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The Must-Have Emotional Intelligence Skills for a High-Performing Team

By: Joe Burton
employee working by computer

You can’t touch it or hear it, but you know it when you see it. Emotional Intelligence is that soft skill that is hard to measure but easy to see. A high Emotional Intelligence (EQ) comes into play when dealing with different personalities, agendas, and emotions and has become a top sought after trait in organizations today.

“EQ refers to someone’s ability to perceive, understand and manage their own feelings and emotions.”  – Chignell, 2018

Teams are formed based on necessary hard skills. What makes a high-performing team goes far beyond what’s in a job title? Here are our top picks for the must-have emotional intelligence skills for a high-performing team.

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

What do self-awareness, adaptability, and #resilience all have in common? They’re all skills emotionally intelligent people use on a regular basis. Learn more about #EQ from @RethinkCare:


One has to know oneself fully before they can know others, right? Self-awareness is so important when it comes to performance. By being self-aware, strengths are realized, confidence is authentic and intrinsic values are identified. Self-aware people tend to act consciously rather than react passively, to be in good psychological health and to have a positive outlook on life.

“Strong people have a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness; they don’t need the approval of others.”  

– Roy T. Bennett


91% of HR directors predicted that by 2018, the ability of a candidate to deal with change will be a major recruitment goal. With constant changes in technology, diversity, and society, team rosters should be filled with employees who are flexible, adaptable and open to new ideas. When projects don’t go as planned, successful team members rise to the challenge and are able to accept and pivot rather than become discouraged and disengaged.

“We constantly meet psychological challenges. Some of us succumb, we feel hopeless, disempowered, give up … and some meet challenges, take the knock and learn something from it. Our ability to have life satisfaction, to be happy [and] to have good relationships really depends on our ability to adapt.”  

– Guy Winch, Psychologist

Learn how to Empower Your Employees with a Resilient Mindset.


Mindfulness is trendy for good reason. Mindfulness is attention and awareness training to reduce stress, increase resilience and improve your ability to focus for a healthier and happier life. Social psychologists Laura Kiken and Natalie Shook, have found that mindfulness predicts judgment accuracy and insight-related problem-solving. Furthermore, organizational psychologists Erik Dane and Bradley Brummel found that mindfulness facilitates job performance, even after accounting for all three dimensions of work engagement – vigor, dedication, and absorption. Mindful employees can take problems with a clear vision and make better decisions in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mindfulness answered here.


A huge part of communication is done without saying a word. A research study suggests we only remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear. That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers, or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation. Have you ever held a response on the tip of your tongue for so long while you waited for your communicator to stop talking?

Listening fully will not just hear the message, but will be able to pick up on non-verbal cues and emotions which can significantly alter the message. When fully comprehending, listeners are able to better answer and work with their audience.

Read more about Emotional Intelligence Skills for High-Performance Cultures


“When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation.” 

– Arsene Wenger

Consistency in decisions, performance and temperament build trust between employees. Team members with a skill for consistency become dependable, reliable and credible. There are no surprises here.

Employees pay much more attention to actions than empty declarations. Walking the talk and following through is hugely important in organizations where teamwork and team performance is crucial to the success of the company.

Performance goes beyond just job titles. High performing teams are comprised of #employees with high #EmotionalIntelligence. @RethinkCare

Improve EQ at Your Company

Emotional intelligence is that one soft skill hard to put on paper but easy to see. How does your company stack up in terms of EQ skills like self-awareness, mindfulness, and resilience? Improving or building up a skill takes practice and intention.

“There’s a fine line between positive leadership qualities — like decisiveness, passion and unswerving vision — and being abusive or hurtful to others. It takes emotional intelligence to tell the difference,” 

– Peter Holgate, Founder of Ronin8 Technologies

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.

Reduce stress, improve 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.

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