Join us for the upcoming live webinar on ‘How to Empower Parents of Struggling Teens in Your Organization’. RSVP  


6 Ways Emotional Intelligence Improves Team Productivity

By: Joe Burton
Published: Mar 14, 2019
Diverse group of employees demonstrating EI by working together in a conference room

EQ doesn’t have to be complicated. High-performing teams are built day-by-day through compassion, genuine listening, and respect. Our last article laid out the top emotional intelligence skills for a high-performing team:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Resilience
  3. Mindfulness
  4. Listening
  5. Consistency

Honing these skills are must-haves for team performance because of the profound impact they can have on productivity. Read how these skills improve overall team performance below:

When a team is built with self-aware #employees, motives are better understood and teams can function on a higher level. Learn more about #EmotionalIntelligence in the #workplace from @RethinkCare.

Align With Company Goals

EQ Skill: Self-awareness

Self-awareness starts with ones-self, but once mastered, applies to awareness of surroundings. High EQ takes a holistic approach to work asking the “why.” Why are we doing this project, what will this project accomplish and how does this relate to the overall goals of the company? 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project. When a team is built with self-aware employees, motives are better understood, and teams can function on a higher level.

“Our research tells us that three conditions are essential to a group’s effectiveness: trust among members, a sense of group identity, and a sense of group efficacy.” 

— EQ experts Dr. Vanessa Druskat and Dr. Steven Wolff

Overcoming Adversity

EQ Skill: Resilience

“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

— Vince Lombardi

Ups and downs will come. Not everything is going to go according to plan. Employees have a choice on how to deal with this. Attitudes can either improve and stay positive or easily fall into a spiral. Resilient employees buckle down and keep fighting. When comprised with resilience, teams are more agile, more responsive and stronger when faced with adversity.

Learn how to Empower Your Employees with a Resilient Mindset.


EQ Skill: Listening, Self-awareness

Countless studies have persuaded us on the immeasurable effect feedback has on employees. Manager to employee, peer to peer and employee to manager, all serve a purpose in team productivity.

“Finding ways to recognize and reward individuals, leaders, and teams who engage in productive collaborative behaviors can pay off in a big way. Says Kevin Martin, Chief Research Officer, i4cp. “The lack of incentives and rewards is the most common and powerful barrier to effective collaboration.”

When using active listening and self-awareness, feedback is more readily received, heard and understood. Listening makes us more aware of our surroundings and more thoughtful when it’s our turn to give a critique or praise.


EQ Skill: Listening

Quite possibly the essential piece of teamwork altogether, communication can either be a facilitator or a problem depending on the emotional intelligence of the team members.

  • 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
  • 33% of employees said a lack of open, honest discussion has the most negative impact on employee morale.
  • 42% of U.S. workers spend at least 60% of their time working remotely.
  • 83% of professionals depend on technology to collaborate. 82% of the participants also felt that they would feel impacted if this technology to collaborate was lost.

Listening takes everyone into account what messages are being sent out, and the true meaning behind them. Emotional intelligence turns one-sided communication into a meaningful dialogue where both parties are heard, respected and acknowledged.

Read more about how EQ is the New IQ, Only Better.


EQ Skill: Consistency

“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”

— Patrick Lencioni

Consistent actions create reliability which turns into trust. When you know what you can expect from your team members, the team is strengthened. Risks can be taken, new ideas explored without fear of judgment and a safe space is created. Not being able to trust an employees turns a team into a group of people sitting close by.

Read More About Emotional Intelligence Skills for High-Performance Cultures


EQ Skill: Mindfulness

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.”

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Having true respect and compassion for our team members besides us create bonds. Organizational psychologists Worline and Dutton tell us that “because of its role in enhancing collective capacities like innovation, service quality, collaboration, and adaptability, compassion matters for competitive advantage.” Responding compassionately to workers not only improves their performance and loyalty, but also creates an atmosphere that is safe for learning, collaboration, and innovation—which all impact the bottom line. When being mindful, relationships overall are improved. Stress and anxiety are lowered, and openness to real connections is heightened.

Teams exhibiting high levels of #EmotionalIntelligence will have better alignment, #communication, and trust while overcoming adversity. Get the fast facts about emotional intelligence from @RethinkCare.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mindfulness Answered Here.

High EQ Teams Win

Why is this so important? Teams with high EQ outperform and outlast teams with low emotional intelligence. Teams exhibiting high levels of emotional intelligence will have better alignment, communication, and trust while overcoming adversity.

64% of employees feel their employers aren’t giving them to tools they need to work on resilience, stress management, and mindfulness. RethinkCare has training tracks on mindfulness, managing emotions, career wellbeing, and emotional intelligence to help improve the emotional intelligence skills of your team.

Reduce stress, enhance focus and deepen relationships with RethinkCare’s goal-based training. Improve your corporate culture while reducing absenteeism, turnover and health care costs by request a demo from RethinkCare today.

About the Author

Headshot of Joe Burton

Retired Founder and CEO of Whil and former President of Headspace

Joe is an entrepreneur in the digital wellness space, retired Founder and CEO of Whil and former President of Headspace, and spent fifteen years as a global COO in public companies. He’s an alumnus of Harvard Business School and a regular contributor to Forbes, Business Insider and The Huffington Post. He’s worked in over 50 countries and travels the world speaking on topics including disruption, culture, resiliency and mindfulness.

Share with your community

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter on the latest industry updates, Rethink happenings, and resources galore.

Related Resources


As we enter the month of April, a time recognized for highlighting autism, I invite us...


It is well understood that embracing neurodiversity in the workplace fosters inclusion and innovation. Recognizing this,...


In June as we celebrate the LGBTQ community, we also need to be aware of people...