The Philadelphia Eagles and the Emotional Intelligence Effect
The Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl! Philadelphia fans got to see the Eagles in top form last night as they won the NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings in a dramatic win of 7 - 38. The Eagles did not allow the limiting beliefs of others from reaching their goals. Since Carson Wentz's injury the Eagles have been labeled the underdogs against their opponents. Last night they proved their beliefs about their team was strong and held on to positive mindsets with a fabulous win among the deafening cheers of the fans.
I have been following the Philadelphia Eagles closely on the coaching style of Doug Pederson and his interaction with his players. As you may recall, back on December 30, 2015, owner Jeff Lurie after firing head coach Chip Kelly stated in a press conference that the next head coach he was hiring had to be Emotionally Intelligent (EQ). Reading back at many sporting articles since then, there were many mixed feelings and when Pederson did not deliver his first year, one Philadelphia writer went as far to say that "nice guys finish last."
Being emotionally intelligent is not a recipe for automatic wins. It takes being consistent, open communication, understanding your own needs, taking the time to be aware of other people's wants, learning through failures, clarifying expectations, having empathy and looking for the good in everything. Pederson took the time to get to know his staff and players and learned how to bring out the best in each of them. That is what a true leader does. When looking at Pederson on the sidelines, he does not display anger when the team is not playing up to their abilities, but rather finds ways to help them achieve their success.
Pederson demonstrates compassion for his team and is approachable. While Emotional Intelligence is labeled as a soft skill set, being emotionally intelligent definitely is not being soft. It's human nature to want to do well for someone who takes the time to get to know you, care about you and communicates well with you. It takes a strong person to set aside their own beliefs and look outward to understand someone else's perspective.
Being the parent of a child who is in youth sports, I have personally experienced many different coaching styles. For the last eight years, I have witnessed coaches who are empathetic, strong and approachable as well as coaches who have screamed, belittled and tainted their player's mindsets with negative thoughts about playing the game. Being a coach to children is a huge responsibility and every coach should take some form of training in Emotional Intelligence before being able to be exposed to a team. All too often, I have seen coaches destroy children's love and passion for a game by their harsh words and coaching styles. Just last week, I listened to a coach from an opposing team scream and belittle 12-year-olds for making mistakes on the basketball court. While our team did not play as strong as they could have, our coach consistently encouraged the team, explained how they could have played better after the game and taught the kids how to refocus their mindsets for the next game. In case you were wondering, our team won that night.
Pederson has his own special style which has brought his team to the long awaited Super Bowl. The Eagles are once again labeled the underdogs against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady who himself carries many traits of an Emotionally Intelligent person. February 4th is going to be fun watching the battle of the EQ's!
I'll be rooting for Pederson and the Eagles!
Keep flying high!