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2 Big Ways to Build the Emotional Intelligence on a Team

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Apr 9, 2021
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The presence of emotional intelligence in team settings is more priceless than you could imagine. That is because it has the power to affect the entire fabric of the team dynamic. Remember that teams are designed to achieve a shared objective as a unit. So, if the members are not pulling in the same direction, you end up with a team that is not only dysfunctional internally, but one that also cannot execute the tasks designated to it.

The equation for calculating productivity may be as simple as looking at inputs, such as materials and labor, and using them to evaluate effectiveness in output. While the formula works, it only brings physical factors to light. For example, if a bulk office furniture order were needed because some staff members don't have the appropriate tools, you would be able to discover this gap easily with the current formula.

However, a truly productive team work environment acknowledges the importance of building the emotional intelligence of groups. You cannot have a team that is failing to interact well because its members do not have the level of sensitivity and awareness needed to deal with humans.

Why the Team Should Build Emotional Intelligence in Team

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First, team activities and solitary work have two different requirements where interactiveness is concerned. If you're going to build a productive team culture, there is no choice but to encourage the development of an adequate level of emotional intelligence. Disagreements can happen, for example, but a team must have the skill set necessary to prevent them from unnecessarily escalating.

Even so, if a team is struggling because it just is not there yet, its leader should be able to provide some level of assistance or guidance in getting things back on track.

Additionally, if management puts a team together, it is because the team is meant to contribute to the strategic goals of the organization by achieving smaller and more targeted goals that are centered around the said team. That is the power of combining people, but that power only works if the said people can coexist and are interested in and motivated enough to work together. 

You should also remember that ideas are the centerpiece of progress. If the environment is not facilitative, people may retain all their ideas and opinions internally; then, they cannot build emotional intelligence in team. 

A team can also be a source of identity for each team member. Being on the team is enough to have mental implications and send a message that people are a part of a bigger picture. In a healthy context, this can motivate your team members to work assiduously towards their goals, so the team can experience wins as a unit. Trust also follows this. You cannot necessarily take on a task with a group of people that you cannot trust as much as you should. 

Trust here is not necessarily the same kind that you would have in lending a team member a sum of money and expecting the person to pay you back on time. Instead, it speaks to being able to have the confidence in each other to not only get designated tasks done, but to also be able to use each other as pillars of strength in sharing ideas or requesting assistance. 

How to Build the Emotional Intelligence in Team

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Before jumping into this section, this concept is not for team members who see each other face to face only. Building emotional intelligence for remote work is also a staple. One could even argue that the latter is both more difficult and more crucial. Much of communication is non-verbal, and when people are face to face, reading, acknowledging, and understanding the various cues that come with the spoken word is not so much of a challenge.

However, in a remote context, people do not have the privilege of seeing many of these non-verbal communication elements. Therefore, one could say teams that fall under this category need to have members that are even more in tune with each other than usual.

Building emotional intelligence of groups has an understanding aspect and a regulation aspect. Here is how each of them fits in.

Working with Individuals’ Emotions and Group Emotions

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This is the understanding side of the coin, and it is more of acknowledging the spread of emotions across different people, and learning the skill set necessary to work with them. In this phase, each person must realize that their perspective is a small one in the context of the entire team. Realizing that brings to light the fact that people cannot only act from a single viewpoint, even when that is the only one that can be seen.

A level of self-awareness is needed here to understand one's own needs and feelings, while being able to understand that others have needs and feelings that are just as important. So, it becomes essential to pay attention to each other as required emotional intelligence group activities are completed. 

A series of elements, such as caring behavior, team building activities, ensuring the needs and goals of the organization are understood, proactive help, etc., are key ingredients in fostering that collaborative effort and creating emotional intelligence in a team. 

Regulating Individuals’ Emotions and Group Emotions

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Group emotional intelligence and teamwork go hand in hand. On this side of the coin, the most important thing is keeping the individual in check while acknowledging the wider needs of the group. Beyond self-awareness, doing this requires self-restraint and team empathy

It is the innate ability to put yourself in the shoes of others and feeling based on doing so. It is understanding that while your emotional needs are essential, the greater good of the group takes precedence. It is also understanding how the way you act and the way you speak can affect others in either a positive or negative light.

As you understand all these things, it empowers you with the ability to make the required changes to sharpen your emotional intelligence in a team environment. Management should be facilitating a culture that creates this kind of mindset and the associated accountability for every person on the team. 

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