Executive Coaching

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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Life Happens: Stop, Ask and Listen


The nature of all of my work dictates that I deal with lots of people all around the world.  People in different cultures, situations and circumstances. 

This morning, I communicated with someone in Ecuador.  This afternoon, I’ll be communicating with someone in Guatemala and someone else in Colombia.  Yesterday, my global communication led me to Chile, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  My domestic communication led me to people in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle yesterday.

Every person I communicated with was in a different environment, had different circumstances and faced different challenges and/or opportunities.  The experiences I have working with people around the world are fascinating and sometimes challenging.  One thing is for sure. I’m never bored!

While some communication experiences are fascinating, others are puzzling.  The older I get, the more I’m learning to stop, ask and listen before processing what I think is happening. I want to get the reality of the situation right.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve frequently applied this stop, ask and listen approach to many people who had gone silent on me for reasons I did not understand.  Here’s what I learned when I listened.

  • I went through a brutal divorce and other personal stuff. Doing well now…how have you been
  • My son in another state from my first marriage drowned trying to save his friend who fell into a fast running river.
  • My husband died from a heart attack.  Nobody is monitoring that account any longer.
  • I don’t have time to communicate.  I’m up to my eyeballs in problems.  (Unfortunately, this person created his own problems and was now operating in crisis mode…not a pretty picture)
  • My husband fell off a ladder.  I’ve been trying to juggle the pressures of a new job, regular life stuff and the added burden of helping my husband get back on his feet.
  • We lost one of our children to Leukemia. 

Wow!  This is some serious information that I would not have known if I hadn’t asked and listened.  Stopping, asking and listening allowed me to process my response more carefully. In many cases, relationships were saved.

One of the skills we measure in Emotional Intelligence Coaching is called Reality Testing.  Reality Testing means seeing things as they really are rather than seeing things the way we think they are. Possessing strong Reality Testing skills can pay dividends for anyone whose work focuses on people and relationships.

In all of the above cases, I had ideas in my mind to explain why one person or another went silent for period of time. It wasn’t until I stopped, asked and listened that I found out what was really happening. 

Try slowing down or even stopping, asking for answers and listening.  You might be surprised by what you’ll learn.

Jeff Snyder Coachin

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How to Become a Successful CISO or CSO

Success Coaching


CISOs and CSOs need to possess a mix of appropriate education, certifications, experience and technical subject matter expertise.  The needs of each individual company will dictate what experience, credentials and technical skills a CISO / CSO candidate needs to bring to the table.

Often Overlooked

A set of skills that companies often overlook when hiring a CISO / CSO candidate include relationship building skills. These are the skills that will empower a CISO or CSO to attract talent and to retain talent.  As a strengths coach andan emotional intelligence coach, I’m privileged to see exactly and precisely how my coaching clients are wired from the inside as opposed to only seeing what a security professional chooses to show on their resume; the outside. 

How a person is wired on the inside determines how they perform on the outside.

Somewhat Rare

Finding CISO or CSO professionals who possess relationship building strength themes in their top 5 strength themes or even their top 10 strength themes is somewhat rare.  These particular strength themes are the themes that equip a person to build relationships, to grow relationships and to know how to work effectively with others.

I’m far more likely to see strategic thinking strength themes in CISO and CSO coaching clients.  While strategic thinking strengths are necessary for security professionals, CISOs and CSOs need a greater balance of strengths than just strategic thinking themes.

The Full Package

In order to influence, persuade, negotiate and to collaborate with peers and customers, CISOs and CSOs need to be equipped with a balance of relationship building, influencing, executing and strategic thinking strength themes.  These leadership professionals need to understand what they have to work with and they need to know how to leverage  what they have and how to manage the strength themes that show up as weaknesses.

The Right Mix

CISOs and CSOs who build the most effective security programs, the best security teams and who generate the best results for the businesses that employ them are those who also have well-balanced emotional intelligence.  These people know themselves well and they have an advanced understanding of how they are perceived by and how they come across to others across the business they’re there to serve.

A person’s unique mix of strength themes are like their DNA.  We all have unique DNA but we can’t change what we have.  Emotional Intelligence skills on the other hand are flexible and can be adjusted and improved upon over time.

What to Do

If you don’t know already, find out what your unique strength themes are so you know for sure what you have to work with and what you have within you to leverage.

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, learn about your unique emotional intelligence.  Your emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) as it is sometimes called can be measured and improved through coaching if in fact it needs work. 

Jeff Snyder’s Coaching Blog found at JeffSnyderCoaching.com, 719.686.8810

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Career Coaching

I love to help my clients get from where they are to where they want to go


"Jeff does a great job with every service he offers whether it is resume coaching, emotional intelligence improvement, LinkedIn coaching, etc. He is the ultimate professional you want on your team!"


Jeff Snyder's Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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Two of the Most Powerful Words When Combined Together are "Thank" and "You"

I’ve been through life-changing and life-disrupting events in recent years.  What was always important to me has become even more important to me.  Prior to entering the hospital just over a year ago for open heart surgery, I made a conscious decision to do everything in my power to be an unusual heart surgery patient for those who had to care for me.

While this was a brand new experience for me, I assumed that doctors, nurses and other care givers in the cardiac unit were probably not used to caring for people who said “Thank You” for everything that was done for them.

I did not always feel thankful as I laid there in pain after my chest had been cut open.  However, I decided long before I was lying in a hospital bed in pain to thank everyone who was caring for me. 

My thankful attitude had an amazing impact on my care givers.  With only a couple of exceptions, I’m pretty sure that every care giver who entered my room appreciated being thanked no matter how small their effort towards me might have been.

Every time I have to go back to the hospital or back to a doctor’s office, I purposely decide before I arrive to be thankful to every person who provides care for me.  Recently, I visited the hospital for another procedure.  Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.

I had one opportunity after another to blow my top and let my emotions get out of control.  My care givers were not ready for me when I arrived at the scheduled time.  The insurance company had not given my care givers proper authority to give me the care I went to the hospital to receive.  My visit was a nightmare. 

The one thing that made all the difference was my response to the situation.  I chose to respond rather than reacting.  As a result of smiling in the face of adversity and as a result of saying “Thank You” to everyone who crossed my path, I’m pretty sure that I set myself apart from most patients my care givers had run into that day before my arrival.

I turned the admittance person into my ally.  She turned another admittance team member into my second ally for me.  They turned the scheduling person not only into my ally but into my advocate.  It took an extra 45 minutes to get to my scheduled procedure but I did get to the procedure as a result of smiling and being thankful rather than having to turn around to make a 45 minute drive home.  Because of my response choices, everyone in the office that day went to work to solve my problem for me.

When the words “Thank” and “You” are used together, they can create powerful outcomes.  I don’t think “Thank You” can be expressed too often for too many reasons. 

If you’re not in the habit of thanking those who serve you or those who work for you, give it a try. You might be amazed by the results that come your way.


Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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How To Take Your Management Performance To The Next Level


Yesterday while working through a coaching call with one of my managerial level clients, something really cool happened.  Before I share the “cool thing”, let me first create a backdrop.

My coaching client has been working with me for a few weeks.  During that time, we’ve worked through his top talents to determine which talents are talents and which might already be strengths.  We built a plan to turn his top talents into strengths.

During yesterday’s call, my client had what I refer to as an “Ah-Ha” or “Light bulb” moment when he decided that knowing the strengths of each member of his team would give him potential to become a better manager and ultimately a better leader.

By working through is his own personal experience where he became clear about his own talents, and strengths, my client used his super-high intelligence to take the coaching we were doing one-on-one to the next level.

If you’re a manager and you’d like to take your managerial performance to the next level, learning precisely how you are wired is where we would start.  Then we would move on to learning precisely how each person on your team is wired so you could assign each team member to responsibilities that directly align with their natural strengths.  Your managerial game will move to the next level.  

Your team members will think you’re the best manager they’ve ever had and they’ll be hard pressed to leave you to go to work for someone else.

Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching, Security Recruiter Blog, 719.686.8810


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Meet My Millennial Coaching Clients…They’re Rising Stars



Today I’m thankful for a new career performance coaching client who is coming on board with Jeff Snyder Coaching.  She is one of many rising Information Security / Cyber Security stars I’ve been fortunate to work with.  She is a leader of the future.  What better contribution can I possibly make than to help to prepare future leaders?

I’m excited because I believe the future of Information Security / Cyber Security is now in the hands of millennial aged security professionals more than any other group.  Millennial security professionals who apply themselves and who strive for greatness in their performance have so much possibility ahead of them.

Millennial Talent…Coming Soon!

One of my millennial aged coaching clients is a true rising star in the information security / cyber security profession.  He has a Math and Computer Science degree with a Master’s in Information Assurance.  His scores on common certification exams in the security, risk, compliance and privacy realms are some of the highest recorded scores on the planet.  His unique leading strengths include Strategic, Futuristic, Competition, Activator and Ideation.  He is wicked smart and he is doing what is necessary to prepare him to be a future CISO despite that fact that he is still in his late 20s. It has been an honor, pleasure and an energizing blast for me to have the privilege of coaching this rising star.

Another one of my millennial aged female coaching clients is currently positioned in an information security management role in one of the world’s most widely known high-tech brands.  She too is a rising star.  Her leading strengths include Achiever, Futuristic, Focus, Input and Competition.  She came to me after having had lunch with senior executives in this global company.  They told her that they wanted her on their team and asked her to write a job description she’d be willing to sign up for.  I helped her to write her job description. We wrote it around her natural strengths.  There is a 100% chance that she can hit a grand slam when working in a job that taps into all of her top strengths.

The Common Threads They Share

What these two future CISOs have in common is that they are rocket science smart.  They’re ultra-competitive.  They grew up with technology.  They can’t stand the “because we’ve always done it this way” answers.  They are gifted with deep analytical skills.  Not only are they highly intelligent, they’re built to create new innovations and to get new innovations off the ground.  They’ll always find ways to win.  They both came to me to fine-tune their performance and they’ll come back again in the future when they reach the next opportunity to stretch and grow beyond their peers.

Can you understand why I’m so excited to coach these kinds of rock stars?  If your company is in a hiring mode, these kinds of people do exist but they’re gainfully employed and they’re handsomely rewarded. You need an outside the box strategy to get to this kind of talent.

I was wrong

When I first launched my career coaching and executive coaching services several years ago, I was sure that my client base would be current CISOs and CSOs who are already in place.  I was sure that like me, the current CISOs and CSOs would all want to learn of ways they could improve their performance.  This theory of mine worked in some cases but not as often as I thought it would.

My Futuristic Strength

My futuristic thought process envisioned a world where CISOs and CSOs were all invited to the board room table.  While this is happening in some places, it isn’t happening as frequently as I would like to see it happening and I’m afraid that it isn’t happening as frequently as current CISOs and CSOs would like for it to happen.

I still see a future where CISOs and CSOs are a regular part of the board room package.  What I’ve had to change in my vision is the timing and the actual people who will have this experience.  What I didn’t see coming for my coaching practice was millennial aged security professionals coming to me for coaching and mentoring more often than their current bosses. 

Great News If You’re a Millennial

Here’s the great news for millennial aged security professionals who step up right now for coaching and personal development assistance.  My strengths coaching doesn’t put you in a box or a quadrant.  You get to be 1 in 33,000,000 unique.  We’ll figure out what you have the potential to be great at and we’ll build a strategic plan to move you in that direction.

When it comes to emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence coaching and behavioral change coaching will come much easier to younger people.  Behavioral change is one of the most difficult endeavors a grown adult can face.  Statistically, emotional intelligence is naturally already on the rise for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.   When we work together to improve your emotional intelligence, we’re ultimately working together to improve your behavior.  Behavior is much more important as your career progresses than your IQ alone.

Ready To Be a Rising Star?

JeffSnyderCoaching.com, 719.686.8810


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“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.

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There Are Many Ways To Lead But Not Without These Behaviors


As a result of recently surveying hundreds of people to find out what traits they want, need and expect a leader to possess in order to be followed, these are the traits that came up most often.

There are many additional traits, skills and characteristics that leaders need to possess in order to lead but what was suggested to me is that regardless of the additional skills, characteristics and traits a leader possesses, they will not be accepted as a leader unless they possess these traits above all others.

Honesty: If a leader is not honest, it is assumed that the leader lacks overall integrity.

Integrity: If a leader is perceived to lack integrity, it is very difficult if not impossible for followers to trust the leader.

Trust: If followers cannot trust a leader, they will be very unlikely to follow this leader for any other reason.

A leader who attempts to lead by way of their title will only be allowed to lead for so long if their followers find reasons to not trust them.

A leader who speaks out of both sides of their mouth and a leader who consistently fails to connect their words to their actions will not be followed for long.

To lead, you’ll need competency in many different areas. You’ll need to be wired with strengths that will cause others to naturally follow you. Without consistent honesty and integrity, you’ll very likely be unable to establish trust. A leader who cannot be trusted cannot lead.

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