EI

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Geeta Varma,

HR Freelancer,

Mumbai

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN TEAMS

“Emotional intelligence (EI) is a term used to describe the ability of an individual to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.”

The above would be the apt dictionary meaning of the now famous terminology existing amongst the professionals from all walks of life. This term was famously explored by Daniel Goleman in his groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995, although Psychologists were already aware of this term and its importance in life. If we the people sit and think on this term, we would not surprise ourselves by realizing that EI is ever present in our religion or various religious texts as well..

Each time an individual went through crisis in life, the person would be wisely told by parents, teachers, friends or acquaintances on how to deal with the situations keeping their nerves calm, tempers under control and manage the turmoil with dignity. In short, from time immemorial all of us have been told, guided and reminded to tackle any situation with maturity indicating emotional maturity. Why? Simple reason stated is if you are mature (emotions under check), you will deal with any problem sanely and conclusion arrived would be a smart choice.

Emotional Intelligence generally requires three skills which may be inherent:

  1. Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others;
  2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problems solving;
  3. The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.

EI in Teams are needed most because in any organization there are varieties of personalities co-existing for completion of task or tasks. It is indeed a known fact that teams or groups of individual brought together for any activity need to know one another in order to get the best out of each other. The above stated skills therefore are required to ensure that every team member knows themselves, and make an effort to understand others in order to successfully finish the task(s) assigned. Personality clashes are known to exist amongst team members but if each individual manages to influence other and bring back the focus of the team to the task, it should not surprise anyone that the team can show wondrous results.

In a team if every member exhibits an emotional maturity in both tackling the problems as well as managing self and others, the task assigned to the team can be accomplished in time.

The organizations are smart in selecting teams to work together as they pick and choose members by understanding the individual’s strength and the impact that it can have on other team members. As said by John Myers & Peter Salovey “People with high EI, we believed, could solve a variety of emotion-related problems accurately and quickly. High EI people, for example, can accurately perceive emotions in faces. Such individuals also know how to use emotional episodes in their lives to promote specific types of thinking. They know, for example, that sadness promotes analytical thought and so they may prefer to analyze things when they are in a sad mood (given the choice). High EI people also understand the meanings that emotions convey: They know that angry people can be dangerous, that happiness means that someone wants to join with others and that some sad people may prefer to be alone. High EI people also know how to manage their own and others’ emotions.”

Hence, in conclusion, if we desire to achieve the targets, reach the set goals and have happy workforce, select individuals and teams with care and those who show strong EI should be preferred over high IQ individuals.

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