Build Smart Work Habits and High-Functioning Teams with Emotional Intelligence


The evolution of the American workforce has been dynamic and unique as individuals from five generations have come together to work side-by-side in either full-time, part-time, on-site and telecommute positions. They are bringing distinctive attitudes, behaviors, expectations, habits and motivations to work teams that, if harnessed correctly with smart work habits and emotional intelligence, have the ability for high performance on a national and global scale. Ultimately, these employees want the right mix of challenge, collaboration, and autonomy, as well as crave a strong relationship with their leaders and co-workers.

In theory, management knows what needs to happen for a team to be high-functioning, but it’s the execution that is elusive. There are many reasons that leaders fail to create innovative and high-performing cultures, one of the most obvious being

Every company’s goal is to have a high-functioning team with motivated employees focused on accomplishing goals through productive communication and emotional intelligence. However, at some point in our career, we have all been a part of a dysfunctional group that made work painful, hard and mentally exhausting. It is a team comprised of members with low emotional intelligence that produces constant conflict and disagreement; with people are walking on egg-shells and are afraid to speak up or share honest feelings.

the inability to identify when chaos has swallowed up a team. Identifying dysfunction and its place of occurrence is crucial to re-aligning goals, raising employee motivation and increasing production.

Indicators of A Dysfunctional Team

A dysfunctional team can be defined as one that cannot operate at a high efficiency and performance because it is affected by a slew of negative and self-sabotaging habits. In short, there is more going wrong than right on any given day. Below are six common traits of a dysfunctional team:

  • Lack of productive conflict: Instead of having the ability to respectively and openly discuss differing ideas to reach a resolution, team members either work in silos, are unresponsive or are demeaning to dissenting opinions.

  • Lack of accountability: Employees are shirking assigned tasks and not performing required duties needed to fulfill the needs of the team, and ultimately, the goals of the organization.

  • Inattention to results: Team members are easily distracted from their objectives or care more for their own individual goals.

  • Unclear goals and priorities: A general lack of direction and ability to mutually agree on what needs to be accomplished, or how a goal needs to be accomplished.

  • Lack of commitment: Team members either unable to or unwilling to attend meetings, focus on goals or follow-through on assigned duties.

  • Abundance of meetings that produce low outcomes: Poorly planned meetings among team members that wander off topic, last too long and don’t generate necessary information to produce movement on a project.

So, What’s the Problem?

Even a dysfunctional team knows when they are stuck in a cycle of conflict and not effectively collaborating to accomplish goals. Acknowledging that there is a problem is a step in the right direction, but it does not solve the team’s failure to work together. Why? Oftentimes people are highly aware there is problem, but not aware of how their own problematic behavior is causing and prolonging conflict. This is called low emotional intelligence: the inability to see how a behavior is affecting others on the team. The classic strategy for changing a low-performing team is to come together, identify the challenges, agree to change and then reassess. Fixed … right? No. This still doesn’t address the deeply rooted fear, distrust and miscommunication that has already occurred. The behaviors are just the manifestation of a problem and simply stopping them does not go to the root of what is causing the issue. A deeper awareness through high emotional intelligence and smart work habits must be made.

High Performing Teams

A high performing team is defined as a group with members that has high emotional intelligence, which allows members to collaborate, challenge and hold each other accountable to achieve results. Individuals have a clear vision of goals and have the ability to assess, pivot and quickly adapt to evolving situations.

As the modern American workforce continues to evolve and integrate diverse types of workers, it has been found that emotional intelligence and smart work habits are the core of a truly great team. High emotional intelligence sets the stage for success as it creates awareness of how the emotions of each team members impacts their behavior in a group setting; the impact that behavior has on the people around them; and their ability to effectively manage those emotions unders stress for the good of the team. This in turn affects how team members effectively communicate with each other as they work together, as well as autonomously, to determine goals, set procedures, review results and timelines, navigate shifting priorities, influence high-pressure meetings, and monitor outcomes for project deliverables.

Building High Emotional Intelligence

Productive Learning has created an innovative corporate training program that helps to build emotional intelligence, increase productive communication, and set the standard for a high-performance culture. Trainers are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help struggling teams and proactively identify core causes of its negative work habits. Through targeted meetings and phone calls with everyone on the team, as well as other important players in the organization, trainers are able to gather insights and identify the challenging behaviors and beliefs. Once key roadblocks and gaps in performance have been identified, trainers are able to provide unique communication tools to increase team synergy and focus on key performance indicators.

With an agreed upon goal, trainers custom design a training series based on gathered information to support employee engagement and team unity by helping to build emotional intelligence and smarter work habits. During a training series, individuals will focus on being able to identify their thoughts and feeling, learn what motivates them to work harder, create personal strategies and how to effectively communicate with their coworkers. The purpose is not to provide a formula or a required number of steps, but to really identify and flush to the surface how each individual person plays a part in the overall dynamics of a team’s success.

It is easy to become discouraged when working within a dysfunctional group, but with the right external guidance, commitment and hard work, it is possible for teams to realign themselves for success. Knowing that there is a problem is just the start of the journey toward resolving deep-set conflict. With more than 25 years of expertise in helping corporate teams grow, Productive Learning can help to bring back the focus, vigor and enthusiasm your team needs to accomplish goals and gain a higher level of emotional intelligence.

Ready to learn more about Productive Learning? Contact us today at www.productivelearning.com or (949) 234-0625.

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