in terms that a business audience can clearly understand without having to bring in an interpreter. The ability to speak to a CEO, COO, CFO, etc. in their language rather than your technology focused language.

When you invest in yourself to master skills that go above and beyond your IQ or cognitive skills alone, your career progression will go places.

Jeff Snyder Coaching

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If You Want To Lead, You’ll Need Exceptional Soft Skills (People Skills)

Developing Soft Skills

Not long ago, one of my 30ish year old coaching clients brought something to my attention that he encouraged me to ponder and to take action on.  I’ll call him Bob.

Bob told me that he wished I’d been available to him 5-6 years ago as a coach when he was a Team Leader for the first time in his career.  Because he knew more about a particular technology than everyone else in his company, he was asked to lead the team that was implementing a new version of the technology.

Knowing a lot about technology and leading a team are two entirely different skill sets Bob told me. 

Bob told his story as if it had happened yesterday.  The memory of being asked to do something he was not trained to do was fresh in his mind.  In the end, he admitted that he did a great job of leading the technology side of the project but he also admitted that he didn’t do so well when it came to leading the people side of the project. 

I sensed that Bob wasn’t happy with his previous boss for putting him in this situation without giving him proper preparation.

Bob continues to rise in his career. Today he is a Vice President.  The training he didn’t have around people leadership 5-6 years ago still isn’t part of Bob’s skill set.  That’s why he came to me for help. 

I’m working with Bob at his request to help him develop people skills or soft skills as Bob called them so he can deliver his best possible performance as a new Vice President.

Bob is a gifted technologist but he admits to not being a gifted people person.  He has to be one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met.  His high IQ unfortunately doesn’t translate into naturally having exceptional soft skills. 

In Bob’s current role where he routinely works with his company’s leadership group and he routinely meets with his company’s customers, Bob has come to the realization that the technical skills that propelled him to where he is today are not enough. 

It was the President of Bob’s company who told him he needed to develop better soft skills. This comment captured Bob’s attention. 

If you’re a rising technologist who is gifted with high IQ and you’re great at all things technical, the sooner you start developing soft skills like Bob is developing, the better. 


Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810

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Strengths Coaching and Emotional Intelligence Coaching…Why?


I was recently asked why I offer both Strengths Coaching and Emotional Intelligence Coaching. 

Strengths Coaching focuses on what a person has potential to be great at based on their natural giftedness. Because I work heavily with people who are gifted technologists, I have built up enough data and experience to understand the uniqueness of the gifted technologists I’m privileged to serve.  When I get to pass this understanding on to the gifted technologists who trust me to coach them, I get to help my coaching clients take their personal game to a new level. 


This work taps into the Maximizer (one of my top strengths) in me. By default, my Maximizer causes me to focus on taking good to great all the time.  I love to show my clients how they can turn their good performance into a great performance.

Gifted Technologists

My work goes beyond working with gifted technologists.  My unique experience also enables me to show some of my clients how their unique giftedness sets them up to either become or to fine-tune their leadership abilities if they're already in leadership. 

The days when I get to coach someone who has potential they didn’t know they had before we got together are some of my best days!


Because everyone I coach is a human being, there is a 100% chance that every one of my coaching clients have weaknesses.  As a Strengths Coach, I have determined that it makes no sense at all to try to help my clients turn their weaknesses into strengths.  It simply doesn’t work.

What does work is the effort I invest with my clients to strengthen their strengths while showing them how to build strategies around their weaknesses so their weaknesses don’t get in the way of their strengths. Strategies can’t be built around topics that are not clearly understood.

Emotional Intelligence

It was my observation that everyone has weaknesses that led me to discover a way to become trained and certified in Emotional Intelligence Coaching

Emotional Intelligence shows me how my clients perceive themselves.  Sometimes this self-perception is right and sometimes it is wrong.  I can also see how my clients are likely perceived by other people.  When there is a gap between how my clients perceive themselves and how they come across to other people, there is work to be done.

The good news here is that a person’s Emotional Intelligence can be improved upon.  In my coaching practice, these are the Emotional Intelligence skill we measure and work to improve based on each coaching client’s unique needs.

Emotional Intelligence


Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Emotional Self-Awareness


Emotional Expression, Assertiveness, Independence


Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, Social Responsibility

Decision Making

Problem Solving, Reality Testing, Impulse Control

Stress Management

Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, Optimism

Working with my clients as an Emotional Intelligence Coach to improve their Emotional Intelligence is the most difficult and the most impactful and rewarding work I do.  When a person works to improve their behavior, the behavior that impacts other people and progress is made, this is the most impactful work I do and it is one of the greatest personal and professional investments my clients can possibly make.

Better behavior leads to all kinds of positive results.  When my clients are focused on doing work that aligns with their top strengths and they are focused on delivering their work with their best behavior attached, the result for my clients is their best performance. 

Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.881

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“I’m an Alpha Male” he told me

That’s what my caller told me during our conversation.  I’m not sure how you define “Alpha Male” so here's what came to my mind. 

I interpreted the comment in context of this conversation to mean that the person on the other end of my phone had a need to tell me he was a “Big Dog” and he was used to being in charge. 

The Alpha Males and Alpha Females I know who are impressive leaders may feel the need to tell others they are “Alpha” but they turn on their Impulse Control and they don't say what might be on their minds.

The "Alpha" leaders I know through my leadership coaching work more often than not possess the Command strength near the top of their StrengthsFinder report.  

Command as defined by the Clifton Strengthsfinder:  People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence.  They can take control of a situation and make decisions.  

Only 5% of the +-15 Million people who have taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder have the Command trait showing up in their top 5 traits.  Out of 34 traits that show up on the StrengthsFinder report, Command comes in 34th in terms of frequency. Command is rare.

Successful "Alpha" people tend to operate with these characteristics:

  • They inspire trust by being honest and by demonstrating high integrity
  • They are decisive
  • They have vision and they are able to clearly communiate their vision
  • They are people whose words you might not like but you always know where they stand
  • They are humble
  • They’re leaders

Leaders don’t need to tell others that they’re leaders.  They simply do what leaders do.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, Leadership Coach, 719.686.8810

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Human Behavioral Change Is Really Difficult and Potentially Priceless When It Happens

Behavioral Change

If you figure it out or if someone tells you that something in your behavior is getting in the way of your progress and you decide that it’s time to address that behavior, there are a few things you should know about behavioral change.

The behavior that is getting in the way of your progress likely didn’t start yesterday.  Therefore, fixing a negative behavior isn’t going to happen as soon as tomorrow. Most human behaviors are deeply ingrained because we’ve been practicing our bad behaviors for a long time.

The idea of changing human behavior is possible and frequently very fruitful but it is also one of the most difficult endeavors a person can take on.  The behavior that is deeply ingrained and practiced will take time to unravel and to improve.

Anyone who is serious about changing behaviors that might be holding back their progress can change their behavior.  There is no magic wand or pixie dust available to facilitate human behavioral change.  A properly trained emotional intelligence coach can assist his / her client in making positive change and the benefits of doing so can be priceless.

What does changing human behavior look like?  Here are just a few examples.

Impulse Control

The smartest person in the room frequently has the impulse to let others know how smart they are.  Learning how to control this impulse and adding a scoop of humility can do wonders for this person’s personal and professional progress. Impulse Control is an Emotional Intelligence skill that can be improved upon.


It has been said that most people listen in order to determine how best to formulate what they’re going to say next.  In other words, they aren’t really listening to actually hear and understand what someone else has to say. They're listening to build their speaking strategy. 

A different listening approach would be to listen with the intention of understanding the person who is speaking.  This change in approach can radically change the results of a conversation.

Winning Too Much

Many people who in leadership roles are highly competitive people who need to win all the time.  The down-side of being wired like this is the tendency for such a person to step in and give his / her team the answers to a problem.  By simply (not so simple for this person) stepping back and allowing one’s team to formulate an answer to a problem, a highly competitive, win at all costs type of leader can dramatically boost his / her team’s willingness to contribute to problem solving in the future.

People who consider how their behavior impacts the audience around them and people who strive to achieve balance in their behavior are the people who will achieve the most desirable results in all facets of life. This is simple to say and very difficult to achieve. 

As difficult as it is to achieve behavioral change, the results of changing negative behavior can be priceless.

Jeff Snyder Coaching


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How Do Strengths and Emotional Intelligence Fit Together?

Emotional Intelligence Coach


For many of my career coaching clients, the process we follow is that of strengths coaching followed by emotional intelligence coaching.  The decision to coach around these two topics wasn’t a random choice. It was my Strategic strength at work.

The decision to blend strengths coaching with emotional intelligence coaching came about after someone came along and introduced me to my own unique strengths.  It was an eye-opening experience. 

Once my strengths coach introduced me to the idea that I was uniquely built and he helped me to understand how I was built and why my unique wiring mattered, all kinds of light bulbs lit up in my mind.

Reaching a point where I understood my unique personal strengths was a life-changing experience. I decided that adding strengths coaching to my coaching practice. However, I felt like something was still missing.  I continued on my journey to find best-in-class tools to add to my coaching practice and discovered that something I had seen for many years had been labeled by someone else.

Once I connected the dots and realized that what was on my mind for a long time was emotional intelligence, I found a way to become educated, trained and certified in the topic of emotional intelligence. Once again, it was my Strategic strength at work again.


There is no shortage of articles that have been written about Emotional Intelligence. Here are a few you might want to read.

In this Inc. article, one of the 10 Qualities reads like this:

“6. They know their strengths and weaknesses.

Emotionally intelligent people know what they're good at and what they're not so great at. They've not just accepted their strengths and weaknesses; they also know how to leverage their strengths and weaknesses by working with the right people in the right situation.”


In my strengths coaching practice, I help my clients understand their unique personal strengths.  Once they understand what they have to work with and they choose to embrace their uniqueness, I’m then in a position to show my clients how to leverage their strengths to create their best personal performance.


On the other side of an individual’s strengths are an individual’s weaknesses.  I don’t believe in trying to turn weaknesses into strengths but I do believe in the importance of knowing one’s weaknesses so that a strategy can be built around weaknesses to keep them from getting in the way of fine-tuning one’s strengths.

Another one of the 10 Qualities mentioned in the Inc. article reads like this: 

5. They're empathetic.

Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, told The Huffington Post that empathy is one of the five components of emotional intelligence. In fact, being able to relate to others, show compassion, and take the time to help someone are all crucial components of EI. Additionally, being empathic makes people with EI curious about other people and leads them to ask lots of questions whenever they meet someone new.

Empathy is one of the 34 traits measured by the StregnthsFinder assessment I use for strengths coaching.

Empathy is also one of 15 emotional intelligence skills that are measured in the assessment I use to determine a person’s baseline emotional intelligence before we start the emotional intelligence coaching process. 

While the StrengthsFinder assessment and the EQi-2.0 Assessment are owned by two different companies, I determined that they strategically fit together.  More importantly, my clients who have worked with me on both strengths coaching and emotional intelligence coaching appreciate the results they have personally achieved through the coaching process where these two tools were used to record baseline results.


The decision I made to blend strengths coaching with emotional intelligence coaching has benefited my clients in amazing ways.  Here are a few of my client's thoughts on the subject:

"I wish I had known about Jeff and Strengths base Coaching before I put myself in a situation that isn't ideal."
"It wasn't until I started Emotional Intelligence Coaching with you that I started seeing the world through other people's eyes.  That's a gift you've given me".
"You sir are a magician at assisting me in accessing and having confidence in my abilities based on my natural strengths."
"I am so thankful I was introduced to Jeff's EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment and his amazing coaching skills.  I only wish it was years earlier."
"Jeff, I just wanted to thank you for today's session.  I continue to get more "Ah-Ha" moments as we continue to process the StrengthsFinder exercise."


Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810




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The "Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome"

Perhaps you’ve encountered this person?

The smartest person in the room tends to dominate meetings. They don’t let others add a word to their one-sided conversations. They have a consistent need to let others know how intelligent they are. More often than not, they truly are the person in the room who was gifted with the highest IQ.

When it comes to IQ (cognitive skills), the smartest person in the room frequently possesses more intellectual, analytical, logical and rational abilities than everyone else. They are drawn to highly analytical careers such as engineering, information technology or cyber security. These are careers where exceptionally high IQ serves one well.

It is this exceptionally high IQ that enables the smartest person in the room to excel to a certain level. At some point though, the IQ that got the smartest person in the room to where they are will no longer propel them forward to the next level of career success.

Research suggests that IQ can be responsible for as much as +-20% of one’s career success but more often than not, IQ is responsible for as little as 6% of career success.

Is the smartest person in the room doomed to hit a glass ceiling in their career? Often times the answer is yes and the reason is behavior. The smartest person in the room frequently leaves a trail of relationship carnage behind them. They may not wake up every morning thinking about whom they can step on that day, but throughout the day, if they behave in ways that are natural to them, they will step on other people.

What are some of the characteristics of the smartest person in the room?

  • Talk more than they listen.
  • Fail to consider other’s points of view.
  • Have a constant need to be right and to win.
  • Share opinions even when the topic they have an opinion on is not their expertise.
  • Frequently not teachable because their regard for themselves is inflated.
  • Fails to understand how they come across to others.
  • Low in empathy.

Is there a cure for “The Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome”?

There absolutely is a cure if the smartest person in the room can humble themselves to not just accept coaching, but they need to humble themselves to actively participate in and work on their coaching. It’s not a matter of turning weaknesses into strengths. Addressing behavioral change is more about creating strategies to manage behaviors that could impact others in an adverse way.

IQ is generally thought of as being stagnant. In other words, you're as smart today as you're ever going to be. Emotional Intelligence is generally thought to be flexible in that the skills that make up Emotional Intelligence can be adjusted through coaching.

The "Smartest Person In the Room"...with a Behavioral Strategy

A retired military 2 Star General told me a story while we shared a meal. He asked me to take a look at a person I could see over his shoulder at the next table. He asked me if I wanted to know how that person became a 4 Star General when my meal companion had only reached 2 Stars. Not that becoming a 2 Star General is an easy task but my companion really wanted me to understand how his friend and colleague reached the 4 Star level of success.

Of course I wanted to know. The 2 Star General explained to me that he and the 4 Star General graduated from the same class in the military academy they both attended. They both started out with the same credentials to begin their military careers. The game-changer for the 4 Star General was his ability to be the smartest person in the room more often than not throughout his career but he learned to suppress his need to let everyone know that he was so smart.

The 2 Star General told me that the 4 Star General, whom he admired as both a friend and career colleague, excelled in everything he did because he was intellectually gifted but he learned quickly that his career would take off if he learned how to treat people with respect.

Some of the characteristics that enabled the 4 Star General to excel include:

  • Listened more than he talked.
  • Let other people win whenever possible.
  • Considered other people’s points of view.
  • Shared opinions when he was asked for his opinions and not just because he possessed an answer.
  • Was teachable, trainable and receptive to being coached.
  • Exhibited humility.
  • Developed empathy for others.

The 4 Star General developed and mastered Emotional Intelligence. Think about it. The 4 Star General had to have a high IQ in order to get into a military academy. He had to have an exceptionally high IQ in order to graduate at or near the top of his academy class.

The 2 Star General was confident that it was the 4 Star General’s ability to develop trust with those around him, his ability to humble himself and his ability to step into others’ shoes to consider their needs and their points of view that caused his career to excel.

Jeff Snyder Coaching


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I Read the Book...I'm an Expert Now!

“Many people have an incomplete sense of how to learn from books.  They make the mistake of reading a book and deciding they know the information in it, but put the book down before they have actually mastered the information – as it applies to their life – and poof!  The knowledge they gained – and the benefit they could have derived – from reading the book is gone.  It didn’t have anywhere to stick, and so the potential wisdom fades away.”  Angela E. Lauria

This paragraph comes from a book I’m reading called “The Difference”.  It’s a book that outlines how to go about writing a book.  This particular paragraph caught my attention because I’ve heard people tell me many times that they’ve read books on Strengths or they’ve read books on Emotional Intelligence. 

These are the people who don’t usually see any value in strengths coaching or emotional intelligence coaching because they have already learned everything there is to learn about strengths and emotional intelligence. 

The other reason that the quoted paragraph caught my attention was a personal experience I had. In the 1995 timeframe, just after I started my business at the age of 27, I read a book called “The E Myth”.  Since I was young and I hadn’t had time to make many entrepreneurial mistakes yet, the book didn’t mean much to me.

Twenty years later in 2015, I picked up “The E Myth” again.  This time, I had 20 years of experience with both mistakes and successes.  This time around, I highlighted half of the book because it made sense to me.  If you have read a book on Strengths or Emotional Intelligence, great job for taking the first step.  You know what both topics are about. 

I encourage you to take the next step to gain an understanding of how your unique personal strengths impact your life and how your personal emotional intelligence impacts your life and the lives of those around you.  It is after this second step that you might be in a position to learn to leverage your unique personal strengths and your unique emotional intelligence.

Jeff Snyder Coaching

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IQ Gets You Started…Strong EQ Takes You Further

Emotional Intelligence


Cognitive Intelligence

IQ is Cognitive Intelligence. Cognitive Intelligence involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience.

Emotional Intelligence

EQ or Emotional Quotient (Emotional Intelligence) is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and how we use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.

The Professor

A conversation I shared a while back with one of the smartest people I know shed light on a topic I set out to master a few years ago.  I have a friend who has a PhD in Math.  He was once a college math professor.  He has worked in academic, government and private industry roles.

We got into a conversation one day where I learned about the early part of my friend’s career.  As a young college math professor, he learned the hard way that his high IQ wasn’t enough to make him successful. 

My friend told me that he wished I’d come along to teach him about the value of people and relationships long ago.  He learned the hard way that strong emotional intelligence is a requirement and not an option.

This amazingly smart former professor encouraged me to stick with my mission of wanting to help gifted, high IQ technology professionals to get to the next level in their careers by addressing their people skills, social skills, relationship building skills and for some, their leadership skills.

In my Inbox yesterday was an email from the Harvard Business Review.  The subject line read like this:

“Unleash your emotional intelligence for a leadership advantage”

HBR was offering a collection of books focused on Emotional Intelligence.  This is the real deal folks. There is nothing in my portfolio of work that is more important than the Emotional Intelligence Coaching work I’m fortunate to do with people who are ready to improve.


Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810



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Reality Testing...a Really Important Emotional Intelligence Skill

Emotional Intelligence

Reality Testing

Reality Testing is one of the skills measured by the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment.

Reality Testing is part of the Decision Making domain of emotional intelligence skills.  It is defined like this:

Reality Testing is the capacity to remain objective by seeing things as they really are.  This capacity involves recognizing when emotions or personal bias can cause one to be less objective.

This particular skill is one of the most important skills out of the 15 emotional intelligence skills measured by the EQi-2.0.  If a person’s Reality Testing is not balanced, the way they see themselves and the way they see the world around them will be out of balance.

Unbalanced Reality Testing

Let’s say you have a boss who thinks they are an outstanding communicator.  From your point of view, when your boss speaks to you, he / she is never clear with regards to their spoken expectations. 

You constantly find yourself wondering what your boss really expects from you because you’re never clear about what your boss just said.

Based on how confident your boss is about how they think they communicate, they set expectations in their mind for your performance that you never quite live up to.   

Can you see where disconnect is occurring in this example?

This is what an unbalanced Reality Testing score looks like on the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment

Reality Testing

This is what a balanced Reality Testing score looks like on the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment

Reality Testing

What we're looking for in the scores you see above is balance.  The top example is completely out of balance whereas the bottom example is much closer to being in balance.

If you were a boss who had healthy Reality Testing abilities or if you reported to a boss who had healthy Reality Testing abilities, the communication disconnect described in the above example would likely not occur.

Good News!

Unlike IQ (cognitive intelligence) that remains static throughout adulthood,  EQ or Emotional Intelligence can be measured, coached and improved. Think of EQ as being flexible.

If you’d like to see the entire chart of Emotional Intelligence skills that are measured by the EQi-2.0, the world’s most widely used assessment to measure Emotional Intelligence, I’ll take you to it on Jeff Snyder Coaching.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810

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Being Humble Will Raise You Higher

It was a bright sunny blue sky day in Colorado when I met the retired US Air Force 2 Star Major General for breakfast.  Our view was Pikes Peak.  The setting couldn’t have been better for our meeting and our outdoor breakfast in the crisp clean Colorado air.

I’ll call my breakfast colleague Bob for the sake of simplicity.  We hadn’t been seated for very long when Bob suggested that I look over his left shoulder.  At the table next to us were two individuals.  Bob started describing the person he wanted me to see.

Once I figured out who Bob wanted to tell me about, he asked me if I wanted to know the tall gentleman’s story.  Of course I wanted to know the story if Bob thought it was important enough to share. Bob always shares fascinating stories that are loaded with wisdom. 

The person at the other table was a retired 4 Star US Air Force General. Bob asked me if I wanted to know how the 4 Star General made it to 4 Stars.  Of course I wanted to know.  It turns out that Bob, the retired 2 Star Major General and the retired 4 Star General both graduated from the same class at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs 30 years ago.

Bob told me about the accomplishment filled career of the retired 4 Star General.  He suggested that the 4 Star General was always the smartest person in any group of people.  Bob told me that the 4 Star General learned very early in his Air Force career that it was better for him to listen than to speak more often than not.

Despite being the smartest person in the room most of the time, the 4 Star General was always the most active listener in the room.

Beyond listening more than he spoke, Bob told me that the 4 Star General was also a man of great humility.  Having humility means that you don’t think of yourself as being better than other people. 

In leadership action, humility means that you make a habit out of letting other people speak and letting other people win.  Staying humble and allowing others to win around him were keys to the 4 Star General reaching the 4 Star rank.

I asked Bob why he thought he didn’t make it to the 4 Star level?  He told me that it took him a lot longer to learn about humility than it did for his Academy classmate. 

 Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810

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