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  • Herb Cohen

How to Build an Emotionally Intelligent Team

Updated: May 30, 2019

One man and one woman meeting with each other. The woman is facing the man, smiling. She has a computer.
For leaders to be effective and for companies to succeed, emotional intelligence is a vital part of business.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

For leaders to be effective and for companies to succeed, EI is a vital part of business. Leaders need EI in the workplace to understand the relationship between the way people think and their choice of behavior. They must understand that team members are able to reason more effectively when their feelings are considered. EI teaches leaders to manage their emotions and recognize that they have powerful implications on performance. By raising a team’s level of emotional intelligence, leaders are able to learn more about themselves, their feelings and the feelings of others. This, in turn, creates a healthy and productive work environment.

How To Build An Emotionally Intelligent Team

There are essentially three conditions that need to be created for teams to develop their emotional intelligence: trust among team members, sense of team identity and sense of team purpose. Follow these steps to foster these conditions and build and emotionally intelligent team:

1. Lead the team: Before cultivating your team’s Emotional Intelligence, you need to start with your own. These include: Self-Awareness, Self-Management/Processing Reactivity, Effective Communication, Conflict Resolution, Social Awareness and Creating Sustainable Relationships.

2. Allow and promote differing points of view: Recognize that team growth and effectiveness lie in their differences, not their similarities. It is the uniqueness of each team member that generates excitement and interest. 

3. Build team norms: Effective teams share a clear and explicit approach to work. When these rules are connected to the values and principles of the individual and team member beliefs, they will more likely to be motivated.

4. Develop self-managing teams: Self-managing teams hold each other accountable for the norms of the team. This tends to be self-reinforcing over time, which can create a new team habit. 

5. Have fun outside work: This is another opportunity for team members to get to know each other. Plan retreats, social gatherings, wellness days, etc. to foster team building and bonding.

Completing these steps will help leaders create emotionally intelligent teams resulting in successful businesses and satisfied employees.

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