5 Ways To Synergise Your Team This 2019
You wonder each day why your team makes you feel like pulling your hair out so often. Every time the team is together, it makes you anxious, the air becomes tense in the boardroom, everyone is all at the edge of their seats, with claws out, waiting for their next chance to play defence while throwing others under the bus. The question that clouds your mind towards your team members is “why”? Then you notice everyone focusing on just keeping their records clean and “blame-free”, rather than focusing on the goal for the team. You think it’s just a bad mix of team dynamics and decide to grit through to just get the project over and done with. This scenario is just a speck among the plethora of office politics that happens for as long as jobs have ever existed.
Many dysfunctional teams often find themselves going towards a downward spiral, while few have the ability to break through and tackle the elephant in the room head-on. One of the ways towards achieving the “dream team” is through emotional intelligence. Unlike primitive stereotypes towards emotions, it not just about impulsively feeling the emotions, nor is it about fluffed up ideas of love and sadness or always acting upon the matters of the heart. While the above scenario commonly happens, many often underestimate the value of developing emotional intelligence in each employee.
Experts have identified what makes a great team apart from any other groups is emotional intelligence. At a basic level, emotional intelligence is an individual’s capability to identify and manage their emotions appropriately. Based on Salovey and Mayer’s theory of emotional intelligence, there are five domains introduced on how emotional intelligence could be practised; namely, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Studies have shown that emotional intelligence plays an important role in creating a healthier environment for the team, allowing the team to stay focused on the goals and achieving effective teamwork.
In fact, emotional intelligence is becoming more important for organisations, changing the knowledge economy (technical knowledge) scene into a more emotional one, given the rise of automation and AI technology in a world blazing ahead for a more digital future. This pushes the workforce beyond just their menial, repetitive tasks and towards higher value work instead. This requires a greater sense of self-awareness and social skills to build something beyond what they are fixed on knowing, the ability to meet the needs of others in a way that is emotionally engaging and fulfilling.
In Find X, we believe in developing our group EQ to become more synergised as a team, gearing our focus towards the goals of each project and evolving to become more productive. By inculcating the development of emotional intelligence of each employee across different levels, having a mutual agreement of unwritten social rules between employees will create a more positive environment in the office space. Wouldn’t it be great to work in a team that is equally honest, open and understanding towards each other?
Before embarking on any journey that implicates on the community around you, it is important to tackle your own inner demons and to build your self awareness towards becoming a more emotionally intelligent individual. It is the ability to recognise your emotions and the process that led up to them, your strengths, weaknesses and identifying what makes up the core of your belief system. Some tools that can help you achieve a better clarity of your strengths and how it intertwines with your personality are as such: Gallup StrengthsFinder, 16personalities. Don’t cringe though, because knowledge is power.
As a leader, it is important for your team to recognise that you’re able to “walk the talk” before influence could be effectively retained among your team members and to get the ball rolling.
Understanding what motivates your team members will help you to craft a more relevant incentive for them to stay on top of the goals. It is not just about their preferred working style, or what kind of coffee do they like. Be curious about what motivated them to be part of this company, what made them formulate the kind of dreams that they have now. Dive in, go beyond the generic display they have and find out the unique ingredients that make up their individuality. One of the tools that can help you is to identify individuality is by developing norms through the application of Steven B. Wolff’s framework for group EQ.
“Group emotional intelligence is about small acts that make a big difference. It is not about a team member working all night to meet a deadline; it is about saying thank you for doing so. It is not about an in-depth discussion of ideas; it is about asking a quiet member for his thoughts. It is not about harmony, lack of tension, and all members liking each other; it is about acknowledging when harmony is false, tension is unexpressed, and treating others with respect.”’
3. Emotional Awareness
At this stage, the emotional awareness that we are referring to is the awareness of the people that are around you. With a heightened sense of identity and emotional regulation that you have built for yourself, you would have developed a sense of empathy and radar to tune into the vibes of the team. It is crucial for any leader to be able detect this, so that early form of ratification can be performed before well, as they say, “shit has hitteth the ceiling.”
The ability to do so will go a long way in protecting the rest of your team against unnecessary politics, which often take on more mental energy to handle. The drain will cause delays, create a negative environment for employees and eventually becoming less motivated towards the organisation.
Effective communication cannot be delivered without understanding the recipient’s state of mind; their perception towards certain topics without being emotionally aware of their motivations. Communication is a broad subject and it is often understated. 90% of today’s problems arising from inadequate communicate, costing an average of $62.4million per year.
Although no one never liked to be on the receiving end, we often find ourselves lacking the ability to deliver clear and concise information to those above. Personally, I remember feeling a huge internal struggle whether my paragraph of text was good enough, or it needed to be shortened? With the help of my seniors/coach, I learnt frameworks of communicating with senior management. I realised that it boiled down to just being in their shoes.
This is probably one of the most understated thing to do, as I observed how the lines between empathising versus knowing it at an intellectual level is often blurred. By making an effort to empathise their lifestyle and schedule, it helped me understand the first thing they needed to know about, and what counts as irrelevant information for them. Even though this has been a continuous practice for me the past year, I dare not say I am perfect but I am committed to continuously refining it. The book that helped me tremendously: The Pyramid Principle.
5. Conflict Resolution
This is where you put your emotional intelligence to the test. Conflicts are inevitable, but how do we manage this? Conflicts are the biggest disruptors to any office. It threatens the organisation’s efficiency and depending on the severity of the situation, may even lead to losses for the company. A leader with a developed emotional intelligence and communication skills would be able to help maneuver tricky situations. However, it would certainly help by taking the time to be present and to listen to your friend’s or fellow colleague complaints about work.That way, you can also become better prepared should a similar situation occur in your space.
By using empathy to understand the situation, you would have a better idea of how this could be avoided or handled. Empathy is such a powerful tool to understand the complexities of human emotions and that will in turn help you in a long run. Afterall, conflicts is a product of emotions.