A great question and one I am often asked is, “How can I increase the level of Emotional Intelligence or EI in my team?”

Emotional Intelligence is imperative in any role, team and organisation. EI or EQ is simply the ability to recognise one's own emotions and those of others and be able to manage these.

[bctt tweet=”71% of hiring managers now hire for EQ over IQ, so this clearly demonstrates its importance.” username=”Renee_Giarrusso”]


how do i build EI in my team

First things first –  ensure your awareness of self and others is high.

If you want to be leading and assisting in increasing EI, you need to lead by example.  Really master your conflict management, emotional control and social awareness, so you are not just aware of and managing your emotions, but also understanding the emotions of others. Demonstrate this day to day, to your team and those around you.

I really believe as a leader, you can create the necessary conditions in which team members can develop their emotional intelligence, but each member of the team needs to take ownership of this.

There is an analogy that says “a piano student can be taught to play Minuet in G, but he won’t become a modern-day Bach without knowing music theory and being able to play with heart.”

There needs to be trust within the team and with you and a feeling of group efficacy, in other words, the team's perceived capability to perform.

When there is emotional intelligence as a team, it's all about the small acts that make a difference.

A few key tips:

Create team norms

These are basically relationship guidelines that can be agreed as a team and after time will be followed at a subconscious level—the actual of identifying, agreeing and getting buy into these norms.

A great framework to create team norms:

  • Look at what successful norms are already in place based on your past experience as a team, ensure this link to your current team values.
  • Turn the norms into behaviours. An example could be as simple as acknowledging each other with a thank you when tasks are met and sharing the process of what worked in order to foster an open environment to share best practice.
  • Create a plan to ensure that accountability is bring shared across the team

Identify and satisfy team strengths and weaknesses

[bctt tweet=”Take the time to know and grow your team.  I ask every leader I work with “What are each person's top 3 strengths and 3 areas to improve in your team?”” username=”Renee_Giarrusso”]

Don’t over-complicate this, simply:

  • Ask, identify, understand and help drive
  • Make sure everyone shares what their strength is and one area they are looking to change or do differently
  • Leverage diversity in the team by each sharing (including you)

Let your team have a voice

Creating a safe and open environment opens the space for all members, consistently sharing their thoughts. Google recently identified emotional security at work as one of the top traits of high performing teams.

Look at ways to ensure ALL team members get to voice not only achievements but also the challenges and mistakes they make, and the lesson learnt. This is within the team and across divisions.

Be creative in the ways that you can ensure every person has a voice.

[bctt tweet=”Keep in mind EI is not all about just having harmony, happiness and no tension. Instead, it is more about acknowledging when harmony is fake or tension is suppressed, and treating others with respect.”” username=”Renee_Giarrusso”]

To being limitless


Renee Giarrussso Director RG Dynamics Pty Limited Limited LeadershipFor more of my tips on how change can equate to growth, get in touch. I look forward to working with you in the future!

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Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker. She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.

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