Posts Tagged ‘listenign’

Teaming Up: 9 Ways to Build an Emotionally Intelligent Team

Article contributed by Amy Sargent

The power of working together

You’ve probably heard about the teambuilding balloon exercise. No? Here you go, then. Each team member of a large group is given an inflated balloon with instructions to write their name on it, then throw it into a pile with hundreds of other inflated balloons in the room. After scrambling the balloons, the challenge was given: find the balloon with your name on it. After 15 minutes not one single person was able to find their balloon. They were then instructed to find any balloon in the room with a name on it and give it to the person whose name was on it. Within a couple of minutes every member of the team had their own balloon.

The team leader shared the lesson learned: “We are much more efficient when we are willing to share with each other. And we are better problem solvers when we are working together, not individually.” []

What does a strong team member look like?

Teamwork can be defined as the ability to work well with others toward a common goal. I think the word synergy defines it best: “Synergy, n., the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” The word is derived from both the Latin word synergia and the Greek word sunergia, meaning cooperation, and the Greek word ergon, which means work. []

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

People who exhibit this competence of emotional intelligence not only work cooperatively with others, but enjoy it, even when opposing personalities and perspectives are involved. They are good at creating an identity for the group, and know how to draw each participant into enthusiastic participation. They are sharers. They freely share ideas, plans, resources — and the credit, both for positive outcomes and disappointing ones. Somehow they are able to put team goals before their own goals. They know how to build trust and respect.

Who is the best team-builder you know?

Those who aren’t so good at teambuilding tend to prefer working alone and struggle to coordinate efforts with others — or simply don’t want to. They’re known for saying “that wasn’t my responsibility” when a ball is dropped, or, “that was someone else’s job.” They tend to avoid conflict, and withhold information, unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally. They are known for not wanting or needing help from others. Without realizing it, they can undermine team decisions and actions by isolating themselves as a lone wolf, an island, by not abiding by team norms or standards. They see the team as a weight which slows them down from reaching goals.

“Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”

Mattie Stepanek

Today’s challenges to teambuilding

In the United States alone, it’s estimated that 41.8% of employees work remotely, and 56.8% work remotely at least part time. It’s predicted that this number will double by 2025. And while there are many benefits to remote work, this upward trend can take a toll on team cohesion if we’re relying on in-person interactions to connect. For some, navigating internet platforms for online meetings has proved challenging. For those who have mastered the art of online meetings, they know well that communication can be muddled with internet drops and lags. We’ve all sat in an online meeting when someone is talking and suddenly their voice is reduced to electronic sounds and blurred images. As you know, not a lot of relationship-building happens in those moments.

In just one year alone, from 2020 to 2021, Americans received 40% more daily notifications from emails, texts. And because it’s impossible to read facial expressions and hear tone in texts and emails, these methods of communication can lend itself toward a great deal of, well, miscommunication. []

Despite these changes, the need for clear, concise communication is vital to building heathy teams and promoting collaboration.

What you can do to be a better team player

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Ken Blanchard

If you struggle with teamwork and collaboration, you are not alone. The great news about emotional intelligence competencies is that they can be learned and developed. Here are a few ways you can start sharpening your teamwork and collaboration skills:

1-Seek out opportunities to work with others.

2-Take a genuine interest in learning more about others, both their professional and personal lives.

3-Make it a goal to ask each team member how you can best support them, regularly.

4-Keep your team members informed of your aspirations, plans, and timelines.

5-Ask for other’s perspectives and viewpoints — and be open to having your own opinions changed as a result.

6-Develop your conflict resolution skills.

7-Share your knowledge and don’t be an information hoarder.

8-Give credit to whom credit is due.

9-Make it a point to treat everyone with courtesy and respect, no matter their job title or role.

Which one of these will you try today?

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Henry Ford