What’s emotional intelligence, and how can it help your team reach their highest potential? Emotional intelligence is an integral component of demonstrating effective leadership. The act of knowing, understanding, and responding to your emotions, is a powerful tool for leading a team. Having the insight and ability to be perceptively in tune with your team members’ feelings, overcoming stress at the moment, and being aware of how your words and actions affect others, is described as emotional intelligence and can significantly enhance a team’s performance and productivity. Emotional intelligence for leadership can consist of these five attributes: self-awareness, self-management, empathy, relationship management, and effective communication.
Study after study has shown that teams are more creative and productive when they can achieve high levels of participation, cooperation, and collaboration among members. The success of an organization is more likely when effective task processes emerge, causing members to engage wholeheartedly. Three conditions are essential: Trust among members, sense of group identity – pride in the group, sense of group efficacy – the belief that they are more productive working together than apart. (Druskat and Wolff, 2001)
According to the Group Emotional Competence (GEC) Inventory, there are nine social norms to make up an emotionally intelligent team and to build cross-team collaboration. See below.
- Understanding Each Team Member: Team members are encouraged to understand, respect, and value the different perspectives and character traits of each team member.
- Confront Norm-Breakers: Team members should kindly remind each other when they break a social norm that can hurt others, even when they do so accidentally.
- Caring Behavior: Teams should accept nothing less than courteous behavior, compassion, and caring treatment (i.e., treat each person as they would like to be treated).
- Team Self-Evaluations: Managers should regularly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their team in terms of triumphs, delays, good processes, successful interactions, and dealing with emotions.
- Supplying EQ Resources: Leaders should supply various ways for employees to understand and work with their emotions. This can even include meetings in which employees can vent their feelings in a safe environment.
- An Optimistic Culture: Team members should build habits and practices of reasoned positivity. An example is always first assuming the good faith and good intentions of coworkers.
- Help Proactively: Encourage team members to feel responsible for any outstanding problems or pending work and help their coworkers with their duties proactively.
- Organizational Understanding: Teams should continually learn about the experiences and work of other teams and departments, along with important organizational strategies and initiatives.
- Inter-Team Relationships: Middle managers can schedule occasional meetings, events, and presentations (in person or online) in which teams get to know each other better, understand other teams’ work, and become more prepared to work together.
To begin integrating these norms and to organically connect with your colleagues, plan an initial meeting to go over the concept of building team EQ and its benefits. Encourage your team to select one practice to discuss, practice, and then implement until it becomes a habit that is used consistently—even during crisis situations.
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