I remember way back, when we would have a professional development day at work, and the activities consisted of falling backward into the arms of my colleagues (trust), walking across the field on a plank of wood together (teamwork), and following a map to find buried treasure (problem solving). These days were usually fun, and then once back at work, forgotten.
Today, there are thousands of team-building companies and activities that you can do. But do they really work? If you’ve participated in one of these activities, do you walk away with the knowledge and skills you need to communicate better with your peers? To work well with difficult colleagues?
In the world of emotional intelligence, where I focus most of my time and energy as a professional coach, teambuilding and creating highly functioning teams takes almost all the emotional intelligence competencies.
Emotional Self-Awareness – which includes recognizing and understanding your own emotions, and the impact those emotions have on others.
Assertiveness – which involves communicating your feelings, beliefs and thoughts openly in a socially acceptable, non-offensive manner.
Interpersonal Relationships – developing and maintaining mutually satisfying relationships that are characterized by compassion and trust.
Empathy – recognizing, understanding and appreciating how others feel.
Social Responsibility – willingly contributing to society, to one’s social groups and generally to the welfare of others.
Problem Solving – being able to find solutions in situations where emotions are involved, and being able to understand how emotions impact decision making.
Reality Testing – being able to remain objective by seeing things as they really are.
Impulse Control – the ability to resist or delay an impulse, drive or temptation to act and to avoid rash behaviors and decision making.
Flexibility – adapting emotions, thoughts and behaviors to unfamiliar, unpredictable and dynamic circumstances or ideas.
When you take individuals, who each have strengths and weaknesses in the aforementioned skills, and put them together in the hopes of a smooth and successful work environment, it sometimes doesn’t work out. Often, it doesn’t work out. These failures in team functioning lead to longer completion time on tasks both simple and complex, which lead to client dissatisfaction and failure to meet company goals. In short, lack of teamwork can be expensive and time-consuming!
So what can you do? If you are a manager, one of the things you can do is invest in a program to not only provide activities to the employees, but to first identify each individual contributors strengths and weaknesses, and THEN provide the training and on-going support to make sure they develop their weak areas and leverage their strengths.
One of the services I provide is a program call “Emotional Intelligence for Workplace Success.” It combines the EQ-i 2.0 assessment for each employee, an action-planning session, and ongoing support. Additionally, the Group Report uses each employee’s individual EQ-i 2.0 information, and puts it together in a group report, which tells us how these individuals work as a team. What their strengths and weaknesses as a team are, so we can address them in ongoing coaching sessions.
The group report takes each of the 15 emotional intelligence competencies and gives the average score for the team. It then looks at the organizational implications for the company based on the team average and provides strategies for action. Finally, the 3 highest competencies and the 3 lowest competencies are identified, and strategies for action are provided for each.
Using emotional intelligence in the workplace will provide each individual contributor as well as the company as a whole the information and strategies needed to excel.
Please contact me to discuss using my EQ-i 2.0 for Workplace Success program in your company. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on emotional intelligence and my coaching practice, view my website at: http://pathfinder-coaching.com.