What does it take to create exceptional teams that are also transformative, stimulating, synergistic, and high performing? Such teams are comprised of individuals with great emotional intelligence. The question is, what is emotional intelligence and how do we incorporate it into the team culture? Emotional intelligence is a skill in using emotions to communicate, motivate, inspire, and resolve conflicts. Learning this skill can benefit you in your personal and professional relationships. It is also a crucial segment in creating transformative team experiences in diverse teams.
The principle goal of any team is to accomplish its task objectives. It does so through the dynamics of individual and group participation. However, the results may be hit or miss. The Emotional Intelligence and Diversity (EID) approach contributes to accomplishing the task by isolating and systematically teaching its four elements to develop the human infrastructure.
The four key elements that EID builds on diverse teams are Affirmative Introspection, Self-Governance, Intercultural Literacy, and Social Architecting.
I. Team members use their AFFIRMATIVE INTROSPECTION skills by spending time to get to know each other at a deeper level. They have a profound knowledge of their motivators, basic needs, gifts and limitations and they use this knowledge to bring their best selves to
accomplish the task. As a result, they become a highly synergistic team. Additionally, Affirmative Introspection helps team members appreciate and value individuals’ similarities and differences and celebrate each other’s contributions.
II. Team members use SELF-GOVERNANCE skills to develop resilience and navigate the changes that occur in their lives. In dysfunctional teams, when members are confronted with major stressors, they tend to pull away or blame one another. However, when teams use Self-Governance skills, they become resilient and manage to view these defeats as learning experiences and opportunities for growth. Ironically, difficult circumstances bring emotionally intelligent members closer because they feel supported and safe. They are certain that their
friends are there for them during hardships.
III. Team members use INTERCULTURAL LITERACY skills to develop empathy and bring diverse individuals together. Empathy is a crucial element as it requires the ability to understand the motivation, skills, and perspective of another individual in order to really engage in synergistic and creative endeavors. This has tremendous benefits in a global economy. Increasingly, our world requires us to value and leverage our diverse personalities, backgrounds, and life experiences.
IV. Team members use SOCIAL ARCHITECTING skills to communicate and resolve conflicts in respectful ways. This skill is important for teams to develop as they seek a unified vision in which each member feels engaged, included, and fully present.
It is an exhilarating experience for leaders and team members to see a team perform in an emotionally intelligent manner. When using the EID approach, members learn to have great respect for each other's ideas and contributions. This allows and encourages members to continue providing feedback and sharing information with each other. Within that supportive environment, teams will be able to achieve transformational learning and thrive.