Emotional intelligence (EQ) plays a crucial role in building and maintaining a high-performing team. According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is the “ability to recognize, understand, and manage our emotions as well as the emotions of others” (Goleman, 1995). It fosters effective communication, empathy, and strong relationships among team members.

EQ for teams 

Building EQ for teams is a different challenge to developing individual emotional intelligence. According to a study by Harvard Business review, teams developing emotional intelligence “must be mindful of the emotions of its members, its own group emotions or moods, and the emotions of other groups and individuals outside its boundaries.”

When trying to increase the emotional intelligence of their teams managers need to ensure they focus on the full range of emotional intelligence competencies, including skills like conflict management and influencing skills as well as abilities to empathise and exercise emotional self-control.

Advantages of Higher EQ for teams

Ways to Build Emotional Intelligence for Teams

Team Mood Check-In Screenshot with MoodFirst
Team Mood Check-Ins with MoodFirst
  1. Regular team mood check-ins:  Mood check-ins foster open communication and empathy among team members, leading to improved team dynamics and performance.
  1. Emotional intelligence training: Providing formal training in emotional intelligence can help team members develop their self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills. A study by Clarke (2010) found that emotional intelligence training programs had a positive impact on participants' emotional intelligence levels, job satisfaction, and job performance.
  2. Encourage active listening: Promoting active listening can help team members better understand and respond to each other's emotions. This practice can build trust, enhance empathy, and improve communication within the team.
  1. Foster a culture of feedback: Encouraging constructive feedback between team members can promote self-awareness, personal growth, and better communication. A study by Druskat and Wolff (2001) found that teams with a strong feedback culture had higher emotional intelligence and performance.
  1. Team-building activities: Engaging in team-building activities can help develop trust, collaboration, and communication among team members, ultimately fostering a more emotionally intelligent team environment.


Boosting emotional intelligence within your team is a worthwhile investment that can lead to improved communication, increased empathy, higher morale, reduced stress, and a growth mindset among team members. By implementing the strategies discussed in this post, your team will be better equipped to navigate challenges, adapt to change, and achieve lasting success.


Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Bantam Books.

Vanessa Urch Druskat and Steven B. Wolff (2001): Building the Emotional Intelligence of Groups. Harvard Business Review.

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