What is emotional intelligence in teams?
According to Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ), is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions (in oneself and others) and to use that information appropriately.” Your workplace will be a happier environment for everyone, and employees can collaborate better if you add different human emotions into your workplace. Actually, by emotional intelligence in teams, you can achieve more success.
The abilities and skills of employees usually have more importance for companies and businesses. However, in addition to this, we must consider the Emotional intelligence in teams. Business owners naturally like to make interactions with other members of their teams. But successful businesses and employers have this awareness that their employees should have a high rate of emotional intelligence in addition to their intellect in the job.
Emotional intelligence in teams is an important soft skill. It includes different things, such as the way we listen to each other, communicate and resolve our conflicts, and even how our teams work together and stay motivated.
Today, to ensure that a person is a good fit for a business, employers are looking for a job applicant beyond his/her traditional skill set. They have more desire to find those employees who can act as managers and leaders who have high levels of emotional control and are experts at building trust and motivation in the team.
To make decisions, solve problems, and communicate more effectively by using emotional intelligence in teams, you should be familiar with the following four levels of EQ:
- Perception of emotions
- Reasoning with emotions
- Understanding emotions
- Management of emotions
Characteristics of emotional intelligence in teams
To understand the performance of the teams better, we should consider some foundational components of emotional intelligence in teams:
- Social skills: To guide your employees more effectively and in the correct direction and influence them in any particular way, social skills and improving them in your team are important. These skills are essential for building relationships.
- Self-awareness: Self-awareness helps you with figuring out your strengths and weaknesses, values, and the impressions that you have on others. This is a crucial part of good intuition. With having self-awareness, you will have more confidence and receptive to constructive criticism.
- Empathy: What that implies insight into the emotional state of others is empathy. In emotional intelligence in teams, understanding the emotions of team members is critical for making decisions. Empathy has important applications in business and workplaces. Its application is related to sensitivity to cross-cultural differences, keeping top talent employees, and hiring exceptional staff. Moreover, it is related to the ability to help your team members with developing professionally.
- Self-management: With self-management, you can display and prove your ability to redirect disruptive moods and impulses. Self-management does not allow emotions to get the best of you. Emotional intelligence in teams helps you with reframing your feelings with positivity and aligning them with your passions. For example, in business, when a problem occurs, or a member of your team makes a mistake, it might be because of the afraid of the team from failure. However, if you have enough EQ, you can see the problem from an objective stance and look at all the causes.
- Motivation: Motivation is a sense of accomplishment. With motivation, you will enjoy reaching your goals. A person who has the motivation works with passion in the team and portrays an optimistic perspective to management. A motivated person has intrinsic energy to continue improving his/herself, as well as his/her business.
Why is emotional intelligence important?
Every day, you or your team members must make decisions, and many of these decisions are directly related to your emotions. For example, when you feel that one option is better than the other one, you should know that the verb “feel” shows you how emotions affect the decision-making process. You can better understand the emotions of other staff and employees if you have a high EQ. Besides, even when you are near to deadlines and other pressures, you will have a better ability to manage and conveying yourself from healthy relationships and solve problems efficiently.
With a low emotional intelligence in teams, employees usually do not like to take responsibility for their mistakes. It is also more difficult to work with such staff as a team. Workplaces with a low EQ are either passive or aggressive in their communication instead of being assertive.
Another characteristic of low emotional intelligence in teams is that team members cannot accept constructive criticism. On the other hand, with high EQ, especially for employers, they can solve the problems of their business better and make more suitable decisions. People with high emotional intelligence in teams usually like to keep a level head under pressure. They show greater empathy and also listen, reflect, and react better to the opinions of other employees.
How to build an emotionally intelligent team?
To build and improve emotional intelligence in teams, there are nine social norms based on the Group Emotional Competence (GEC) Inventory that should be considered. They are also helpful for building cross-team collaboration:
- Understanding the Team Members: to build emotional intelligence in your team, the team members are encouraged to understand, respect, and value the different opinions and traits of other members. And besides, managers and employers should train their staff about it.
- Confront Norm-Breakers: Another point for improving emotional intelligence in teams is that when a team member breaks a social norm that can hurt other employees, other team members should kindly remind him/her about it even when he/she do it accidentally.
- Caring Behavior: All the team should not accept anything else except courteous behavior, compassion, and caring treatment. It means that you should treat each employee as he would like to be treated.
- Team Self-Evaluations: To have a team with a high rate of emotional intelligence, managers should regularly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their team. They should evaluate their teams in terms of successes, delays, good processes, successful communications, and dealing with emotions.
- Supplying EQ Resources: Leaders and managers should prepare different methods for employees to understand and work with their own emotions. For this aim, they can even hold meetings such that staff can express their feelings in a safe environment.
- An Optimistic Culture: Team members should build positive habits and think positively about the reason for any issues that sometimes occur in the workplace. It is better to first assume the good faith and good intentions of coworkers in your team.
- Help Proactively: Another issue for building and improving the emotional intelligence in teams is helping each other in a team. You should teach and encourage your team members to feel responsible for any problems or pending work that may occur during a day. You have to also encourage them to help their coworkers with their duties proactively.
- Organizational Understanding: Team members should constantly learn about the experiences of other employees and even other departments, along with important organizational strategies and initiatives that they use in their work.
- Inter-Team Relationships: To build EQ effectively in your team, middle managers should schedule special meetings, events, and presentations such that other members of the team can become more familiar with each other, figure out the works of other team’s member, and become more prepared to work together as a real team.
To develop these norms and build or improve the emotional intelligence in your team, at first, you should schedule one or two initial meetings to set up the concepts and benefits of building emotional intelligence in teams for your employees.
Then, after discussing these norms in the meeting, you can suggest and help your team to select one of these norms and practice it until it becomes a habit so that they use it consistently. They should practice it in a way that they do it as a habit even during crises. After a while that this norm is permanent, you can help all the team to move on to the next norm and practice it.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is an interpersonal skill that is very important to achieve success in businesses. It is the ability to control your emotions and communicate well with other employees and staff. A combination of EQ with IQ determines success in both business and life. With a higher emotional intelligence in teams, you can better understand others, and value them.
Moreover, there are direct links between emotional intelligence in teams and business results. It has a significant impact on job performance and general happiness in the workplace. Because of this, these days, managers and employers pay more attention to emotional intelligence in teams and their employees. And they spend more time teaching their staff the concepts and importance of emotional intelligence in teams.
If you like to know more about other important characteristics of a successful team in the business, you can read our article about the Characteristics of the Best Marketing Teams.