Teamwork and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has been defined as the ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. These skills are essential for an effective team. This concept first appeared in psychology circles in 1920 and has been aggressively studied and refined ever since. It was popularized by Daniel Goleman in 1985, whose book Emotional Intelligence spent over eighteen months on the New York Times Best Seller List. Goleman describes emotional intelligence as being made up of four core competencies:

  • self-awareness (emotional self-awareness, accurate self-assessment, and self-confidence)
  • self-management (self-control, transparency,adaptability, achievement, initiative, and optimism)
  • social-awareness (empathy, organizational awareness, and service)
  • relationship-management (inspiration, influence, developing others, change catalyst, conflict management, and teamwork and collaboration)

The concept has gained further exposure through Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, authors of the best-selling Emotional Intelligence 2.0. This book includes an Emotional Intelligence appraisal and some very practical ways to improve your Emotional Intelligence. Through over 700,000 individual appraisals, Bradberry and Greaves have demonstrated that emotional intelligence is the single biggest predictor of workplace performance (a far higher correlation than IQ). More specifically, they’ve found that 90% of the top performers they’ve studied are high in emotional intelligence. Conversely, just 20% of bottom performers have high emotional intelligence. Not surprisingly, people with high emotional intelligence also earn more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. High emotional intelligence has also been shown to correlate to enhanced empathy, higher stress tolerance, greater flexibility to change, and even better health and recovery from illness.

Ken Sande has adapted this concept and added a God dimension in a model called Relational Wisdom 360. RelatioRelational Wisdom 360nal wisdom may be defined as your ability to discern emotions, interests, motives, and abilities in yourself and others, to interpret them in the light of God’s Word, and to use this insight to manage your
responses and relationships constructively. These six skills are closely linked and reinforce one another. The better we know and follow God (God-aware, God-engaging), the more we will know and discipline ourselves (self-aware, self-engaging), which opens the way for us to better understand, relate to, and serve our neighbors (other-aware, other-engaging).

An excellent way to assess or discern the emotions of yourself and others is to use the  Leading From Your Strengths profile created  by Rodney Cox and Ministry Insights. This profile is based on understanding your God-given strengths, recognizing and respecting the strengths of others, and blending the differences. The report provides sophisticated and objective insights about your unique strengths that you and your team can use right away to build and blend your strengths into a highly effective team.

The concept of Emotional Intelligence is essential for teams to consider. Increasing your emotional intelligence can greatly improve the effectiveness of your team.

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