Build Emotional Intelligence Within Your Team

Feb 21, 2022
four people dressed business casual sitting at a round table in a large office in a meeting

This past month, we've been focusing on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and its significance at work. We recently published a blog about emotional intelligence and practicing emotional intelligence in the workplace. If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to check it out. Now, I'd like to shift our focus from emotional intelligence at work to building an emotionally intelligent team. 

An emotionally intelligent team can look like a team that: 

  • Respects each other 
  • Acknowledges individual efforts 
  • Motivates one another 
  • Collaborates 

Leaders - keep in mind that to cultivate an emotionally intelligent team, you need to work on your personal EQ. - this looks like practicing empathy, respect, willingness to take feedback, and active listening. 

 

Pause 

Reflection Exercise #1: What's your team's current dynamic? Do they work together? Is it collaborative? 

Understanding how your team currently interacts can prepare you for any obstacles you may face. For example, you'll be able to identify individuals who don't get along or individuals who aren't interested in developing EQ skills, or you may even notice signs of burnout, which would put your EQ skills to the test. 

Reflection Exercise #2: Identify your team member's strengths and areas of improvement. 

Strengths can look like members being 

  • Communicative
  • Empathetic 
  • Friendly

Areas of Improvement can be: 

  • Insensitive to team members 
  • Disconnected from the team 

Your employees are more than a job title; they're unique individuals with different experiences and skills. While taking time to understand their strengths- their areas of improvement tell a bigger story.

 

Play 

Acknowledge Your Team 

The first step to building an emotionally intelligent team is working on your morale. You've reflected on your team's dynamic, strengths, and areas of improvement, so 

  1. Set time aside to connect with individual members and understand their professional strengths, goals, and desires. 
  2. During your weekly team meetings, take time to recognize your team's accomplishments and hard work. In addition, take time to acknowledge each team member's achievement, growth, and contributions. 

The reason it's so essential to make these connections with your team members and understand their professional strengths is it can increase employee collaboration by knowing what each member will be most efficient and interested in. 

Create a Flexible and Engaging Environment 

No person is the same, and neither are your team members. They each need different things, and by creating a flexible and engaging environment, you can build trust, so your team members feel comfortable asking for what they need. Ask for feedback and advice, listen actively, and implement those changes. To create an emotionally intelligent team - start by building those habits within yourself and mirroring that with your team. Then, work on creating an environment that encourages growth. 

Reflection Exercise #3: Active listening is high on the list regarding emotional intelligence. Active listening is listening to understand and not respond. Active listening looks like asking questions, being present, and providing feedback. Take a moment to reflect on how you're listening to your team. Practice being more present and active. When you practice active listening, your team will mirror that behavior. 

 

Perform 

Emotional intelligence starts at the top; as a leader, your team looks to you to be the blueprint. To build emotional intelligence within your team, build sustainable habits within yourself that are easily replicated to create a team that can work together, work collaboratively, be respectful, and is willing to provide and accept feedback. 

Working on your emotional intelligence, leading a team, and helping your team grow can be overwhelming. While individual research is helpful, another way is to ask for help. Ask your team for the feedback! The goal is always the same, as a leader gains trust. A trusted leader can form a brilliant, productive, and emotionally intelligent team. 


If you're unsure where to start or where to look, ImprovEQ has your back - we offer leadership coaching and team-building workshops - you are not alone. Join ImprovEQ and lean on other leaders and other teams that have experienced the same obstacles as you or schedule a complimentary call, and we can work together to point you in the right direction and set you and your team up for success.

never miss another episode

Subscribe to be the first to hear about every new episode of Managing in the Moment:

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.

5 tips to beat team burnout: your 5 step video training


Get instant access to the FREE video course so you can lead a team that's happier, more productive, and burnout-proof: