Performance Pointers Banner
Need a speaker for your next meeting?
Keynote for that conference you're planning?
Or facilitator to liven up your next training session?

Contact us for more information.
Visit our site to learn about potential topics.

Quick Links
Subscribe button

of a self-aware team are attuned to the emotional
undercurrents of individuals
and the group as a whole."
-Goleman, Boyatzis, McKee
Primal Leadership
September 2009
After all the downsizing, rightsizing, and no sizing going on in companies today, everyone is running on a skeleton crew and the pressure is on to carry their weight and pick up the load. In short, you need a work team that is running at top performance, individually and collectively. Emotional Intelligence is becoming the threshold requirement for all teams today. This month's article includes some questions that teams can use to self-reflect and some development tips if they discover they could use a little more EQ.   
All the best,

The Emotionally Intelligent Team

Have you had that nagging feeling that something is missing on your team keeping you from achieving breakthrough results or keeping you in a chronic conflict cycle? Many leaders have sensed this and found the solution in what experts are calling the #1 predictor of life success: Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a set of skills demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods and impulses and to effectively manage them according to the situation or person they are dealing with. EQ is the demonstration of Sensibility
Someone with high EQ can manage their own impulses, can communicate with others effectively, can manage change well, Officeis a good problem solver, uses humor to build rapport, has empathy and remains optimistic even in the face of difficulty.
These people can emotionally and mentally plug into others and can read the situation at hand and behave accordingly to get the best results for everyone

To find out if EQ is missing from your team, take this short quiz:
 Is there often a breakdown in team communication?
 Do you observe symptoms of low stress tolerance?
 Do one or more of your team members struggle with or resist change - large or small?
 Are you needed to mediate conflict on a regular basis?
 Has pessimism taken over the work environment?
 Do team members say or do the wrong things at the wrong time?
If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, it is worth your time to explore Emotional Intelligence.
There are several case studies of how increasing EQ in a work group results in higher productivity and lower turnover (among other things). To begin, take a baseline of your team's EQ through observation, interaction and assessment.
EQ is applicable to all types of teams: executive teams, project management teams, sales teams, cross-functional teams, manufacturing teams. In fact, a study of sixty work teams found the single most important dimension of success was how members interacted with each other and with those outside the team. Another found that emotional competencies distinguished "star teams" from the others studied, based on objective performance data.
Among those competencies were: flexibility in how they addressed tasks; unified effort; learning to improve by listening to performance feedback; open communication; setting expectations and confronting low performing team members.
Of course, with all development, it has to start with Self-Awareness. The team must be aware of its strengths and deficits. Here are some tips for developing a Self-Aware team:
1. Assign an observer for the next team meeting. That person should not participate, only observe and document. They should record when team members interrupt each other, when team Team Meetingmembers are non-participative, if the meeting starts and ends on time, team member body language, if the team stayed on agenda, etc. Have them share the observations at the end of the meeting.
2. Use a facilitator to put the team through a business simulation activity. Team patterns of behavior will naturally emerge and become observable in new ways to the team members.
3. Identify team members who have a "it will never work" mentality and offer some coaching for their verbal and non-verbal responses to new information.
4. Conduct an Emotional Intelligence assessment for the team members with a group rollup report. This can identify individual areas for development, and common areas of weakness that would be best addressed during a team intervention.
5. Don't avoid conflict to keep the peace. Vigorous discussion is healthy for a team, especially when attitudes and feelings are addressed, not just tasks and action items.
6. If you are the team leader, you set the tone. If you are not role modeling Emotional Intelligence it will be impossible to expect it from the members. There are several resources available to you, just ask us for some suggestions.     
Emotional Intelligence is comprised of skills that can be learned so identifying the areas for opportunity can result in tremendous R-O-I.
Visit us online at for more valuable resources.
For more information on keynote speaking, coaching, and training services from Penumbra Group, please visit our website at
Or contact us directly at