Emotional Intelligence Builds Teams
Leadership health will always determine the success of any team. The stats are compelling when it comes to team engagement on any organizational level. Various studies suggest that 50-75% of employees quit their jobs because of "bad bosses." Other studies have shown that the more collaboration and input an employee receives, the better the entire organization performs. Almost half of highly engaged employees receive feedback once a week, versus 18% of their disengaged colleagues. Developing leadership and team EQ skills is the foundation of a productive team.
Then why does it seem like there is such low emotional intelligence in management and leadership? There must be a shift in our understanding of what makes a great team. Today, organizations are hiring for EQ over IQ. The reasoning is that IQ, and other "hard skills," can be trained. But soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, are not acquired the same way. In developing Conversational EQ, we solve this very challenge.
Signs of Low EQ Leaders and Teams
Often, we need a realistic assessment on the emotional health of our teams and leadership. We all have blind spots, so it helps to get 360-degree input from everybody around us. Here are the usual signs of low EQ.
Emotional and Inappropriate Outbursts
Do people lash out or become hyper-excited for no reason? This occurs when individuals are unaware of what they are feeling and cannot regulate their emotions. The emotional volume controls are broken or completely non-existent.
Lack of Social Awareness
Are there individuals and leaders who act completely oblivious? Is someone always making the worst joke at the most inappropriate times? Low EQ individuals are not able to read cues such as facial expressions, tone, body language and other subtle shifts in social dynamics.
Does the boss always have a new friend or favourite colleague? Are certain people part of the "inner circle" one moment and then on the outs the next? Are there exclusive cliques and social politics within the team? This is an indicator of low team EQ, and it starts right with leaders.
Many people believe it is important to maintain a "poker face" when interacting at work--especially with management. However, leaders who don't express emotion can quickly alienate the team. If nobody can tell how the team is feeling, trust is lost and demoralization can occur. Healthy leaders and teams know how to appropriately express emotion, even ones such as sadness and anger, to keep everybody engaged.
"There's no crying in baseball!"
This was the famous quote from the movie A League of their Own where Tom Hanks was a baseball manager with absolutely no emotional intelligence. Low EQ teams have a particularly hard time dealing with negative emotions. Another film that addresses the impact of negative emotions is the animated film Inside Out, where animated versions of emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear all play a role in the overall health of an individual. This is true of all the primary emotions.
When leaders have low EQ, they can become emotional predators, where any weakness is pounced upon with a complete lack of empathy or sympathy. Predatory leaders then justify their actions by chalking it up to 'growing character,' or by saying, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Building Teams with EQ
Having the right conversations, while developing emotional intelligence, can strengthen a team in many areas. When a team has high EQ, everybody contributes as a leader. Your team will be holistically healthy, resolve conflict effectively, protect the well-being of all members, and enjoy fulfilling relationships that keep everybody engaged with optimal performance. How beneficial would that be for you and your team?