Robin Hills a Leader in Emotional Intelligence
Today I was privileged to Interview Robin Hills. I originally met Robin over 5 years ago at the Manchester NLP and EI group , which Robin is now co-responsible for running. Robin has over 30 years’ business and commercial and leadership experience, working locally, nationally and internationally with many small to medium sized businesses and multinational companies.
Robin focuses on supporting personality and behaviour in the business environment. He is able to use a number of internationally recognised profiling tools, which include Myers Briggs Type Indicator, DISC (Advanced) and Trait Emotional Intelligence.
Robin specialises in emotional intelligence. He has designed and facilitated development programmes and recently presented at an international conference at Harvard University and will be speaking at the African Emotional Intelligence Summit in Cape Town in early 2014 and Robin is often published in leading coaching and NLP magazines and websites.
CD. Hello Robin, it is fantastic to see again and thank you for joining me today. I would like to start by asking you to explain a little about your leadership work in the business world.
RH. My experience extends over 30 years of working in business and commercial sectors focussed around leadership development. Five years ago, I set up Ei4Change to concentrate using emotional intelligence at the heart of delivering coaching, training and personal change.
Since then, I have been working to help managers and leaders within organisations to develop their business performance through increased self awareness and understanding of others. My clients include many small to medium sized businesses, NW Fire Control, the NHS and multinational companies nationally and internationally.
CD. I know you have many successes with your clients and are widely recommend on a global scale, but if we start at the beginning, what made you choose coaching as a profession?
RH. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t choose coaching as a profession. It evolved from working in sales.
I worked as a medical sales representative for over 20 years in London – 10 years specialising in selling antibiotics, gastro-intestinal and cancer medicines into the London teaching hospitals for one of the world’s leading blue-chip pharmaceutical companies.
In this environment, my expertise was my product knowledge and my selling skills. The sales techniques that worked well in this environment are very closely aligned to coaching. Eminent physicians and surgeons do not respond well to any other approach!!
Also, at this time, I noticed that many behaviours driven by emotion gave different outcomes. It surprised me that some doctors were better at engaging with people, building rapport and showing empathy than others. This we now know as emotional intelligence but it was a few years before this construct came to the broader attention of the public.
CD. So you started learning about EI before EI became a mainstream technique in the coaching world? As well as coaching and EI techniques, does your line of work incorporate any NLP or Hypnotherapy techniques to support your clients?
RH. Many NLP and hypnotherapy techniques are fundamental to developing emotional intelligence. They are very closely aligned through creating conscious and unconscious change.
The basis of using emotional intelligence well is self-awareness – knowing your strengths and limitations and what impact this has on your performance. Identifying and regulating emotions in a way that helps with your interactions with others. Also, key to good emotional intelligence is understanding motivation, where it comes from and what it means for you and others.
Knowledge of meta programmes and the use of clean language has become a key part of my work. I firmly believe that good coaching (and selling) incorporates hypnosis to some extent.
CD. I agree. Often the meta-programme is under used, I think Bandler was quoted saying “the Milton model is the sexy bit of NLP but the Meta programme is vital for change work” What do you do to keep up with the latest trends in coaching?
RH. For the last three years, I have co-managed the Manchester Professional NLP and EI Network. (www.manchesternlp.org.uk) The Network operates to introduce innovative thinking and best practice in the fields of Neuro Lingusitic Programming and Emotional Intelligence through interactive learning.
The network holds monthly evening seminars on the first Tuesday of every month, delivered by keynote speakers who provide thought-leadership and engagement on the application of NLP and EI.
It is the objective of each session that all attending take away techniques and key learning points to use both personally and professionally.
Over the many years that I have been involved with the Network, the learning that I have received has enabled me to successfully build up my business and help my clients in ways that would not be possible with the Network.
CD. I would recommend any coach who is visiting Manchester to attend the NLP and EI group, as they have some great speakers including people like Jamie Smart, and it is also a great place to network and learn some of the latest developments in the coaching field. As a successful coach is having a coach an important part of development for a coach?
RH. Any good coach should have a coach. Coaching supervision should form an ongoing part of the development and practise of coaching.
Over the last couple of years, I have been going to group supervision, which means that we can learn from each other and share ideas. It helps to support my personal development and to develop my business.
CD. You have to practice what you preach and I agree with what you said about learning from each other and sharing ideas. A great secondary gain from attending your NLP and EI Group is the amount of learning you come away with, not just from the speakers but also from the audience. Now I’m not sure if I’m right with this, but have you recently released a book?
RH. In actual fact, I haven’t released a book. I took the decision to deliver information around emotional intelligence in two unique and different ways.
At the various seminars and workshops that I have delivered, I am always asked for a copy of the slides. Rather than sending out the slides themselves, all the information is available in the form of Lightbulb Moments cards downloadable, at no charge, from the Ei4Change website (www.ei4change.com/resources/). Each card is a stand alone aid memoire around some aspect of emotional intelligence. There are over 150 cards available to date ranging from understanding emotions, building resilience, developing empathy, etc.
The Lightbulb Moments cards have proved so popular that I have published all of them (and a series not available on the website) on a CD that is available for purchase.
With my colleague, Doug Haynes, and in collaboration with RSVP Design (a global supplier of experiential training tools) I have produced a coaching toolkit – Images of Resilience. The toolkit contains multiple copies of 16 carefully designed and selected images drawn in an attractive cartoon style. The images are metaphors, representing a range of experiences and emotions linked with the theme of resilience. They allow for the exploration of different facets of resilience and its connections with stress, change, challenge and learning.
The cards are accompanied by support notes and questions and are designed to be used to stimulate individual thought and group discussion. They can be used in individual coaching or in group-work, whenever the learning objectives relate to personal, team and leadership development, motivation, change management, stress management and an exploration of work as a part of life.
Further details can be found on the RSVP Design website (http://rsvpdesign.co.uk/shop/images-of-resilience-p-88.html)
With all this, there may be the possibility of a book someday. Never say “Never”!
CD. That’s fantastic. So many coaches get into this sector to support others, and end up wanting to just make money. It is great to see a coach giving away such a valuable resources. I know these ”light-bulb moments” are very popular and I would recommend that the readers check out the link above.
Before we finish I wanted to ask where you think you will be in the next 3-4 years?
RH. The interest in Images of Resilience has been phenomenal. Since launch, I have delivered seminars at conferences in the UK, at Harvard University and, in 2014, I am delivering a presentation at the 2nd African Emotional Intelligence Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.
Ei4Change is also planning an emotional intelligence conference in the UK in 2014 / 2015. Maybe this will become an annual event, who knows????
CD. It sounds as you have a busy year or two ahead of you. Thank you once again for taking time out to see me today. If you would like to know more about Robin please check out his websites below, and don’t forget to click on the links to his resources.
If you are a Coach, NLPer or Hypnotherapist and you would like to join me for an interview please get in touch through any of the social media platform on the right hand-side column.
Robin Hills Websites
| Robin Hills B.Sc (Hons) DipM
A science graduate from Durham University with the Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma, Robin Hills has over 30 years’ business and commercial and leadership experience.
Since 2005, Robin has been working to help managers and leaders within organisations to develop their business performance through increased self awareness and understanding of others. Clients include many small to medium sized businesses, NW Fire Control, the NHS and multinational companies. He works locally, nationally and internationally.
Robin focuses on supporting personality and behaviour in the business environment He is British Psychology Society Level A and B qualified and a Member (Business) of the Association of Business Psychologists. He is able to use a number of internationally recognised profiling tools, which include Myers Briggs Type Indicator, DISC (Advanced) and Trait Emotional Intelligence.
Over the last few years, Robin has delivered unique workshops based around emotional intelligence. He has designed and facilitated development programmes, which include building resilience. He recently presented at an international conference at Harvard University and will be speaking at the African Emotional Intelligence Summit in Cape Town in early 2014.
Robin has co-responsibility for running the Manchester Professional NLP and Emotional Intelligence Network, which meets monthly at the Manchester Conference Centre.
Robin’s style, as a facilitative, consultative leader, is to encourage people to take responsibility and to get involved in a range of practical, business-focussed, yet fun, interventions that aid and encourage learning on a one-to-one or group basis.
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