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How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

How To Be Emotionally Intelligent At Work

Working with different groups of people is unenviable. Whether it is in the workplace or the classroom, at some point you will have to work with a team to pursue a common outcome.

When you are in a group you are faced with differences in opinions, beliefs, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Introducing emotional intelligence (EI) into a group setting will allow the whole team to work together with minimal clashing.

When working in teams, the first thing you should do is observe the team and see if there are any visible signs of EI already taking place.

What to look for:

  • When a person is talking, are others paying attention?
  • Is each person’s opinions and ideas being heard?
  • If someone has a different opinion, does everyone acknowledge it and try to understand it?
  • Is there a sense of optimism?
  • Is the group focused on seeking solutions?
  • Does everyone respectfully speak their mind and feel comfortable doing so?

Benefits of an emotionally intelligent team:

  • It allows for the group to have open and honest conversations
  • You gain respect for others that may have different opinions
  • Individuals gain more confidence
  • Grows trust in one another
  • Productivity improves
  • Increases efficiency

Implementing emotional intelligence into a team:

When introducing a more EI forward group dynamic, it is important to start an open conversation. If there isn’t a clear leader in the group, that is ok, you can be the one to take on this role. A leader’s guide to solving challenges with emotional intelligence starts with building unity. In the first meeting start a conversation that allows everyone to speak on what their ideal result of the project is. Some questions to get the conversation flowing are as followed:

  • Why is the group working together?
  • What is the common outcome needed by us working together?
  • What are everyone’s ideas?
  • What role is everyone comfortable with having?
  • Are there certain things you don’t want to do?

Remember, when someone is speaking, active listening is key. If you are initiating the conversation, facilitate the discussion to ensure everyone is listening and accepting differing opinions.

The next thing you should be doing is having regular check-ins with the team.  A check-in is a great tool to use to make sure everyone is on the same page. If someone is unhappy with the direction the team is going, everyone needs to listen and understand why he or she feels that way, so the team can find a resolution together.

Now that the team is communicating and using active listening, you need to create opportunities for continued bonding. A great team is only as strong as the connection between all team members and comradery can happen both inside and outside of the workplace. When team members gather outside of work, it makes the team more cohesive. Keep in mind if you are not working, don’t talk about it!

Emotional intelligence and team effectiveness go hand-in-hand. Working in a team setting can be challenging at times, but with the help of emotional intelligence, individuals are able to feel a sense of group identity and achieve results more efficiently.

If you are interested in a free emotional intelligence team activity to help build trust and develop intimate and authentic connections quickly click here.

To learn more about leading with emotional intelligence and how it impacts your team, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help building an emotionally intelligent team, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Communication in Groups & Teams

Communication in Groups & Teams

There is no doubt the importance of teams. As our jobs and skills become even more specialized, it often becomes necessary for people from different disciplines to work together. Companies are commonly doing multiple projects, and people can be a part of multiple teams. This focus on group work and social learning has even been on the rise in the education system, beginning in elementary school, continuing to post-secondary and beyond.

It seems the way the trends are going that the future of business is going to involve more teams and more projects. Sometimes when looking at the makeup of the group or team you’re on, you may find yourself wondering “How can such a disparate mix of people work together?”, but you may be surprised. The goal of effective workplace communication is to bridge the gap between a diverse range of workers. As long as everyone remains open-minded and focuses on the overarching vision while balancing the group dynamics, there is no telling where the group can go.

Groups vs Teams

The words “group” and “team” are often used interchangeably, but I think there is an important semantic difference that makes them distinct from each other. A group can consist of any number of people doing any number of things. Groups are considered teams only when a group of people is working towards a common goal or cause. There’s a reason why they are called sports teams and not sports groups. Although a team is also a group of people, a group of people isn’t necessarily a team.

What is at the core of effective communication and positive group dynamics? The answer: Face-to-face interaction. Miscommunication is a very real threat to your group, and personal interaction with all the group members present is key to avoiding this. Just think about how easily a message can change and distort depending on how many people it is passed on through to the target receiver. Or how easily text messages or emails can be misconstrued. Things that are readily apparent when talking to someone, such as humour or sarcasm, can turn into potential landmines when written.

Personal interaction is imperative to a successful team. Groups by nature are social, so it makes sense that if you take away that element, you are risking the social bonds of your group, which often manifest as misunderstandings that lead to countless hours of frustration. Remember how they say that human communication consists of 93% body language and other nonverbal cues?

There is also the issue of response time, as some people can take forever to respond to an email or text. With face-to-face meetings, this isn’t an issue as you can talk to people directly.

Introverts and Extroverts

Personality is another issue that comes into play during group work. Some people are just naturally outspoken, while some prefer to listen quietly. To best use the skills of all your people, you need to make sure that everyone has a chance to talk, and everyone has a chance to listen. But you also need to be aware of and respect personal comfort levels as well.

Doing a quick self-evaluation can also reap many benefits. It is important to know yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and values. Ask yourself questions such as:

“What kind of personality do I have?”

“What are my values?”

“How do I react to situations of stress or strong emotions?”

These will help give you a better idea of what kind of communicator you are, and your likely, or preferred, role in the group.

Working in a team can be exhausting, but with the power of communication in business, it can be extremely rewarding as well. There are things that we can accomplish when we work together that we’d never have been able to do individually. That’s why we work together. No matter who’s on your team, or what you’re working on, you should look at your group members and their individual personalities and skills, and strive to cooperate with each other to maximize what each and every one of you bring to the table.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help mastering the elements of clear communication within your team, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest blogs!