Building the Emotional Intelligence of Groups

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HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW

By now, most executives have accepted that emotional intelligence is as critical as IQ to an individual 's effectiveness. But much of the important work in organizations is done in teams. New research uncovers what emotional intelligence at the group level looks like-and how to achieve it

Building the

Emotioncil Intelligence of Groups
W
by Vanessa Urch Druskat and Steven B. Wolff
HEN MANAGERS EIRST STARTED HEARING ABOUT

the concept of emotional intelligence in the 1990s, scales fell from their eyes. The basic message, that effectiveness in organizations is at least as much about EQ as IQ, resonated deeply; it was something that people knew in their guts but that had never before been so well
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In this article, we 'll explore how emotional incompetence at any of these levels can cause dysfunction. We 'll also show how establishing specific group norms that create awareness and regulation of emotion at these three levels can lead to better outcomes. First, we 'll focus on the individual level-how emotionally intelligent groups work with their individual members ' emotions. Next, we 'll focus on the group level. Andfinally,we 'll look at the cross-boimdary level.

Working with Individuals ' Emotions
/(•// Kasper, head ofher company 's customer service department, is naturally tapped tojoin a new cross-functional team focused on enhancing the customer experience: she has extensive experience in and a real passion for customer service. But her teammatesfind she brings little more than a bad attitude to the table. At an early brainstorming session, Jill sits silent, arms crossed, rolling her eyes. Whenever the team starts to get energized about an idea, she launches into a detailed account of how a similar idea went nowhere in the past. The group is confused: this is the customer service star they 've been hearing about? Little do they realize shefeels insulted by the very formation of the team. To her, it implies she hasn 't done her job well enough.

Three Levels of Emotional Interaction
Make no mistake: a team with emotionally intelligent members does not
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