Emotional intelligence helps staff interact better, creating more effective teams. Here’s how to boost emotional intelligence in your business.
When hiring people to join your company, it’s likely you’ll focus on intelligence – how qualified they are, how naturally bright they seem, and how quickly they can grasp concepts and business practices.
Of course, these are all important skills to have – but emotional intelligence is equally as vital if you want to build a more productive, happier team.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
A person who is emotionally intelligent is able to recognise the feelings of others. This might be through ‘reading’ expressions, interpreting what others are saying (and understanding the ‘real’ meaning behind the words), or understanding body language.
This form of intelligence can be invaluable in a business environment. Emotionally intelligent employees can ‘read’ their fellow team mates more successfully, and use the information to provide appropriate support, management and cooperation.
How to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Your Team
- Encourage your team to listen. Sometimes, meetings can get heated – particularly if everyone is talking at once. Encourage your team to listen to one another and respond after the individual has finished speaking, rather than talking over the top of them. This gives employees the chance to focus properly on one another and respond appropriately.
- Ask questions. This is where you can lead by example. Ask your employees questions on a regular basis, preferably open questions that don’t just require a ‘yes / no’ answer. Listen carefully to their responses and encourage others to do the same. Emphasise that you’re listening to their reply by repeating what they’ve said and acknowledging their points.
- Develop an open-minded environment. Emphasise that every suggestion is valued, even if it isn’t acted upon. You may even want to include this in a team manifesto or within the contract, to encourage an environment where suggestions and ideas are always welcomed.
- Focus on team-building. Teams are able to function far more successfully if they know each other well. Within the constraints of the office, there’s only so far you can develop meaningful team relationships. Aim to take your team out of the office, either on a team-building weekend, or even down the local coffee shop for a quick break. These opportunities will help your employees to emotionally understand one another better – creating a more harmonious team environment.
- Foster self-awareness. Being self-aware means acknowledging when you’ve made mistakes and taking responsibility for them. Even though you’re the owner of the company or the manager, you’re not infallible, and it’s important to acknowledge your flaws in front of your team. This will encourage them to do the same, which will develop a more authentic, honest atmosphere in the workplace.
Team-Building to Develop Emotional Intelligence
If you’d like to find out more about how you can develop emotional intelligence in your business through team-building, talk to Kippure Estate today. We have a range of corporate activities, which can be tailored to meet your business targets, and also have accommodation for up to 150 delegates. To find out more, call 01 458 2889.