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A Deeper Commitment: 5 Ways to Create Emotionally Intelligent Teams

John Rampton
John Rampton

Let’s say that you just hired a new employee or you are attempting to bridge multiple departments within your organization for an upcoming project.

As if you didn’t have enough on your plate, trying to manage all of these different individuals could be a task all on it’s own.

After all, if your team isn’t comfortable and cooperative with each other, then how can you expect them to complete this important project?

With Emotional Intelligence, also known as EI, you can overcome this daunting challenge since it allows you and your team to recognize, understand, and control each other’s emotions so that you form one common identity, solve problems together, and contribute to the overall production of the group.

So, how can you develop an emotionally intelligent team? You can begin by giving these five tactics a shot.

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1. Put the Right Person in Charge

What makes some leaders exceptional? While there are a number of proven leadership traits that a leader possess, being emotionally intelligent is one of the most critical traits, and often overlooked. EI is valuable because, according to Sara Fletcher on Lead Change Group, they’re able to cultivate their EI by being:

  • Self-aware so that they understand strengths and weaknesses and perceive emotions.
  • Able to keep their composure.
  • Clearly express their thoughts.
  • Socially aware on what’s going on around them.
  • Handle conflicts and provide resolution.

When there’s an emotionally intelligent person at the top, they’ll be able to earn respect from their team members and pass along their EI traits to other team members in a calm and nurturing atmosphere.

2. Make Your Teams Feel Fulfilled

Even though you want to share your EI traits with your team, you don’t want them to become more like you. Instead, as suggested by Glenn Llopis in Forbes, motivate “employees with how the job can benefit their life, not just the bottom line.” Another way to create fulfilled teams is by making them passionate. Melanie VanLeeuwen, Talent Marketing Intern, SAP, writes in Forbes that this can be accomplished by:

  • Attracting and retaining the right people who fit into your company’s environment.
  • Recognize all of the the great work that your team has done.
  • Build a work environment that is collaborative, flexible and engaging.

When your team is passionate and has a sense of meaning, they’ll be more inclined to embrace the organization’s objectives.

Related Article: We're In This Together: Effective Practices To Maintain Office Harmony and Reduce Workplace Drama

3. Implement Team-Building Exercises

If you want to have a little fun while developing EI in your teams then use team-building exercises like this activity based on Compass Points. There are also a number of improvisation games and exercises like the Silent Circle of Support that can help your team become more aware of each other’s mental habits and patterns.

4. Give Team Members the Chance to Blow Off Steam

Encourage your team members to not only become aware of their feelings, but also welcome a chance for them to express those feelings. For example, encourage them to write down their feelings or ask each other how they’re coming across.

You also want to make sure that your employees are taking breaks, resolving conflicts before they become an issue, having fun, and creating a stress-free workplace that stays away from things like multi-tasking.

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5. Encourage Healthy Conflicts

“People with high EI know how to engage in conflict in a healthy way, where everyone's perspective is respected when they communicate their views” says Sanjeev Deshpande on LinkedIn. Deshpande adds, “This type of conflict can strengthen people individually and within a group, and can lead to personal growth.”

To accomplish acceptable means of conflict engagement you need to, “Teach your people good conflict resolution skills.” This means making it “clear that conflicts should never get personal, and that whoever ‘has the floor’ gets the full attention of everyone else in the room.” You also need to establish 'ground rules' so that everyone knows what is and isn't fair behavior.”

Image Credit: Prostock-Studio / Getty Images
John Rampton
John Rampton Member
John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online payments company John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.