A 3 Step System to improve your staff retention and workplace relationships

With the labour market being as tight as it is and amidst all the Brexit doom and gloom, retaining top talent is more important than ever.

I am always astonished at how little time managers and employers devote to this topic.  It saddens me at how many excellent people I have seen leave organisations, when with better communication, an understanding of why the culture forced them out, and a little empathy, they may have been persuaded to stay.

I have a simple 3 step system to help managers and leaders develop themselves and their teams to ensure improved staff retention and increased motivation of top talent.


Our assessment focuses on the eight main traits of Emotional Intelligence required to develop success in the workplace.   These are: Adaptability, Conscientiousness, Decisiveness, Empathy, Influence, Motivation, Self-Awareness and Resilience.   The assessment takes less than 20 minutes to complete.

Our clients have discovered that once they have undertaken this assessment and worked on the areas that require development, they have the insight and structure to deal with their emotions and behaviours.  They understand how their emotions and behaviours impact on others in the workplace and visa-versa, so they can act accordingly to improve workplace relationships and productivity.


Following an in-depth look at your results (this is a compulsory part of taking the assessment.) We offer: The Executive Coaching Package – An in-depth personalized approach to improving leadership qualities and self-awareness.  Executive coaching provides the tools to uncover blind spots that can lead to career derailment.  Our coaching package is entirely flexible to suit the needs of the individual.


We provide a range of training workshops to identify team issues and resolve them quickly and effectively.

The Team Effectiveness Programme develops a team’s business Emotional Intelligence and shows the key drivers that underly a team’s capability and effectiveness.  It inspires a sense of collective responsibility, mutual respect and collaboration in your teams where it is most needed.

The Boosting Performance Programme helps individuals understand their behaviour and impact on colleagues and customers and changes the way people work together.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence for Success provides organisations with the tools to develop their self-awareness, unlock their potential and understand the impact of their behaviours on themselves and others. 

If you would like a taster of the ‘Develop your Emotional Intelligence for Success’ workshop, I currently run a half hour course on Skillshare which you can access here https://skl.sh/2S9QcE8

(Free with a 1-month trial membership!)

Within the next month I will be publishing my new website, my new brand and my new offering which includes this 3 Step System.  This represents several years of fine tuning, feedback and seeing what works with my clients.   Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence are key to improving workplace relationships, having happier more motivated staff and retaining your top talent.

ProActive Coaching will be my new company coming in September 2019!

For a free 1-hour consultation please call Justine on +353 857272135.

The Role of Self Reflection in Emotional Intelligence

I recently became a facilitator for LIFT Ireland, (Leading Ireland’s Future Together) an organisation that is developing leadership qualities in people, using an ingenious and effective model.   What attracted me to it primarily is that it gives all those who undertake the process a chance for self-reflection, once a week for 30-45 minutes, over 8 weeks. 

At the LIFT Ireland conference in May 2019

The participants get an opportunity to reflect on an area of leadership, and to take time out to think about themselves with no judgement and no pressure.

It is so firmly rooted in Emotional Intelligence that it was a no-brainer for me. As Daniel Goleman says: ‘self-awareness is the cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence.’

In order to exhibit traits of empathy, self-regulation, motivation and social skills, the more aware we are the happier and more productive we will be.

But here’s the rub – like anything it takes time and a little effort.  However, the rewards are well worth it.   Whenever I use EI as the basis for my coaching, I see greater improvements in my clients.  I now know this is because they are developing their self-awareness.   They are learning when they are hijacked by the part of the brain called the amygdala, where they may undergo a feeling of loss of control or severe stress.  They learn what their triggers are and how to deal with them.  They learn about their values and their beliefs.

Taking time out to reflect is so essential for all of us, whether we are managers, business owners or parents and yet and yet…..why are more of us not doing it?   Time.   We don’t feel we have the time or deserve to take the time.

Well in my opinion you don’t have the time not to do it.   We all have the power within us to develop our awareness and in so doing live a more inspiring productive life.

If you would like to develop your self-awareness, you could start with a psychometric test in EI.  This comes with a 90-minute feedback session with me.

For more information on all matters EI and if you would like to take the assessment, or if you would like more information on starting a LIFT Ireland group, please contact me at

jsmcgrath@equilibria-coaching.com  or call me on 0857272135.

‘Be a river – not a reservoir.’   John C Maxwell.

There’s a lot of talk about leadership, but not enough action!

The other day whilst I was thinking how good people were at talking about leadership, and yet not demonstrating it, a song popped into my head from ‘My Fair Lady’ called ‘Show Me.’   Audrey Hepburn is basically fed up with talk – she wants to see action! 

‘Words Words Words
I’m so sick of words
I get words all day through
First from him, now from you
Is that all you blighters can do

Don’t talk of stars
Burning above
If you’re in love
Show me

Tell me no dreams
Filled with desire
If you’re on fire
Show me!’

It summed up exactly how I felt about all the talk I have recently being hearing about leadership.  There’s a lot of it about if you haven’t noticed!  What I am finding though, is that whilst I am seeing/hearing a lot of people talking about it, I also see a lack of action, and/or follow through.

What do I mean by that?

Well, people saying they will do things and not following through.  People promising to get back to someone and not doing it.  People saying, we need to act with more integrity, empathy and self-awareness, and then not demonstrating any of those traits.  

Where’s the action?  It’s great to hear all these words about leadership and self-awareness, but organisations are still rife with stress, lack of awareness and sadly even bullying.

Self-awareness is an essential first step for anyone who wants to put their words into action.  But there must be measurable actions put in place.  SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.)  Otherwise how can you know that you are developing as a leader?

If you are not following through, ask for feedback, get someone else to hold you accountable, do whatever it takes, but take action!

It’s not all doom and gloom.  I have met some fantastic young adults who are paving the way and showing us all what leadership is about.  More of that please!

For further information on leadership development, Emotional Intelligence psychometric testing, (to improve 8 qualities of EI that have been shown to lead to success in the workplace) or executive coaching, please contact Justine on 0857272135.

Also check out http://www.ebwglobal.com    I am an advanced facilitator of the EBW system and would be happy to give you a free consultation to see how I may be of service.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

My Story – Where my interest in Emotional Intelligence began, and why I believe it is so important in leadership.

Back in the 90s I worked as a marketing executive.  I loved my job and I liked the people I worked with.  It was a small company that was undergoing rapid growth and it was exciting to be a part of it.

However, there was an issue with one manager who was making life extremely difficult for everyone else.  And she was getting away with behaving atrociously.  Why?  To this day I am still not sure, except that it just seemed easier that way.   Years later, I was undertaking my six-month diploma to become an executive coach and we were introduced to the topic of Emotional Intelligence.   I had a huge epiphany – AH!!  That’s what some of us (me included by the way!) were missing.  We were all below par, or in some cases completely lacking in certain aspects of Emotional Intelligence.  

This included: Self-awareness; of how much the behaviour was impacting on our productivity.  Empathy; no-one was empathetic to those suffering at the hands of the manager and no-one used empathy to try and understand why she might be behaving this way.  Decisiveness; no-one decided that the behaviour had to be addressed.  Instead, we all buried our heads in the sand and hoped it would go away.  It didn’t and plenty of people resigned – me included.

So that was the start of my fascination with EI.  I read everything I could on the subject, and I am even more convinced now than I was then, that the traits that make us more emotionally intelligent are essential in good leadership.   All the leaders I respect and admire have emotional intelligence in abundance.  They understand that we must connect with people first and do business second.  They understand the impact of their behaviours on themselves and more importantly on others.

And they understand that to be empathetic is not a sign of weakness as so many managers seem to think. 

When I discovered the EBW (Emotions and Behaviours at Work) psychometric assessment on Emotional Intelligence, the circle was complete.  I had discovered an assessment that was easy to complete and focused on eight main traits of EI.   They also have an excellent range of training workshops and leadership tools.   That became the next stage of my learning.

I continue to study EI and coaching and I am constantly working on my own self-awareness.  The journey is challenging, exciting and fulfilling. 

If you would like to introduce Emotional Intelligence into your organisation, or you would just like a chat to find out more about what I do, please give me a call on 0857272135. 

Struggling to Retain Staff? Communication Issues? Perhaps I can help?

When I studied with EBW Global to become an advanced facilitator of their systems and materials, so many issues I had encountered in the workplace suddenly made sense.

Or should I say, I finally understood why organisations continue to flounder and not flourish.

If those in charge do not display emotional intelligence in the workplace, the following can happen:

  • Misunderstandings that are never cleared up and resentment follows.
  • Lack of morale amongst employees due to feeling they are not valued.
  • Leaders/managers who ‘assume’ or expect their staff to just do as they are told – without realizing that clearer communication could make all the difference.
  • Leaders/managers displaying a lack of being able to adapt to changing situations.
  • Poor decision making.

The good news is that EI can be developed.  Emotional intelligence is a work in progress.  We are all stronger in some areas and weaker in others.  However, without self-awareness, we cannot take the first step to improving the situation.

EBW Global specializes in helping employers and employees improve their EQ in the workplace.

How?  Through a range of reports, tools and workshops to support organizational objectives.

But – and this is crucial – I add the personal touch.  I will come into your organization and once the issues/objectives have been discussed, I can offer a tailor-made solution or solutions to ensure that your problems are solved in the most effective way.

Check out the range of options by clicking the link below, remembering that I can also provide a tailored solution if none of these exactly meet your needs.  For a no obligation meeting, please call Justine McGrath on 0857272135.    You have absolutely nothing to lose by having a chat.  Who knows, you might even learn something?!  


Fed up hearing L&D bang on about Emotional Intelligence? It’s the results, stupid!

If I had a euro for every time a manager rolled his eyes when I mentioned the words Emotional Intelligence, I’d be half way to buying myself an expensive pied-a-terre is some salubrious part of the world.

I have tried (and failed) to figure out why these two words seem so threatening to some (definitely not all I hasten to add!) in positions of management.  Do they think it’s mumbo jumbo? Are they afraid of talking about, or having to identify their emotions? Or are they just tired of hearing the term?   Perhaps it’s a combination of all the above.

The good news is that once said managers give in, shrug and say, ‘alright, show me what you’ve got,’ they are usually more than a little surprised, and in a good way.   I keep banging on about it because I have seen the results.

Leaders who develop their EI are more able to understand, not only how to communicate effectively with their staff, but also how to better interpret the reactions and emotions of said important people. 

Imagine your beloved cat or dog just died.  You really don’t want to go into work, but you must because you have an important meeting.  Your manager is either a) completely lacking in EI and won’t want to hear about your beloved pet, and even if they do, won’t give a damn and will expect you to work as hard if not harder than ever.  However, if it is b) and your manager is well versed in EI, they will notice straightaway that something is wrong and call you into their office.  They will let you tell your story for 10 minutes during which they will actually listen.  After which they will naturally empathize by recounting a similar experience, after which time you are much more likely to get on with your work effectively and with gusto, knowing you have a manager who values you.

Managers and leaders who develop their EI are more self-aware and they just get-it.  They have happier and more productive staff and they know that a little understanding goes a long way.  They are also smart enough to know that it doesn’t mean giving up half your day to listen to someone’s sob story.  Most employees are wise enough to reign it in and not take up too much of their manager’s time.   EI managers are smart, wise beings.  We need more of them.  If you are an employee reading this who would like your own manager to show a little more EI, you can tell him or her you read this fascinating blog post……

If you are a manager or in a leadership role and I have piqued your curiosity even a little, I would love to tell you more about the incredible Team Effectiveness Programme and the Team Discovery Programme that I run as a facilitator for EBW.   They include the following: 

  • The EBWt Team Report provides a road map of where and how a team needs to develop their EI. It gives detailed feedback to empower teams to understand and take personal responsibility for critical emotions and behaviours at work. This transforms an average team into a high performing team.
  • The Team Discovery Workshop delivers unique team insights into why people behave the way they do and how to change the way they work together.
  • Action plans for further EI development are worked through.
  • Ongoing coaching support if required.

I am passionate about this work, as I have seen the results first hand. I would welcome a chance to tell you more.    So, with no obligation whatsoever, get in touch. 

You can call me on 0857272135 or email me at jsmcgrath@equilibria-coaching.com or find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/justine-mcgrath/

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  It is much appreciated.

P.S. If you aren’t aware of the quote by James Carville which goes ‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ which he used in Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, you may be offended by my title. I hope you get it!

Do you think you are self-aware? Hmmm? Really?

The Power of the EBW Psychometric Testing and Coaching System lies in its ability to develop your self-awareness.

During my training in executive coaching, we had to do an exercise that involved asking other people for feedback/insights about ourselves.  There were a series of questions for those who knew us best to complete.  It was painful!  However, the pain brought astonishing rewards, and to this day, some twelve years later, I refer back to those insights people had about me as a reminder of how much I learnt about myself.

How we see ourselves is rarely, if ever, how other people see us.  So, how are we expected to change/improve ourselves, if we have no self-awareness?

The answer is we can’t.  The first step to improving ourselves as people, as managers or leaders or colleagues is to work on our self-awareness.  The problem is, most people have no idea where to start.  

That’s where I can help.  The EBW (Emotions and Behaviours at Work) psychometric assessment and follow-up coaching system (entirely tailored, so you can do as much or as little as you like) is your first step to greater self-awareness. 

By learning how you rate on the 8 emotional behavioural clusters that predict success in the workplace, and more importantly, what strengths and weaknesses you have in each area and why, you can learn an enormous amount both about how you view yourself and how others view you.

The eight areas are:







Stress Resilience.

Imagine finding out a lot more about yourself in relation to those eight areas – sound useful?

It covers a lot of ground I can tell you.  I could have coaching sessions with someone on one area alone for several hours, if time was not such an issue.

Believe me when I tell you – I have seen managers and employees uncover fascinating insights about themselves after completing the EBW.    

The other advantages are, its simplicity – only 20 minutes maximum to complete, results are comprehensive and easy to understand, and to provide the cherry on the cake, there is the option of follow-up coaching to iron-out and work on the areas that require development.

It takes effort, commitment and will to improve your self-awareness, but the rewards are SO worth it.  The truly outstanding leaders of today understand that self-awareness is not a box to be ticked or a goal to be reached, but a lifetime journey of discovery. 

For further details and a no-obligation call to discover if the EBW system is the one for you, call Justine on 0857272135 or email jsmcgrath@equilibria-coaching.com

Why use the EBW System?


Before I tell you why I became a facilitator of this Business Emotional Intelligence system, firstly let me explain clearly what it is and who developed it.  From the EBW website:

“The EBW System was developed in 1997 by a team of Occupational Psychologists led by Dr Neil Scott (author of ‘This book has feelings’) to improve business performance.

The EBW Emotional Intelligence System for Business is a unique global assessment and development tool for Executive Coaches, HR experts and Psychologists.

Based on over 20 years of worldwide use and research, it enables you to get leaders and teams to understand why they behave the way they do and to use a highly effective coaching framework that improves their occupational performance.”

I set up my coaching business in 2008.  It took me several years to gain any momentum and since then, I have constantly worked on my professional development.   One of the areas I was always fascinated with was Emotional Intelligence.  Why?  Well, I saw what happened in companies when employees, and more particularly managers or leaders lacked EI.   Lack of self-awareness led to poor communication, arrogance, lack of empathy and a demotivated workforce.

I studied everything I could find on EI and recently came upon EBW.   Aha!  Here was a company that was specifically targeting EI to the workplace.  Following a long chat with their head Occupational Psychologist, I knew this was a quality outfit.   With a client list including M&S, Zurich, L’Oréal and many other prestigious firms, the EBW provides proven results in developing leaders’ Emotional Intelligence in the workplace.

As well as a psychometric assessment with detailed feedback, the EBW has a 10-week coaching follow-up programme.  If 10 weeks sounds like too much of a commitment, this can also be distilled down into three two-hour sessions or tailored to suit the situation. 

It enables leaders to further develop their EQ strengths, work to identify their weak spots and improve these areas.  Overall this programme leads to more self-aware leaders and managers who become excellent at negotiating, encouraging, empathizing and motivating their staff and themselves.  

I have personally seen many executives reach a much deeper understanding about their own behaviours, and these revelations have been startling in some cases.  In order to change, leaders and managers must start with self-awareness and there is not one of us who hasn’t work to do in that area.

  To find out more about the EBW System, call me (Justine!) on 0857272135 where I would be delighted to explain the finer details and options available to help you get your company off to the right start in 2019.     

What does your Business EQ say about you?

As you may have gathered by now (if you follow me at all online), I am extremely passionate about Emotional Intelligence and how it can help, not just those in business, but in all walks of life.

Having studied Emotional Intelligence for many years, when I discovered EBW Global and became a facilitator of their Business EQ Psychometric testing and leadership programmes, it provided me with the added bonus of having a professional set of tools to work with, as well as extra knowledge in Business EI and leadership development.

So, what does your Business EQ (emotional quotient) say about you?

Business EQ is the ability to understand how emotions affect behaviour at work and do something with that information.

How self-aware would you say you are on a scale of 1-10?  Be honest now!

What about your levels of motivation or adaptability or influence?  These are all areas that can be improved by developing yourself in each of the eight areas below:

Decisiveness, Motivation, Influence, Adaptability, Empathy, Conscientiousness, Stress Resilience and Self-Awareness.

The beauty of working with the EBW system is that by pinpointing the areas of strength and weakness through the EBW psychometric assessment, you reach a level of absolute clarity about the areas in which you need to develop.  This can be revelatory for business managers and leaders, and it can change their whole approach.   I have seen a senior business leader well up and tell me that in twenty years he had never realized how much a particular issue had been holding him back.  Voila – work on changing the behaviour = improvement.

To help you develop your Business EQ I offer the following:

  • The Boosting Performance Programme – A powerful and enjoyable 1-day training programme that boosts your business EQ by operating at a deeper level on the emotions and feelings that underpin behaviour. (contact me for a free brochure)
  • 10 Step Coaching Programme – Following the EBW assessment this coaching programme is a structured straightforward approach with clear links to leadership and performance to deliver measurable change both to the individual and the organization within three months.
  • Leadership Training Workshops – developing leadership potential with Daniel Goleman’s method of the Six Leadership styles and how your style may be affecting your organization, and more importantly how it can be developed.

The EBW Global EQ assessment and coaching programmes are used by some of the largest and most successful corporations in the world including:  M&S, Zurich International, L’Oreal, Ferrari and the list goes on!

For a free no obligation call to find out how I can help your organization, contact Justine on 0857272135. 



Higher EQ=Increased Success.

Why all leaders need to stop dismissing Emotional Intelligence as an unnecessary soft skill.

It’s incredible how often the people who dismiss a development or training tool out of hand are the ones who need it most.

Leaders and managers make constant excuses for why they don’t need to develop their EI, such as:

  • I’ve no time for that stuff
  • I’m too busy making important decisions
  • Sure, I’m already nice to my staff, isn’t that all it is?
  • What a load of ol cobblers (yes, really!!)

I’m delighted to say however, that these people are in the minority.  Many more managers and employees across the board are recognizing the need to increase their business emotional intelligence.

The reason why I partnered with EBW Global to deliver their training and coaching workshops is because they focus specifically on Business Emotional Intelligence.  Find out more at http://www.ebwglobal.com

So why is it so essential to develop your Emotional Intelligence?

Firstly, developing your Emotional Intelligence increases your self-awareness, so you know not only how your behaviours and emotions are impacting on your staff, but visa-versa.

This in turn improves your communication skills so you become better at gauging others’ reactions to your words.   Awareness of your employees’ emotions and behaviours will also mean you are one step ahead in solving a problem before it becomes serious, as in perhaps the case of a person suffering from extreme stress, burnout or anxiety.   I appreciate that we are all exceptionally busy (far too many running around like headless chickens!) but investing the time in developing this awareness will save untold hours of lost work in the future.

Whether we like it or not, emotions are inextricably linked with performance and productivity.  If leaders can harness and develop the positive emotions and behaviours of their team, they are going to be more successful.  Fact.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are adaptable, motivational and inspirational.  In short, a good leader who has the professional and knowledge skills turns into a great leader if he adds Emotional Intelligence to the mix.

The great news – Emotional Intelligence can be developed and we can all improve our EQ.

For further details on how I can help your organization with one day training programmes, coaching programmes and EQ assessments, please give me a no-obligation call on 0857272135.