More and more organizations are realizing that hard skills testing and personality assessments are just not cutting it as tools to use in selecting new hires. As companies begin to realize the importance of social skills like the ability to collaborate and work with a team, they are now looking for those “emotional intelligence” qualities not only in new candidates but in existing staff as well. Emotional intelligence in team building is an absolute must to get the most out of any group of people and here are 7 reasons why.
1. Self Awareness
It is exceptionally difficult to understand the emotions and motivations of others if you don’t know yourself first. Persons with a high emotional intelligence can quickly identify their emotions which is the first step in being able to control or manage them. Self awareness is the basic building block of emotional intelligence.
2. Self control
Being able to recognize your emotion is one thing but being able to control those emotions, particularly in stressful conditions is quite another, The person with a developed EI understands why they feel like they do which gives them an opportunity to examine the emotion rationally and control it.
3. Innate motivational tendencies
Motivation is a key to team momentum and every member plays a role in providing that motivation. Developed EI manifests itself as positive attitude, persistence and a natural support for others. In short it is infectious and others will follow the lead.
The person with high emotional intelligence has the ability to understand the emotions in another and empathize with them. They understand people of all walks of life and the impact that different cultures have on decision making processes. Understanding these differences allows the person to accept diversity and not have it serve as a barrier to working together effectively.
5. Highly developed social skills
Essential to team members is a high sense of social skills. Being able to resolve conflicts in a mutually acceptable way is critical to the overall success of the team. Well developed social skills can strongly contribute to collaboration and cooperation which in turn will drive productivity.
6. Social interdependence
When a team is created it will create an environment of social interdependence and that can be a good thing or bad depending on how it is managed. If the team leader explains that the group will focus on team goals and requires the input of all team members to be successful, the result is a greater effort to collaborate. However if the team is set up as competitors ie “the first one to sell 100 widgets gets a big bonus’ then you have a team that consists of individuals with individual goals.
7. EI and team work
Positive and effective relationships between team members have been demonstrated to be the superior emotional setting to drive results. Members who share a bond both professionally and personally will work harder to achieve success for those for the group than a team where those relationships have not been developed. Developing emotional intelligence through exercises and training can greatly improve the odds of effective team performance.
If you are a team manager you really set the tone. If you want the most out of your team, work to set an environment that develops the relationships not tears them down through competition.