Emotional Intelligence and the ABCDE Model of Coaching

Emotional Intelligence and the ABCDE Model of Coaching

The model HR managers utilize in CBC, known as the ABCDE model, was initiated by Albert Ellis. Ellis was the founding father of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT). The ABCDE model is a model that requires each stage be completed prior to advancing to the next stage.

During moments of low emotional intelligence the ABCDE model is a useful tool to help employees reach a resolution. Let us take a closer look at each stage of the ABCDE model.

The ABCDE Model

Activating Event/Situation: Stage 1 involves a triggering event or situation and acknowledging the negative thoughts and emotions involved with the event. It is important to look closely at the automatic thoughts – those thoughts that have an immediate reaction to an experience. It is helpful to record the thoughts and feelings associated with the event in writing. This stage must be completed before moving on to stage 2.

Beliefs: In stage 2 the coach guides the employee to recognize that beliefs trigger negative automatic thoughts. This is significant because thoughts ultimately determine the actions that are taken. Beliefs are formed throughout a person’s life, from childhood on, and need to be analyzed in order to change those beliefs that cause negative thoughts and actions.

Consequences: This stage involves discussing the internal and external behaviours that followed as a result of an employee’s beliefs. The internal consequences are those emotions felt inside such as a change in heart rate or stomach butterflies. External consequences are the behaviours exhibited such as yelling at another person or slamming a door when exiting a room. As in all stages, this must be completed before progressing to the next step.

Dispute: In stage 4 thoughts and beliefs held are disputed to discern if they are rational or irrational. Should and must beliefs that seem concrete and do not allow flexibility need to be disputed for validity. For example, if a belief that all employees must be nice to each other is held, during this stage it will be disputed to determine if this belief is true.

Exchange: In this final stage, beliefs that have been disputed and determined as irrational are exchanged for beliefs that are rational. Replacing negative beliefs that cause negative thoughts is necessary to reframe an employee’s thinking for the future. Changing beliefs, thought patterns and actions does not occur over night. But once the new, positive beliefs and thoughts have been identified, they can be written down and referenced as often as necessary until they become automatic thoughts.

The ABCDE Model of coaching is a great tool that HR managers can use in the workplace to assist developing higher emotional intelligence level in employees. As a result of systematic CBC conferences, employees experiencing instances of low emotional intelligence can be led to have healthy automatic thoughts that will equip them to make wise decisions and produce positive consequences.

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