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How to Raise Your Team’s Emotional Intelligence

In the past, experts believed that the intelligence quotient, or IQ, is the primary driver for success. However, a growing number of experts from different fields, ranging from psychologists to leadership consultants, are challenging that belief and believes it is Emotional Intelligence.

Instead of IQ, this body of experts says that emotional intelligence, or EQ, dictates whether a person would be successful or not.

This is not to say that IQ doesn’t mean anything. People who possess high IQs perform well, especially in the academe. But the main problem with IQ is that often, it is too narrow and excludes other fields of intelligence.

But what exactly does EQ mean, especially in the context of the workplace?

Defining EQ

Harvard psychologist and theorist Howard Gardner defines emotional intelligence as “…your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.”

EQ has five categories, namely: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Here’s a brief overview of each.

Self-awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions at the moment. It comprises two key elements: emotional awareness and self-confidence.

Self-regulation

Self-regulation is the ability to control one’s negative emotions like anger or anxiety.

Motivation

Motivation is the ability to push yourself to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself while maintaining a positive attitude.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to acknowledge the importance of other people in helping you achieve your goals.

Social skills

Social skills refer to different interpersonal skills that are crucial for furthering one’s career. These include communication, leadership, conflict management, teamwork, and networking.

What’s the difference between IQ and EQ?

In the past, IQ was determined by dividing a person’s mental age over his chronological age. Today, many IQ tests compare a person’s score against the average score of other people within his age group.

IQ encompasses different abilities, including fluid reasoning, quantitative reasoning, working, and short-term memory, and visual and spatial processing.

EQ, on the other hand, encompasses abilities like identifying one’s emotions, recognizing other people’s feelings, controlling one’s emotions, and being able to relate to other people.

Compared to IQ, EQ is a relatively new concept that has recently gained traction among the broader public.

But what’s the reason behind the buzz about EQ?

Before EQ entered the public consciousness, people, including experts, believed that IQ is the key to a person’s success. But later on, critics of IQ theorized that there was more to success than having a high IQ. Other areas of knowledge and abilities need to be considered.

This is particularly true in the workplace, where one needs to take into account a person’s interaction with the people in his environment. This is why people with average IQs can outperform those with above-average IQs.

From a personal standpoint, having high emotional intelligence translates into better physical and mental health. People with high EQ are also remarkable leaders who know how to effectively cultivate and manage relationships as well as bring conflicts to an acceptable resolution.

EQ in the workplace

The workplace is a relational environment. Quite simply, you will encounter people who have different sets of values, skills, personalities, and emotions.

Within the workplace, every interaction, decision, and action has a ripple effect on you and your team. And having high emotional intelligence allows you and your team to tackle challenges more effectively and more fluidly. In contrast, having low emotional intelligence can translate to negative emotions and actions like frustration, lack of motivation, and bullying.

Or to put it succinctly, teams with low EQ tend to be rigid and resistant to change.

Building high EQ teams

Before creating a high EQ team, it is critical for each member to work on their emotional intelligence skills, especially in terms of self and social awareness, emotional management, communication, and conflict resolution.

At the same time, there are a few strategies that you can try to build an emotionally intelligent team.

Find a leader

A good leader is a vital piece of every emotionally intelligent. Such a person possesses a few key traits.

For starters, they are respectful and treat every team member with utmost courtesy. Second, these people readily embrace change, knowing that it paves the way for growth. They also know how to solicit feedback from each member of the team and acknowledge their own mistakes. And finally, and probably most important of all, they are ready to extend a helping hand to anyone in need.

Exceptional leadership skills rarely come naturally to people. However, there are programs focused on leadership training in the UAE (or wherever you may be) that people with potential can attend.

Know each member’s strengths and weaknesses

Every member of your team brings unique things to the table, and if you want to draw out the best from each one, you should take the time to know them individually.

Look beyond each team member’s job title and provide them with opportunities for creativity and innovation. And on the converse side of the coin, provide objective feedback when mistakes are made.

Inspire

Even if you have highly emotionally intelligent members in your time, their energies will sag from time to time. There are a few things that you can do to spark their passion and bring their energy levels up.

These include recognizing good work done, creating an engaging work environment, and setting a company mission that everyone can get behind.

Manage stress

Stress does not only undermine your team members’ health and wellbeing. It can drastically affect the team’s overall performance. This is why it is critical for organizations to find ways to manage stress effectively.

Among the strategies that you can use include setting (and sticking) to established schedules, allowing team members to take breaks, discouraging multitasking, and just being empathic.

Develop communication skills

Strong communication skills create synergy and help teams run more efficiently. Apart from investing in training for the development of effective communication skills, you should encourage every team member to speak positively and constructively.

EQ can be learned

Unfortunately, there is no definitive test that will help companies find out if a candidate has high emotional intelligence. Although there are a few tests that can give hiring professionals some insights on the EQ of a job applicant, much needs to be demonstrated.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, EQ is not set in stone. It can be developed to a high level, although it would require time and patience. Even more encouraging is the fact that you can gradually build a team that has high emotional intelligence.

Launching a Successful Venture – Journey of a Sperm to Life!!

Launching is successful venture is very much like a journey of Sperms where only one out of millions gets an opportunity to give the life.  Daily there are several Start-ups which are popping up in the market out of which only few get a chance to taste the success and rest get disappears. Launching a venture is easy but pursuing your passion to pursue it to next level is what defines your success. The moment you lose your passion and focus, you will lose in the race of success

EntrepreneurshipI have been recently bitten by an entrepreneurship bug and have been reading, exploring about how to launch a venture which can help me to pay community back which has given me everything which I could ask for.   My journey has been far more challenging then what I thought and at many times I lost my direction.  Entrepreneurship is a self-evolving journey where every step you take will give you an option to choose from different new steps leading in different direction.

Being associated with an IT industry and companies working on offshore models I have gained many insights about how and what type of business operates in this industry however when it came to put my thought in a structure I understood how difficult it is to make it happen and one can end up spending sleepless nights to put it in structure.

Based on my understanding and knowledge, I have spent a lot of time in analysing about core things which I believe must be answered before I present it to market.  Few of them are listed below:

  1. Services my venture should be offering
  2. Markets we should be targeting
  3. What makes us competitive and stand outside the crowd
  4. Do we have a passion to address client issues
  5. What kind of talent we should be hiring

In the process of answering above points, I took an opportunity to meet and speak many experts who either have supported several executives in launching their ventures or have their own successful ventures in the market. In addition of seasoned experts, I also met newbies who were fairly new, less experienced and trying to launch their new start-ups. Idea of such meeting is to understand the challenges which they have faced/facing and how they are making sure that they stays passionate.

My every meeting and discussion has given me new perspective to my thought process and helped me to filter, define my offerings in a better way.  Few of those discussions were highly motivating, few were mix of positive and negative and few were hopeless but the core of every discussion was to focus on important things which will eventually help an entrepreneur to be become successful and have a successful venture.

If I have to summarize my all discussions and meeting to provide meaningful solution, I believe I can sum that in few points which are well known and shared by lot of experts however not everyone believe them till they themselves get their hands dirty in trying them. They will be:

  1. The problem and pain areas which your venture will be solving
  2. Why your potential customer think that as a problem and pain
  3. What solution/service you will offer to solve that problem
  4. How better your solution/service is from your competitor
  5. Do you have a passion to pursue that

My new venture Globality Consulting does answer above points, but these are not the only guidelines which we got to keep in mind. There is lot in there and as I mentioned above, every step we take to stabilize our own venture, a new thought comes to mind which will look more lucrative but if you are not passionate on what you started and lose focus then you opt for those options and get into a vicious, never ending circle of losing your patience and your dream and then you will end up like other sperms which don’t get chance to give life.