Diliana: Emotional intelligence is pretty much a matter of personal competence. Applied to leadership, the emotional intelligence of the team leader significantly influences the team results. A leader’s emotionally intelligent behaviors are the foundation, as you can’t give what you don’t have. But great leaders would go further and would build emotionally intelligent teams. What is your experience?
Evija: My experience is that every time when you see great team performance and extraordinary achievements, this team has a great connection and relationship with their leader and each other. They know what to expect from each other and how to help each other the best. They care not only for results but also for colleagues. Their leader is the one who coaches them and nurtures them, it is more than just leading. Because leading sometimes implies following, but an emotionally intelligent team it is more of joint movement and mutual impact.
Diliana: Right, and leading by example is essential but not enough. Not everybody in the team would automatically copy the leader’s behaviours. The traditional approach is to send people to training led by a professional trainer. Nothing wrong but not enough. It is a leader’s responsibility to develop team members, isn’t it?
Evija: I fully agree with you. I have had conversations with leaders when they ask me to fix their team or particular team members who, when stressed, do not communicate in an acceptable way. “Please, run a workshop, after which they will understand what is right and what is the wrong way to do it, teach them” – leaders say.
According to my experience workshop is not a solution here – what you want is the change of behavior and it does not happen after one day of any training. My first advice would be for a team leader to have an open conversation with a person about his communication. And have a conversation with a team together on what would be expected and acceptable for them all.
There are certain tools that might help to do that and we will discuss them in our master-class during Leadership accelerator.
Diliana: Team is not simply a sum of individual behaviours, it is a system by all means. You will share simple steps and approaches which will help to create a real winning team and help it stay this way in the future. Tell us more about your workshop, please
Evija: The team is a complex system. There are certain dynamics, reactions. And as every system, it tends to keep its form – resisting to changes. How to recognize what is happening and what to do? We will find some answers during the workshop. We will discuss what happens in the team, what can impact it from inside and outside, what is the role of a leader in creating and supporting the winning team. We will discuss approached and methods and will also try some simple tools which can help to do that.
Diliana: You have more than 20 years of experience as a manager and more than 10 as a consultant, trainer, and coach. We’ve been working together as consultants in the field of “hard stuff” like strategy execution. What has made you enter this new field, if it is new anyway, of emotional intelligence?
Evija: For the last 10 years, I have been working a lot as an individual and team coach and saw, that independent of positions, levels, experiences, we all are humans with our own feelings. Just very often in the work setting, we tend to forget it, often because somebody told us that it is the right thing to do – it is business, nothing personal, leave your feelings outside. Unfortunately, it does not work this way. Therefore I see developing emotional intelligence as a very important step which really will have a great impact on how we and our teams work and how effective and engaged we are in what we do.
Evija will facilitate the workshop “Growing Emotionally Intelligent Teams” at Leadership mega accelerator “Emotional Intelligence – Imperative in Business and Leadership” on 01.10.2020.