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  • Writer's pictureThriving Teams Institute

Leading with Emotional Intelligence in Leadership





To utilize the diversity spread across the different functions and divisions of the company, teams must collaborate across the organization. While team-based work is a global trend in business operations, how those teams operate is complex and may differ across the organization's various functions. Some teams are permanent, while others come together briefly for team-based work, with members often belonging to multiple teams within the same organization.


Another layer of complexity gets added as the philosophies of designing and leading teams are just as wide-ranging as the function and type of team. On one side, there are structured teams with a clear leadership hierarchy and team composition with team members; on the other, there are self-managed teams. Despite the differences, all teams experience and are influenced by a wide range of emotions based on their interactions with other team members and what they perceive to be happening as the team goes about its work and learning routines.




Leading with emotional intelligence - the ability to perceive emotion in oneself and fellow team members is foundational for building effective team relationships and managing team dynamics. Awareness of self and others on the team unlocks the possibility of engaging intelligently with emotions on teams. Teams that interact with each other and manage team dynamics in an emotionally intelligent way will be able to create conditions for effective information sharing, problem-solving, and team performance.


When team members experience positive emotions, such as joy, excitement, and passion, they often go above and beyond and put the business's interest above their own. When team members experience negative emotions, such as fear, anger, and shame, they might disengage and do the minimum required or do what is needed to avoid experiences that trigger that emotion in the future. When employees let fear guide their actions, it is a clear signal that team-level trust does not exist, and the conditions for effective information sharing, problem-solving, learning, and team performance are nonexistent.


As workgroups shift to function as teams, relationships between the members become more important. Organizations can be proactive by investing resources to strengthen the emotional bonds of their work teams. Programs that develop team members to lead with emotional intelligence in their everyday interactions will positively impact the team climate. Using emotional intelligence in conflict navigation strategies will help work teams become more effective in their daily operations.


When trust is intact in a team, team members feel secure and can provide each other with the challenge and support needed to maintain high performance. Finding the delicate balance between challenge and support creates team viability or the team's ability to grow and develop. When team members have emotionally intelligent interactions, it helps teams find that balance.


Regardless of industry or the type of team, approaching team-based work by leading with emotional intelligence helps create a climate for the team to do their best work. Security, safety, and trust are the foundation for team learning, innovation, and high performance.


This secure foundation can be the launch pad for team members to reach across organizational boundaries and collaborate and innovate with peers from different functions and business units. Emotional intelligence thus becomes the key to shaping an organizational environment that supports learning, innovation, and high performance.


We can help you improve the emotional intelligence of your team.


Thriving Teams Institute is ready to help you and your team understand how you experience each other, and how you can improve your emotional intelligence to obtain a more positive team work environment which leads to better business results.


We offer the following emotional intelligence assessments:


EQ-I 2.0 Awareness into Emotional Intelligence

Strongly rooted in the scientific method, the EQ-I 2.0 assessment uses 15 distinct EQ competencies, which are categorized into 5 composites (self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision making, and stress management). Implicitly understanding strengths and weaknesses is critical to developing stronger emotional intelligence within multiple personality facets.


EQ-1 2.0 360 Leader 360 Similar to the above assessment, the EQ 360 leadership assessment determines emotional intelligence capabilities but also incorporates the insights of others in your professional sphere, such as managers, subordinates, and colleagues. This is an integral part of the team 360 approach, because it encompasses a fuller perspective. By determining how a person is perceived, they will have a stronger grasp of their true emotional intelligence.


ESCI 360 (Emotional and Social Competency Inventory) Leader and Team 360

This assessment focuses on 12 leadership competencies, including emotional self-awareness, emotional self-control, achievement orientation, positive outlook, adaptability, empathy, organizational awareness, influence, coach and mentor, conflict management, inspirational leadership, and teamwork. People who exhibit a grasp over these competencies typically perform most impressively in the workplace.




You can learn more about our team development courses here.



***A version of this post originally appeared on Leadership Call, a company that provides emotional intelligence training and certification.


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