Team Emotional Intelligence – What is it and Why is it Important?
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
Naturally, a group of individuals who all have high levels of emotional intelligence competence (self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management) is likely to be a more effective team than one made up of individuals with low emotional intelligence competence. However, this does not necessarily result in a group that functions with a high emotional intelligence.
Goleman’s emotional intelligence model outlines the chief characteristics of someone with high emotional intelligence – they are aware of emotions and able to regulate them. In an article in ‘Harvard Business Review’ (Building the Emotional Intelligence of Groups, March 2001) Vanessa Druskat and Steven Wolff point out that a team must attend to yet another level of awareness and regulation. It must be mindful of the emotions of its members, its own group emotions or moods, and the emotions of other groups and individuals outside its boundaries.
They identify three conditions as essential to a group’s effectiveness: trust among members, a sense of group identity, and a sense of group efficacy. When these conditions are absent, going through the motions of co-operating and participating is still possible. But the team will not be as effective as it could be because members will choose to hold back rather than fully engage.
To be most effective the team needs to create emotional intelligence norms (the attitudes and behaviours that eventually become habits) that support behaviours for building trust, group identity, and group efficacy. The benefit is complete engagement in tasks.
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