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Research has emphasised the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in the work of higher education staff. However, little is about the motivations and expectations of lecturers who decide to participate in EI coaching programmes. As part of a larger study pertaining to the efficacy of EI coaching for Irish higher education lecturers, qualitative data was collected by way of a questionnaire that contained two open-ended questions from all participants who signed up for coaching (N = 40). The findings indicate that the primary motivations for participants to sign-up for coaching were personal development and a desire to support research activities. Participants expected that their participation would give them an opportunity to enhance their self-awareness and learn about EI through their participation in the programme. The participants brought with them an openness to the experience. The findings also highlighted that lecturers had, for the most part, not received any formal training in this area, which suggests that a gap exists in lecturer training in this regard. Based on these findings, it is recommended that further research be conducted to acknowledge the importance of EI in the work of higher education lecturers in Ireland and to assess the motivations and expectations of participants in EI programmes in other contexts. It is also recommended that further research explore the reasons why lecturers may choose not to participate with EI coaching.