Emotional Intelligence Infographic Blog


INITIATIVEONE | 6/11/2018 10:56:26 PM


You’ve probably heard it a thousand times … business is business and what’s personal should stay personal. Keep those parts of your life separate. Don’t let your personal life affect your work or spill into the company’s performance. That’s the prevailing thinking in a lot of organizations.

And we couldn’t disagree more.

Thankfully, we’re not alone. Recently, the narrative has been shifting (for the better). There’s a growing body of compelling research correlating high emotional intelligence with success at work. Emotional intelligence in the workplace (EQ) is becoming a pretty hot topic for business, maybe even bordering on buzzword territory. But don’t be tempted to ignore this as just another fad.  Emotional intelligence in the workplace is critical to being successful in your career and as a whole organization.

[#infographic] #IQ scores have increased 25 points in recent years, all while #EQ scores have steadily declined via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5


Because the truth is we’re whole people, who can’t and shouldn’t separate the rational from the emotional. Emotion is core to being human. And our own research and experience has shown that businesses can only go from good to great when the people inside them can say they’re the same people at work as they are at home.

Healthy emotion absolutely does have a place in business. In fact, it makes businesses better…if you create a safe environment filled with hope for a brighter career future, where high emotional intelligence can really thrive

[#infographic] Top 5 countries with highest #EQ 1. Philippines 2. El Salvador 3. Bahrain 4. Oman 5. Colombia via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5











Of course, the logical question is, “How important is emotional intelligence compared to just plain intelligence?”

Studies show that emotional intelligence in leadership plays a larger role in our success both at work and in our personal lives compared to pure Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Even though it’s tempting to think IQ equals success, it’s clear we can’t simply focus on IQ as the greatest predictor of success in life and at work. Not anymore.

So, let’s dig into the differences between EQ and IQ, because most people have heard of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and know what it is, but some either may not have heard of or may not fully understand what Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) is.

  • The first IQ test was created in 1904 by Alfred Binet, and most modern tests have a rough scoring range of 0-200, with the average score being 100. It measures how smart a person is.
  • EQ or “Emotional Intelligence” was coined by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in 1990, and is generally scored on a scale of 0-100 (average score of 75). This measures how emotionally aware you are of yourself, others, and navigating the emotional side of relationships.

Comparisons of how IQ and EQ tests measure things differently are:

  • IQ is typically inborn vs. EQ is a learned ability
  • Success in school relates to IQ and accomplishment in life relates to EQ
  • IQ measures knowledge and reasoning while EQ gauges ability to successfully navigate the emotional elements of relationships


[#infographic] Employees are 400% less likely to leave with a high #EQ manager via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5

Interestingly enough, while IQ scores have jumped by 25 points in recent yearsEQ scores among adults have fallen. While the exact causes for this are not fully known, in working with scores of teams we’ve seen that the recent high rate of technological and social change could be playing a part. That exponential change can negatively influence our self-perception, introduce stress, and hinder our ability to deal with the changing world around us.

With all of this change going on, maybe it’s not terribly surprising (although maybe it’s unexpected) to see that the major developed countries of the world aren’t necessarily the ones leading the pack when it comes to emotional intelligence. In fact, despite what you might expect, the US is not leading the world in emotional intelligence scores. We rank number 15internationally, behind mostly South American and a couple of Middle Eastern countries. The top 5 countries are:

1. Philippines
2. El Salvador
3. Bahrain
4. Oman
5. Colombia

And the least emotionally aware countries

1. Singapore
2. Georgia
3. Lithuania
4. Russia
5. Madagascar

No matter which country you hail from or how your country ranks internationally, we can no longer afford to ignore EQ. Emotional intelligence is truly too important. So much so that a lack of growth in this area can lead to a number of negative outcomes for businesses: 

1. Poor internal team alignment
1. Burn unnecessary emotional energy
2. Create unresolved conflict
3. Leaders can be the source of problems
4. Energy spent on office drama/politics means less time spent on more productive things
5. Low engagement from your team

But when you do put your focus and effort on increasing your team’s emotional intelligence, good things happen. Many studies about EQ point to better company outcomes in several areas:


[#infographic] People with high #EQ earn $29,000 more per year than those with low EQ via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5

What company wouldn’t want these benefits for their organization, especially with the war for talent continuing to heat up? And when you are successful at recruiting people with high emotional intelligence, there are many personal benefits that accrue to them, making them more likely to be a loyal employee to your organization.


In addition to improved outcomes for the companies we work for, there are quite a few personal benefits. This is a positive-feedback loop with better personal benefits leading to happier and more successful workers, which in turn helps companies perform more efficiently, effectively, and profitably.

And that virtuous circle usually continues to feed on itself once you’ve got it rolling.


 Learning more about who we are and how we are wired based on our family and life history can bring us to a place of being more aware of our negative emotional triggers.

If we are more in tune with the fact that we are sad, angry, anxious, etc., at any given time, and more specifically what triggers those feelings, we are more likely to avoid going to a negative place. Or, at the very least, we can step back from the ledge much more quickly than before.


[#infographic] A study by McClelland in 1999 showed a 50% drop in “lost-time” accidents after plant received #EmotionalIntelligence training via @InitiativeOne #EQ https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5


 Taking this a step further to a place of mastering, or beginning to master, our emotions means we don’t allow our moods or the moods of others to rule or ruin our day. Stepping back to look at things more objectively or from the view of a disinterested party can allow us to get some perspective, thus diffusing a tense or stressful situation.

It’s just not healthy to allow ourselves to be blown about by every wind of emotion that comes our way.



 Higher emotional intelligence at work can carry over into our personal lives. Applying the same skills that enhance our ability to work more effectively with a team will help us better relate to our significant other, children, relatives, etc.



 Not only will your company benefit from having you more efficient at your work, your personal productivity will soar when you aren’t tethered to negative thoughts about your current situation or having time wasted with drama.

Think about how much more time you will have to do the things you love!



 Working in a company with an emotionally intelligent team, you are more likely to stay put for a longer period of time rather than job hopping every time you get worn out by office politics or internal drama.




Since this is such a learned ability, we need to actively work on improving our emotional intelligence skills. We never fully “arrive” at a final destination of perfect EQ. Our environment of new and changing relationships requires continual learning and growth in this area.

Plus, we may also improve and then regress in certain skills, reminding us that our work of becoming a better leader is never complete.

It’s not just about individual improvement in emotional intelligence either; as successful experts in this field, we know how critical it is to raise the level of EQ for your entire team. In doing this, your team is able to accelerate their communication, decision-making, and ultimately faster progress and profitability.

[#infographic] In a UK study, one company saw 22% annual profit growth in restaurant locations with managers who had a high #EQ via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5


 With the help of your team, create a list of 8-12 norms that you expect every team member to exhibit. Then work to hold each other accountable to them through positive reminders.

Once you’ve documented them, regularly remind people of them and what each means. This isn’t intended to be something you beat people over the head with when they fail, but a way to come alongside and remind them how they can succeed by giving that norm a bit more attention in their daily work life.



 This one is hard for many of us …

It’s tempting to just think about what we are going to say next in a conversation, rather than really listening to what the other person is saying. This stems either from the need to be perceived as smart or make sure to get our point across (usually to rebut the other party’s idea).

If we resist this urge, we can make more of an impact by being confident in who we are and allowing ourselves to listen intently to what the other person is saying, thus demonstrating respect.



 Most of us genuinely believe we are communicating well, and many times we don’t even realize that we could be misinterpreted or that someone could understand us differently than we intend.

Some tips to keep in mind for enhancing our communication:

 • Don’t have meetings after the meeting: Make sure that we say what we need to say when the team is together to make a decision. Otherwise, we are likely to undermine the decision with side conversations later.

• Get stuff that is “under the table” and put it “on the table”: For items that aren’t being discussed because we feel they are too sensitive, embarassing, or uncomfortable, muster courage and show some vulnerability by talking to the other person about that “under the table” item. Do this in a non-threatening, kind way with a focus on understanding their side of the issue; it usually helps to do this in private.

• Deliver the mail to the correct address: Simply put … don’t gossip. If you have an issue with someone, that person deserves to hear it from you directly, in private and with sensitivity. Gossip only tears a team further apart.




 Connect your feelings with your thoughts. Some people have no problem with this; others struggle in this area. Sometimes, it helps to write your daily thoughts and feelings down in a journal to tune into your unconscious feelings by reflecting on the day.

Listen to your body’s intuition; that knot in your stomach might be warning you of a danger, even if it doesn’t seem that way to others. Try to sense the feelings of others and use that to try to help them resolve any negative feelings that might hinder their ability to do their job.


[#infographic] High #EQ has been shown to enhance company profitability, increase wages, reduce lost-time accidents, lower employee turnover, and improve job advancement via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5


 Putting yourself in the shoes of another is often a humbling act, since it requires us to recognize that, perhaps, there is a different point of view at play in the situation. Plus, if you do this and communicate in a way that demonstrates to the other person that you truly understand them, most people are grateful you took the time and showed them respect.




 Perhaps your co-worker’s recent outburst was completely unrelated to the task at hand. Are they going through a divorce? Did they just get bad news about the health of a loved one?

There are many times where the emotion displayed has little to no bearing on the work involved. It can simply be related to their personal lives. Find a caring way to ask them how they are doing and how you can help, and you might find that their emotional walls come down.



 Most of us don’t like to look in the mirror … and even less do we like to ask others to hold up that mirror and point out things we need to work on.

Now, this should be done with care and respect, but if we are to become more emotionally intelligent leaders, we must pursue this feedback from others.



With more and more research indicating that people and companies who exhibit higher emotional intelligence than others have better personal and professional outcomes, this is a topic we all could spend more time growing in.

[#infographic] Is #EQ or #IQ more important to success at work and in life via @InitiativeOne? You might be surprised by the answer. https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5

What are the important qualities and outcomes that are a byproduct of having high EQ?

If you can see these 7 emotional intelligence outcomes in your people and organization, you know you are on the right track to improving EQ:



 It’s not always easy to be attuned to the feelings of other people when we tend to focus on our own ups and downs. If we aren’t careful, this can lead to a myopic and self-centered view of the world, discounting what is happening to others that you work or interact with on a daily basis.

But as we become more emotionally astute, we see the patterns of other’s feelings more clearly. This allows us to help others when their emotions are turning negative by politely encouraging them to recognize and change their negative reaction.



 Part of becoming a more effective team has to do with getting everyone rowing in the same direction. Far too often, the opposite happens, and factions rip and tear at the fabric of our companies.

The result is delay, frustration, and misalignment. But once we get people following the same team norms, looking at the same finish line, and backing each other up, that’s where teams really start performing at their highest level..






While it sounds simple, it can be harder to put into practice.

But as we hone our emotional intelligence skills, we can change our instinct to react, particularly when we are tired, sick, or upset. The discipline to resist that urge, take a step back, and respond with forethought becomes easier as we progress in our journey.

Which leads us to the next point …



 When we get stressed, we often have a “fight or flight” response. Demonstrating to our team that we can stay calm in those situations shows our increasing EQ.

Sometimes, we may need to take a few minutes, hours, or even days to cool off. Be honest about it. That’s human. Let your team know you need some time, but promise to get back together to discuss once you’ve had time to decompress and reflect to see both sides.

Maybe there are other ways you can deal with stress (prayer, meditation, taking a walk, etc.).





If you’ve ever been part of an office that seems to have drama 24/7, where people are gossiping and complaining seemingly every day (including the weekends), you know it’s not a happy environment. Unless you’re one of those people who thrives on drama (if you are, please stop it—it’s not healthy for anyone).

By increasing emotional intelligence among your team, there will be less and less drama or unresolved conflict among co-workers. Everyone will be happier, and your business will be, too.

[#infographic] US Air Force recruiters increased their ability to predict successful hires by 300% when they screened for #EQ via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5


 And if there is less unresolved conflict, the negative emotions swirling in our heads will be less over time. Think about how often you spend thinking negative thoughts about a situation that hasn’t even had a trial at resolution. Those thoughts kill our productivity, not to mention leave us emotionally (and sometimes physically) drained.






With less drama and fewer negative emotions weighing you down, it is simply easier to bounce back from adverse situations, whether at work or in your home life.




Emotional intelligence in the workplace is critical to your team’s effectiveness. It pays huge dividends in your personal life. And since both of those are inexorably intertwined, it would be foolish for companies not to work on improving the EQ of their teams.

We hope this guide gave you some actionable emotional intelligence tips for your team to move into a new era of cooperation, productivity, and profitability.

That said, we’ve found that most teams need the structure of a reputable team of experts to guide them through the journey of turbocharging their collective emotional intelligence. Without that focus and structure, the excitement of the moment can easily fade into the grind of the week, long forgotten.

[#infographic] One company reduced their first year employee turnover and cut financial losses by 92% simply by evaluating candidates for #EQ via @InitiativeOne https://bit.ly/2Mk2Qx5

At InitiativeOne, we’ve made it our mission to be that trusted, expert partner in emotional intelligence training. We aren’t just another leadership training course. Ours is different. We focus on the people side of things. After all, we are “human beings”, not “human doings”.

True transformation starts with the hearts and minds of your team members. We don’t just train leaders; we get in the trenches with you to identify and remove the barriers that are holding your team back, all while following a research-based process.

If that sounds good to you, InitiativeOne can help your team develop better emotional intelligence. Contact us today to learn how we can help you become the kind of high-performing team you know you can be.


How Do Peer-to-Peer Small Business Loans Work?

These are the 5 “super skills” you need for jobs of the future

By Fast Company

Work is changing, so to stay ahead you’ll need to master these skills that you probably didn’t learn in college.

These are the 5 “super skills” you need for jobs of the future
[Illustration: Evgeny Gromov/iStock]

Chances are your job description has changed over the past five years. Or maybe your role didn’t even exist a short time ago. The workplace of today and the future looks quite different due to technology, the economy, the environment, and politics, according to the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a not-for-profit think tank that helps organizations plan for the future.

The evolving workplace is creating a skills divide, says Adam Miller, CEO of Cornerstone, a talent management software and systems provider that partnered with IFTF to create a future skills study. “We have a very large group of jobs that require relatively few high-level skills, and a lot of those jobs will become obsolete in the future, being automated away,” he says. “On the flip side, highly technical jobs are wide open because there aren’t enough people with the skills to fill them. Whether or not employees recognize it, the half-life of their skills is shorter than it used to be.”

If you want to compete and stay relevant in the marketplace, you’ve got to master five “super skills,” according to IFTF:


Being successful means setting yourself apart, and you’ll need a personal brand that defines who you are and who you want to become, according to IFTF. That involves building a reputation, trust, and a following. The impression you project about yourself is crucial for finding the best workplace culture fit and for inspiring confidence in your coworkers, clients, and managers, says Jennifer Lasater, vice president of career services at Purdue University Global.

Start with the basics, such as auditing your social media presence and email name. “Ensure that your image comes across as professional, polished, and appropriate for an organization that you are interested in, now or in the future,” she suggests, adding that it helps to have a mentor, adviser, or trusted friend provide you with candid feedback on your reputation.

Building a personal brand can also include being mindful of your accomplishments and traits, says Tammy Erickson, adjunct professor of organizational behavior at London Business School. “I like to call them ‘badges,’” she says. “It’s skills that are gathered that build your reputational portfolio. It can be that you’re a financial wizard, dependable or creative. You begin to blend softer, more qualitative skills that are not reflected in traditional academics.”


The digital transformation impacts every industry, and being able to befriend the “machine” is one of the most critical of the five skills, says Miller. “Technology is not going away,” he says, adding that tech used to be a department. “Now the whole world is a tech world.”

You’ll need to know how to assemble teams of humans, robots, and bots and get them all to work together, according to IFTF: “Your AI assistants will promise you convenience and efficiency, but you’ll need to know how to tap their intelligence to do more, to accomplish things you could never do before.”

The ability to embrace technology and machines is about the ability to get stuff done, says George Brough, vice president of organizational development at Caliper, a provider of employee assessment solutions. “It’s about knowing the tools and how to use them, it’s about knowing which tool to use in which situation,” he says. “This can be done either by acquiring new knowledge, or by collaborating with people or machines that have what you lack.”


As the economy embraces gig work and crowdsourcing, having a personal tribe becomes critical. “You’ll need to master the many different kinds of trade: open, private, or public goods. And with the world shifting shapes all the time, you’ll need to think like a designer to make the shapes you want,” according to IFTF.

“To be successful in building a career and maintaining financial stability in this environment, relying on your personal network is key,” says Jim Davis, assistant director of Pace University’s Career Services Department. “It has been proven many times that networking is the most effective way to land a new position or new job.”

Understanding this and dedicating time to build and cultivate your network throughout your career will help open opportunities when it’s time to make a career change.


Complexity can look like chaos, and you’ll need an ability to connect the dots to create new pathways, according to IFTF. Being adaptable will help you keep up with change, says Miller.

“You need to be accepting of the new skills you have to have,” he says. “You need to be comfortable with change and you need to be willing to develop new skills.”

Flexibility will help you seek growth opportunities, says Bonnie Hagemann, coauthor of Leading with Vision and CEO of Executive Development Associates, an executive development consulting firm. “The best growth opportunity may be in another role or project and not necessarily moving up,” she says. “Sometimes it’s stepping down to learn a new skill and then going up again. Think career lattice instead of career ladder.”


In your personal life, resilience is often linked to overcoming problems and obstacles. In a business setting, however, resilience helps you transform obstacles into solutions and opportunities, says Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, clinical assistant professor of management and business law at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

“Employees who do this are priceless because they accelerate a culture of business innovation in the workplace,” she says. “Companies that can’t transform aren’t resilient, and in turn, they often aren’t successful.”

One of the best ways to enhance resilience is to focus on keeping negative things from having an overwhelming impact on the positive possibilities in any given situation, says Westerhaus-Renfrow. “Don’t forget: It takes a village,” she says. “Surround yourself and lean on resilient people for support and guidance. Resilient people tend to inspire and build up resilient people.”

Resilience is the most important trait for anyone in any profession, adds Lasater. “Setbacks, problems, and personal issues can be distracting and overwhelming, but the people that rise every time do great things,” she says. “There are no shortcuts or quick tidbits for this one; if you want something badly enough, you have to keep working toward it.”

10 Ways to Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence

Up your EI quotient.

Posted Jan 05, 2012

Everyone’s always talking about Emotional Intelligence (EI) but what exactly is it? One important aspect of emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions – in oneself and others – and to use that information appropriately. For example, recognizing emotional intelligence in oneself can help you regulate and manage your emotions, while recognizing emotions in others can lead to empathy and success in your relationships, both personal and professional.

Given the importance of emotional intelligence, I thought it might be helpful to give a very brief overview of the topic, as well as 10 ways to enhance your emotional intelligence, originally published in my book “The Emotional Revolution.”

In 1990, Yale psychologists John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey originally coined the term emotional intelligence, which some researchers claim that is an inborn characteristic, while others suggest that you can improve it with proper guidance and practice. I agree with both schools and obviously with the latter – or I wouldn’t be giving you tips as to what you can do to improve your EI.

It may not be possible for everyone to have a psychotherapist. But you can become your own therapist. (After all, Freud analyzed himself.) It all starts with learning how to listen to your feelings. While it may not always be easy, developing the ability to tune in to your own emotions is the first and perhaps most important step.

Here are 10 Ways to Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence:

1. Don’t interrupt or change the subject. If feelings are uncomfortable, we may want to avoid them by interrupting or distracting ourselves. Sit down at least twice a day and ask, “How am I feeling?” It may take a little time for the feelings to arise. Allow yourself that small space of time, uninterrupted.


2. Don’t judge or edit your feelings too quickly. Try not to dismiss your feelings before you have a chance to think them through. Healthy emotions often rise and fall in a wave, rising, peaking, and fading naturally. Your aim should be not to cut off the wave before it peaks.3. See if you can find connections between your feelings and other times you have felt the same way. When a difficult feeling arises, ask yourself, “When have I felt this feeling before?” Doing this may help you to realize if your current emotional state is reflective of the current situation, or of another time in your past.

4. Connect your feelings with your thoughts. When you feel something that strikes you as out of the ordinary, it is always useful to ask, “What do I think about that?” Often times, one of our feelings will contradict others. That’s normal. Listening to your feelings is like listening to all the witnesses in a court case. Only by admitting all the evidence will you be able to reach the best verdict.


5. Listen to your body. A knot in your stomach while driving to work may be a clue that your job is a source of stress. A flutter of the heart when you pick up a girl you have just started to date may be a clue that this could be “the real thing.” Listening to these sensations and the underlying feelings that they signal will allow you to process with your powers of reason.6. If you don’t know how you’re feeling, ask someone else. People seldom realize that others are able to judge how they are feeling. Ask someone who knows you (and whom you trust) how you are coming across. You may find the answer both surprising and illuminating.

7. Tune in to your unconscious feelings. How can you become more aware of your unconscious feelings? Try free association. While in a relaxed state, allow your thoughts to roam freely and watch where they go. Analyze your dreams. Keep a notebook and pen at the side of your bed and jot down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Pay special attention to dreams that repeat or are charged with powerful emotion.

8. Ask yourself: How do I feel today? Start by rating your overall sense of well-being on a scale of 0 and 100 and write the scores down in a daily log book. If your feelings seem extreme one day, take a minute or two to think about any ideas or associations that seem to be connected with the feeling.


9. Write thoughts and feelings down. Research has shown that writing down your thoughts and feelings can help profoundly. A simple exercise like this could take only a few hours per week.10. Know when enough is enough. There comes a time to stop looking inward; learn when its time to shift your focus outward. Studies have shown that encouraging people to dwell upon negative feelings can amplify these feelings. Emotional intelligence involves not only the ability to look within, but also to be present in the world around you.

Modern HR – How To Ace Being An Employee Champion

Organizations and corporations are undergoing massive changes in today’s business world.

The HR department is experiencing a lot of pressure from increasing globalization, rapid technological changes and increased competition. These changes call for a new, different, and more modernized approach by Human Resource towards achieving organizational goals.

Employees are the backbone of a company or organization, therefore, a good HR team will have Employee Champions to execute the following strategies and techniques to make the company’s employees feel more valued.

Modern HR business roles:


A Strategic Partner


An Administrative Expert


An Employee Champion


A Change Agent

The above strategies were compiled and recommended in “Human Resource Champions“, a book by Dr. Dave Ulrich,  renowned writer in the HR field today.

HR As An Employee Champion

Prioritize your employees.

A modern HR employee champion listens and responds to an employee’s personal needs and puts them first. As an employee advocate or sponsor, a HR manager needs to provide a working environment in which workers choose rather than feel forced to be motivated, productive and happy at work.

Cultivate a culture of effective communication, goal-setting, and empowerment.

As Manager, you need to build your employee’s oneness with the organization. Assigning them responsibilities gives them a sense of ownership in the company and develops a culture and climate where they feel concerned, committed and competent to serve customers exceptionally.

Employee assistance programs [EAP].

Strategies to assist employees to get past complaints and problems helps them focus on a common goal. Addressing these problems with continuous communication strengthens employer-employee relationship.

Employee development opportunities.

The employee advocate makes opportunities available to employees to help them better their talents and skills on the job. This strategy will improve their problem-solving capabilities.

What are you waiting for? Carpe diem!


* the video is a mini-lecture by our founder, Nicole on Modern HR – for one of the online group classes she is facilitating.

© New To HR


The Most Important Component of an Effective Team


image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/work_team_1523896921.jpg

rawpixel / Pixabay

What kinds of teams have you been a part of? Maybe a sports team or theatre group, a dreaded school or work project group, or an implementation team to bring a new technology at work. Many can attest that working with teams can go really well – but more likely than not, when asked about working as a group, people become disgruntled and have negative stories to share. Why is that?

A few years ago, a team of Google workers set out to discover exactly what makes a team work well together. This became known as Project Aristotle, led by a manager from Google’s People Analytics division, Abeer Dubey.

“‘We looked at 180 teams from all over the company,’’ Dubey said. ‘‘We had lots of data, but there was nothing showing that a mix of specific personality types or skills or backgrounds made any difference. The ‘who’ part of the equation didn’t seem to matter.’’


In other words, a group working on a project could be made up of the six smartest, most successful workers the industry has to offer, but that alone did not mean that the group effort would be a success. After much research, surveying and analysis, the Project Aristotle team found that “psychological safety” was the number one component of a successful team – and significantly beat out other characteristics.


But what exactly is psychological safety? According to the Project Aristotle results, psychological safety basically means that every team member feels comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions – and that everyone gets a chance to talk for about the same amount of time in group meetings. This is not to say that there is a time limit or select time for each person to talk, but that organically, each person genuinely wants to hear from others in the group. Each team member should feel respected and confident enough to share any thoughts, without the fear of being shot down or laughed at by others.Psychological safety can encompass many qualities one might think of when describing an effective team.

Open, honest communication

Being able to share honest thoughts and opinions with team members is a huge portion of a successful project. Additionally, this open communication includes receiving honest feedback and quick responses. No one should have to hunt someone down because they did not reply to a message about scheduling a meeting or asking for a particular document.


A diverse team includes people with different education and training, life experiences, and backgrounds. A successful group also includes varied personalities and strengths – introverts/extraverts, analytical minds, and great public speakers. Ideally, each team member brings his or her unique skills to the table and the combination creates a great team.

Passion for the goal/cause

Each team member should have a full understanding of the team’s purpose and strategy. Hopefully the entire team has a genuine interest in the project at hand, or at the very least a passion for accomplishing the goals in the best way.


Perhaps the most important component of psychological safety outlined by Project Aristotle is team members who show empathy. Most people spend more time with coworkers than anyone else, even family and close friends. Feeling comfortable sharing things with coworkers, besides just project details and work information, helps develop trust and understanding.

Project Aristotle’s goal was to find out the components of a successful team so a dysfunctional or ineffective group combination was less likely to happen. While it is impossible to totally eliminate teams that do not work well together, learning about psychological safety and how to educate teams about this very important characteristic is vital to ensuring success.

Read more at https://www.business2community.com/leadership/the-most-important-component-of-an-effective-team-02046635

3 Questions to Evaluate a Candidate’s Emotional Intelligence


When looking to fill an open position, a lot of factors go into the screening process for the perfect candidate. You want someone who has relevant experience; an acceptable number of years in the field; a solid work history; and, the skills you’re looking for. But the most often overlooked, and arguably most important, factor you should be looking for is emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence, a term coined by Daniel Goleman, involves self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.

This innate ability has proven to be connected to success in the workplace. In fact, one study found that people who were strongest in emotional intelligence were more likely to succeed in a position than those who were strongest in IQ or relevant previous experience. Add to that the fact that job retention has also been linked to emotional intelligence — and you have a pretty strong case as to why you should be altering your screening process to incorporate Emotional Intelligence indicators. To help assess Emotional Intelligence during the screening process, we’ve gathered three questions you should incorporate and what you should be looking for in a candidate’s responses.

Can you explain to me a conflict you had at work that left you feeling aggravated?

Handling work conflict can be aggravating, but it’s how an individual handles the emotion at hand that makes all the difference. When asking this question, you want to be listening for how a candidate handled their emotions during this trying situation and how they were able to empathize with those they were conflicting with.

As mentioned, take into consideration the five factors of emotional intelligence Daniel Gorman laid out and look at how they understood and handled their own emotions, whether or not they seemed aware of others’ emotions, and whether or not they were able to work through the conflict and still have a relationship with those involved.

Tell me about a time your boss or colleague criticized your work. How did it make you feel and how did you handle it?

An emotionally intelligent person understands that criticism about work is not personal and will use the feedback to positively impact their future work. You should listen for a candidate who sounds defensive or offended when speaking about the feedback or tries to assign blame, as all of these are indicators of lower emotional intelligence.

Assess they way they’re talking about the situation. Do they still seem upset? Can they articulate how they were able to incorporate the feedback to improve upon themselves? Howa candidate talks about a situation is just as important as the story they tell. 


What job skill do you feel you could use improvement on?

People low in emotional intelligence have a hard time discussing their faults, so you want to take note of someone who has difficulty answering this question or someone who has a boilerplate answer like, “I’m too much of a perfectionist.” While most often these types of answers aren’t really true, they are also too vague to be of any help in assessing the candidate.

You want to listen for someone who takes the time and effort to be thoughtful and articulate in their answer. Someone high in emotional intelligence will also be more likely to display curiosity and a desire to learn with their response to this question.  


Kellie Brown

Kellie Brown is the marketing manager at Humantelligence. She is responsible for spearheading Humantelligence’s digital marketing, demand generation, and events efforts. Kellie has built her career upon her passion for the intersection of analytics and creativity that marketing provides. She has extensive experience strategizing and executing demand generation, engagement and awareness programs for human resources and assessment software. When she’s not strategizing, she’s researching and writing about the latest in HR and recruiting technology.

Kellie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where she studied marketing, advertising and communication theory. She has worked under the marketing function in business consulting, creative advertising agencies, and cloud-based software organizations.


3 Strategies for Open Plan Productivity

By Neen James

open office workspaceDepending on who you listen to, open plan environments either dramatically increase your collaboration and creativity… or decrease your effectiveness and health… Hmmm who to listen to!

There are many statistics I found on the good (and bad effects) of open plan, I chose to take the positive side (you know me, glass is always not only half full, but overflowing and waiting for more water to be poured in!).

When leading a team; wanting to maximize their productivity and manage their attention, here are three strategies to assist make the most of this growing trend:



Know the do’s and don’ts – We have made a list for you and a few common do’s are: invest in headphones for the team to block out distraction, keep your space clear and tidy and items securely locked away and respect others privacy.  A few don’ts include: never use speaker phone (so thoughtless), don’t heat up smelly lunch in the microwave, never intrude on others conversations or provide unsolicited advice. Creating a simple operating agreement with your team is a great strategy to foster collaboration.


Know your style – If you are an introvert you may need quiet thinking time (book a conference room to complete strategic work) or you may be an extrovert and constantly seeking input of others (you may also like to book a room for brainstorming). I loved Susan Cain’s TED talk and also her book Quiet: Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.  A great read if you manage introverts, if you are an extrovert… or if you just want to know how to get the most out of your talented team.


Know the culture –are your team constantly collaborating on big sales deals, new marketing promotions or solving customer issues? They might require more collaborative spaces, include couches, conference rooms and breakouts. If they like to work alone and require strategic thinking time consider less meetings, more use of headphones and do not disturb signs.


Open plan environments can be highly productive, or massively disruptive – you decide. Allow your team to pay attention to what really matters and create guidelines for managing their focus during the day and achieving their results.

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