How we worked with Barloworld to develop their Sales Representatives, Middle and Senior Managers

South Africa and Africa

9 Modules

156 Delegates


100% Positive Business Impact

The Challenge

Extensive researched shows that the impact of managers and leaders with low EQ is detrimental while high EQ is essential to getting the best out of people and the best results. Bharwaney et al. (2007) and Eichmann (2009) both revealed that many programmes have tried and failed to develop EQ, which has fuelled the minds of the sceptics (Bharwaney et al., 2007; Eichmann, 2009). Barloworld was skeptical about whether an intervention could really get results. We committed to showing them that it was possible and including certain cohorts of learners within our formal research projects.

The Solution

The solution was a customised niche intervention beginning with Bar-On EQ-i® Assessments (as a post-measure), then a series of experiential training initiatives, individual assignments, reflective journalling and group action learning projects (ALPs). The intervention took 9-months to complete and was designed to achieve deep transformation. Their final EQ scores were recorded as a post measure to determine the success of the intervention as well as the lived experience of the participants and the perception of their managers.

5 Stars

The return on investment is more than I could have hoped for!

I enrolled to see if this programme should be part of the Sales Academy at Barloworld. I have been on a few EQ training courses before, but I have never experienced the same outcomes. I am delighted with the programme and REALLY enjoyed it and benefitted from it – more than any other I have attended. The return on investment is more than I could have hoped for. Thank you, Sharon – you are a true gem and deliver such value to our business and our people.

Helen Wilson, Sales Support Manager, Barloworld (moved to Caterpillar US as their Sales Manager)

I can't thank you enough. Nothing will ever be the same again!

Where do I start? This has been such a life-changing journey. A journey that brought me to a place I never imagined I would be… a place of forgiveness. This journey has taught me to reflect on where I have been and where I am now. I cannot rewrite my story or life, but I have made the choice to make this a brand new start on an old path. I can’t thank you enough. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Sandra, Manager, Barloworld

Opened up a whole new me!

This journey has, at times, made me very uncomfortable because it has challenged my perceived beliefs or what I thought was me. I don’t like bearing my emotions in front of people. But then it has also opened up a whole new me. I speak to a lot more people, I have longer conversations, I smile more – I hope. There is a saying… For gold to be purified it has to go through fire. So this has been a tough but necessary journey for me to go through personally.

Khaya, Manager, Barloworld

Changed the way I lead, the way I manage and the way I live!

Working with you has changed my life. It has changed the way I lead, the way I manage and the way I live! I am able to get the best out of my team and communicate with them like I never could before. You are such a blessing and inspiration Sharon. Thank you for everything. I often find myself quoting you and looking back in my file for the Key Steps we took to assist me.

Orietta van Wyk, SAP Manager, Barloworld

I still value those lessons and use them every day!

I still remember those modules you did with us. I want you to know that I did follow the path of my goals that I had committed to during the programme and am now in Turkey doing my Masters in Mechanical Engineering majoring in mechatronics. I still value those lessons and use them every day.

Henry Mupeta, After Sales Service, Barloworld Equipment, Zambia

The Results

The feedback across participants and their managers has been exceptional.

Emotional intelligence notably increased and transformed the way participants lead and live. The results showed themselves in the final EQ scores as well as the quality of the group ALPs. The ALPs encouraged them to really solve core business problems or capitalise on opportunities. Most groups did such thorough research and compiled such comprehensive business cases (going as far as to outline – in detail – how to implement the suggested solutions) that their solutions met with exec approval.

The Feedback

Across 46 survey responses, the learning experience is rated extremely favourably.


Facilitator’s knowledge


Content relevant and practical


Engaging climate of participation


EQ Increase over 12 points



Scientific Research Results

from Dr Sharon’s PhD findings

Impact on the individual

Of the 46 participants who completed the holistic development intervention during this study, 43 showed an increased EQ score after the intervention. Those whose scores did not increase either already had a healthy EQ score pre-intervention or extenuating circumstances that resulted in a slight decrease. None of the decreased scores were statistically significant but the average increase in the overall post-assessment scores was 12.26 points. Statistically this is considered to be a very significant increase.

The research also highlighted that the participants experienced the holistic development programme as life changing (this was expressed by 42 participants). They spoke less about the content of the programme and more about how they had used the content and how their lives had changed since attending the intervention. They became more self-aware, better able to manage and express their emotions, and more effective in both their personal and professional lives. The quality of their relationships and the results they achieved in all spectrums of their lives also significantly increased. This was a result of their increased awareness, expanded worldview and application of various learning tools. The participants expressed feeling more like themselves and “more me.” All participants also shared that the programme had developed them as leaders (this was echoed by their managers) and 14 have been promoted since completing the programme.

There was an overarching theme from all participants of taking responsibility for their lives (including “thoughts, actions and outcomes”) but the ways in which that showed up were very different for each participant. For some it meant speaking up confidently, for others it was saying no, while others it was pausing and waiting before responding when they felt intense emotion. In other words, their learning paths were very different, and each participant was impacted by the holistic development intervention in a different way that was suited and appropriate for their development need. Furthermore, participants shared that this holistic development programme had started them on a lifelong journey and that the programme would have a lifelong effect so the responsibility they took for their development did not end when the intervention ended.

Impact on the organisation

After the holistic development intervention, the organisation gained employees who were more engaged, optimistic and who took responsibility for their jobs and outcomes. They also built better relationship with others and were more self-aware and other-aware and able to manage themselves and others better. Two employees received awards of excellence following the programme and managers interviewed (a year after the completion of the holistic development programme) expressed that the people in their teams were very different after completing the programme and the programme had been very successful in developing their team members’ personal leadership capacity. The individuals showed more maturity and professionalism than those who did not attend the programme. The impact on the organisation was that the holistic development intervention allowed managers to take new recruits to the business and “fast-track” them to promotions in either their current areas or other areas of the business.

Managers also felt that the difference between this programme and the other “quick-hit” training programmes was that it was run over an extended period of time which allowed for the concepts to be practised and brought to life in real work situations. The homework and journaling components ensured that after-classroom learning was taking place that reinforced the topics under discussion. Regular communication and coaching sessions with the facilitator between training sessions also ensured better and more sustainable learning. Not all managers allowed their teams to attend one-on-one coaching sessions with the facilitator, but those that did saw a significant return on that investment with one participant being promoted three times (in the year following the intervention) to a very senior position. Most managers also expressed that they would have liked more team members to attend the intervention to increase the reach and impact the programme had on the organisational results as a whole.


Statistically significant increase in Emotional Quotient (average of 12.6 points).


95% Experienced an EQ increase of over 12 points.


92% Said it was life-changing.


Managers noticed significant, lasting changes in individuals post-intervention, persisting even after a year.


As a result of the intervention, 64% of participants were promoted.


At first I did not want to attend this training – this workshop has totally changed my life!

To be honest, I did not want to attend this training. For the first three classes, as you know, I was quite resistant but thankfully, you opened my eyes. I now wish that the courses came earlier in my life because it has helped me so much. This workshop has totally changed my life.

Etienne Leygonie​s

Technician, Barloworld