high emotional intelligence

Signs that your Team has High Emotional Intelligence

Our emotions play a huge role in what decisions we make – for better or for worse. Emotions are energy in motion. Consider the forest fires in southern California. That is energy out of control which is devastatingly destructive. For energy to be helpful, healthy, creative, and innovative, it needs to be directed toward a life-enhancing goal.

Emotional, or behavioral, Intelligence is the arbiter of all that human energy in the workplace. Our behavioral intelligence is a skill that provides us with the reflective capabilities to figure out the positive or negative outcome of emotionally charged decisions before we act on those energies in motion. For example, hiring decisions based on emotions such as “I like him”“She has a good attitude”, can lead to expensive mistakes.

A person with high behavioral intelligence uses a predictable analytical process for hiring an employee, backed up with an effective onboarding over 6 months. High behavioral intelligence is only possible with high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is:

  • Self-awareness – being aware of my feelings as well as knowing how I affect others
  • Self-management – being able & willing to choose the behaviors that are in my, and others, best interests
  • Empathy – acknowledging another’s context
  • Social skills – able & willing to play well with others
  • Leader assertiveness – speaking up to respectfully express one’s point-of-view

Emotions are the complex reactions that we experience in our body and our minds. So, here’s the challenge for teams and leaders.

Fact: The workplace is full of “emotions.” A majority of them have negative effects on people.

Assumption: A positive, engaging, healthy, enjoyable work culture is one in which people – leaders – have a highly developed behavioral intelligence which supports, enables, promotes the best in people.

Here is a word picture of that kind of place:

  • If people don’t know something they ask for help
  • People help out, happily
  • Volunteers greatly outnumber “voluntolds”
  • You know how what you do connects to the bigger goal
  • You’re paid fairly
  • Most people hold themselves – and others – accountable
  • Boundaries are set and respected by both leaders and team members
  • The company has an ethic of bringing out the best in people, not trying to get the most out of them

At the end of the work week, people are happy it’s the weekend and enter it with enough energy to enjoy their personal life. On Monday morning they’re happy to be back at work doing meaningful things.


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