Holistic Hot Seat with Tom Zierold from EQuip Coaching

What is EQ?

In this week’s Holistic Hot Seat we caught up with Lead Coach and Training Facilitator Tom Zierold from EQuip Coaching to find our more about EQ and how he uses this particular framework to support individuals and business’s in both their professional and personal development.

Most people are familiar with the phrase of someone’s “IQ” being our intelligence, but emotional intelligence or “EQ” is still, as yet, not referred to so much.

Can you enlighten us please Tom? 

Sure thing. EQ (emotional intelligence) is our ability to recognise and understand emotions in ourselves and others, and our ability to use this awareness to manage our behaviour and relationships.

I think EQ is starting to appear on people’s radar more, but one of the challenges is that a lot of people believe you either have it or don’t have it – that it’s not something you can work on.

I personally believe that everyone has EQ (life would be almost impossible if we had zero!) and that it is something we can – and should – be looking to actively develop.


Would you say that more people are using EQ?


I think that people are becoming more switched on to the term emotional intelligence (EQ).

We are hearing more and more people talk about the importance of stuff like self awareness (e.g. understanding our emotional tendencies) and empathy (e.g. appreciating a situation from someone else’s perspective) – which is a positive thing.

Both are concepts that really fit into the EQ landscape as they refer to better understanding ourselves and others. I think we naturally align with both IQ and EQ – because we are using them together – our decisions are often a combination of logical analysis and emotional reasoning. 


As someone who studies human behaviour can you share some insights into the past year since the pandemic was announced, what if anything has stood out to you the most in peoples behaviour?


I think as human beings we like feeling that we have a degree of control in our lives and how we go about living them.

Because of lockdown and social restrictions, the pandemic has forced us to let go of a lot of the control (or choices) that we previously took for granted. In terms of how this plays out in behaviour, it kind of depends on the person and what we’re experiencing on a personal level.

We may feel anxious that the pandemic has disrupted momentum we were building towards the goals that really matter to us. But we also feel that having our options limited has forced us to slow down and think about the values that really matter to us and what we can do to still align with them.


I love one of the quotes I have seen you use “Change is a process not an event”, I love this, as there is so much that goes on when we are looking to change certain behaviour.

Would you like to share some hints or tips on navigating this process, so, from the moment when someone would recognise or acknowledge that change is required. 


That’s a great quote by an author called Susan David. She has a brilliant TED talk that’s well worth a watch.

I think we can either be reactive or proactive in our thinking around change.

For instance, a reactive approach could be that you get negative feedback about a presentation at work. Whilst you may not be a fan of doing them – you acknowledge that you need to make some changes in order to improve your skill in this area, because they are an important part of your job and you want to experience the “buzz” of getting good feedback in the future.

A proactive approach may be that you already are doing presentations, really enjoy doing them – but you want to take them to the next level. In order to do that you acknowledge you need to make some changes. In either case, having a coaching session where you explore your current thoughts, beliefs and behaviours around the topic can start clarifying which changes you can begin to make. 


Your experience in this field Tom is quite extensive. We first met some ten years ago now you were studying your degree in Anthropology, did you know then that this is where your studies would take you or how the world of coaching would be opening up? 


I wish I could say it was all part of a ‘master plan’ – but that would be a lie! Haha.

I honestly had no idea.

I think the common thread has always been an interest in what drives decision-making. I’ve managed to work in positions that have allowed me to deepen my knowledge of this interest with roles in recruitment, sales and L&D environments.

I’m still at the beginning of my coaching journey, but I’m encouraged that there are more and more people that are interested in using a coach to work with on the things that matter to them. Previously, I think a lot of people thought coaching was only available to senior managers in big companies. Personally, I think good coaching is becoming more and more accessible for all people at all levels.


In recent times there has been a great deal more discussion around Self Love and Mindset Mastery.

Who do you think your EQuip style of coaching works best for? 

I work with various clients at different levels – fundamentally because developing our EQ can help us tackle challenges in so many different contexts.

EQuip coaching can help you look at the situation in a way that helps you raise your awareness of what’s actually going on (and what actually matters) for you, explore some new options that align with your values and gain a clearer perspective on what you’re ultimately aiming to achieve.


Quick Fire Round in the Holistic Hot Seat

Morning routine – Decent coffee and whatever is the first priority of the day!


What is lighting your fire 2021


Passion – Getting outdoors. Running, kayaking and hopefully some beer gardens soon!Purpose – To help spread the message that emotional intelligence (EQ) is a tool that we can choose to use every single day.Plans – More coaching, more learning, more coffee – and maybe a webinar or two!


Listening to right now – (podcast or music) ‘Earth’ by EOB. Only released last year, but it’s become one of my favourite albums ever. Suits every mood.

Reading – Just finished People Skills for Analytical Thinkers: Boost Your Communication and Advance Your Career. One of the best books I’ve read on EQ for a good while!

Watching – Headspace Guide to Mediation on Netflix. Even if you are a skeptic, give it a try. I was – but now I can’t imagine going a few days without doing it.

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