Someone with high EQ can manage their own impulses, can communicate with others effectively, can manage change well,
is a good problem solver, uses humor to build rapport, has empathy and remains optimistic even in the face of difficulty.
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
members 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.