EQ Tools and Training in Private Equity

Personality-based resources provide an un-tapped catalyst and accelerant for lower-friction growth

I began my career as a lawyer with big law firms in Boston. My primary clients were private equity firms, ranging from large shops doing multi-billion dollar deals all the way down to smaller venture capitals. This meant also representing their portfolio companies, and it was in this ecosystem that I realized my own future lay in entrepreneurship. So, in 2005, my wife and I started our first business together and that has grown into the TypeCoach brand. In the last few years, I have also launched a small venture studio called The Idea Factory, which is focused on early stage (napkin/concept/prototype) projects in the digital web and mobile application space. 

EQ in private equity - gears

In re-entering the private equity space (on the early-stage side of things), I have been building out my network, I have been surprised to find that only a handful of PE/VC firms have used any form of personality-based resources. And, of the few that have, I am not aware of a single firm that has used such resources with their portfolio companies. 

Personality type resources are used in almost every one of the world’s leading organizations – from those companies that make up the Fortune 500 to premier management consulting firms, to law firms (although that is a relatively recent trend) and others organizations operating in the highest echelons (business schools, medical schools, non-profits, etc.). But there has apparently not been a widespread application in the field of private equity.

Yet. 

It is my belief that these firms see such solutions as the domain of more mature businesses and, therefore, an unnecessary “luxury” item for the startup and scale-up space. However, I am convinced that there is a massive opportunity for firms to accelerate the development within their portfolio companies through intentional applications of practical tools and techniques that improve interpersonal communication and emotional intelligence. That, rather than a luxury item, these resources are an un-tapped catalyst and accelerant for lower-friction growth. And, it is also my belief that there is an opportunity to increase exit valuations and fund/investor ROI/DPI through these applications. 

EQ in private equity - blocks

Finally, I would add that the need for improvements in emotional intelligence and communication are most obvious and pronounced in portfolio companies edging into the high-tech / AI side of things. The founders and technologists operating those firms tend to have lower natural emotional intelligence. It is my hypothesis that training and tools deployed in these contexts will have an even higher impact on short and long-term outcomes for the company and its investors. 

Rob Toomey

Rob Toomey

President and Co-Founder of TypeCoach

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