by Michael Holland    

I recently delivered a speech on emotional intelligence – the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships – to an audience of senior executives and provided them with insight regarding how they can assess and grow their emotional intelligence (EI).  For leaders, a key aspect of EI is the opportunity and challenge to harmonize emotions and thought, and then manage behavior.  The investment of energy to understand/assess your EI can be doable at 9:30 in the morning but is much more difficult at 2:30 pm after 4 back-to-back meetings and no lunch.

A really interesting aspect of EI is to then ponder your team’s EI. Further, how does the team’s cumulative EI impact team performance?

Try this non-scientific approach:  At your next team huddle, ask each person to describe the one or two things that scare them today.  As team members respond, look for their level of vulnerability, for their trust in the group, and for their confidence in managing their emotion regarding the issue/item and maybe most importantly their capability to articulate their message.

Need a primer on EI?  Wikipedia has a decent summary: