3 Ways to Foster Emotional Intelligence Within Your Team

by Sep 4, 2023

Ever wondered what sets truly successful teams apart? It’s not just about technical skills and expertise – it’s also about something more intangible yet incredibly impactful: Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Picture a workplace where challenges are met with ease, relationships are strong, and positivity flows through the air. 

Research reveals that business leaders with high emotional intelligence have a unique ability to cultivate psychologically safe environments where employees can unleash their full potential. But it doesn’t stop there. The benefits of cultivating EQ extend across all levels of your organization. In fact, studies indicate that emotional intelligence can have a more profound impact on success than even IQ. Not only that, but individuals with high EQ tend to drive innovation and experience greater job satisfaction. 


What is Emotional Intelligence?

According to Steven J. Stein & Howard E. Book, authors of The EQ Edge, emotional intelligence is defined as  “A set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way”

In other words it’s a skill set that empowers individuals to navigate the intricate landscape of life. This skill set covers personal, social, and survival dimensions of intelligence, as well as the often hard-to-pin-down traits like common sense and sensitivity that are crucial for smoothly tackling each day’s challenges.


Why EQ is Important at Work

Emotional intelligence is important at work as it helps you understand and handle feelings – both your own and others. Here are a few more reasons:

These are just a few examples, but the statistics demonstrate some impressive figures!


Key Components of Emotional Intelligence

EQ is about: being aware of your own feelings and those of others, regulating these feelings in yourself and others, using emotions that are appropriate to the situation, self-motivation, and building relationships. Expounding each:



Self-awareness the ability to recognize and understand your mood, emotions, and drivers, and their effect on others.

According to research from organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich, about 95% of individuals believe they possess self-awareness. However, the research indicates that only, 10-15% actually are. In order to bring out the best in others, you first need to bring out the best in yourself.



Self-management is the ability to control disruptive impulses and the propensity to think before acting. Numerous studies have shown that what distinguishes outstanding leaders from average ones are emotional self-awareness and self-control.

High self-management includes:

  • Effective stress management techniques
  • Ability to prioritize and manage time
  • Conscious control over emotions and reactions
  • Taking personal responsibility and following through on commitments


Social Awareness

Social awareness is the ability to understand the emotions of others and treat them according to their emotional reactions. 

In order to be socially aware, you need to be considerate of others. This refers to thinking about how your actions impact those around you. If you say something hurtful, how will it make the other person feel? If you act without thinking, could it possibly harm someone else? Or, on a more positive note, how can you be of the most service and benefit to other people?

Taking all of these questions into consideration, as well as many others, can help ensure you will be acting in a socially aware manner.


Relationship Management

Relationship management is the proficiency in managing relationships, finding common ground, and building rapport. This includes:

  • Effective communication
  • Developing others
  • Facilitating team performance
  • Managing conflict
  • Building influence
  • Catalyzing change
  • Inspirational leadership


Foster Emotional Intelligence Within Your Team

In order to build a truly inclusive environment, fostering emotional intelligence within your team is essential. Here are a few ways to do it: 


Provide Regular Feedback and Coaching

Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. Encourage your team members to reflect on their emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and reactions to various situations. One way to do this is by promoting regular feedback and coaching. By doing so, leaders can help employees better understand their own emotions and how they impact their behavior. Provide ongoing support and guidance to help employees develop their own self-awareness.

Develop your leaders to do performance management and coaching well. Keep the team rowing in the right direction towards your team’s goals, so you’ve got to be able to help people succeed through conversations, coaching, and accountability.

If you ever feel like you could use some help with this, don’t worry. We offer training for managers on this very topic. If you’re interested in getting your managers trained in handling job performance and behavior, just give us a shout!


Develop Empathy

Empathy means understanding and sharing how others feel. It’s a really key aspect of emotional intelligence and helps make relationships and teamwork better. To boost empathy in your team, make sure everyone talks openly and respectfully to each other and foster psychological safety so your team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Another way to do so is to organize activities that encourage perspective-taking, such as role-playing or storytelling. These activities help people understand how others see things. Tell your team to really listen and ask good questions to understand why others feel the way they do. When your team practices empathy, they’ll build trust, reduce conflict, and create a more inclusive work environment.


Promote Effective Communication

Effective communication is at the heart of emotional intelligence. It involves not only conveying information clearly but also being attentive to nonverbal cues and emotional undercurrents. 

It’s not just about talking clearly, but also paying attention to how people act and how they’re feeling. Ask your team to actively listen when others talk, ask questions to make sure they understand, and show they get it by responding.

Another way to do so is to provide training sessions for your workforce focused on improving communication skills. These sessions can cover topics like nonverbal communication, assertiveness, and conflict resolution. As culture experts, we also offer those programs. Check it out here, though we offer more! 



Elevating emotional intelligence within your team is like planting seeds of positivity that grow into better relationships, improved teamwork, and a happier workplace. 

Remember that fostering emotional intelligence is an ongoing journey that requires consistent effort and commitment. As a leader, your dedication to cultivating these skills will not only benefit your team but also contribute to the overall success and well-being of your organization.

Let us know how we can help you and your organization! 


PS – We’re thrilled to share that Civility Partners has received the 2023 Global Recognition Awards for making a significant impact in the HR industry! Hooray! 🎉

Incivility, bullying, and harassment occur because the culture allows them to. Before starting inclusivity initiatives, you’ve got to stop bad behavior. Take this assessment to determine if your workplace fosters a positive culture.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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