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Team Productivity is a complex matter; although we are able to break it down into very practical elements, it requires a deeper look into the so-called grey areas such as cognition, learning and different types of intelligences, to be fully understood. An area that directly contributes to productivity and productive thinking is Emotional Intelligence.
We live in a society that is highly competitive. There is a lot of pressure to perform and be better at what you do than the next person. As a result we invest in those things we think will make us successful and productive at what we do. We spend lots of time and money on education, we download productivity apps, we read self-help books and blogs on a variety of topics and we buy more and more technology in the hope it will get us to the end result sooner. Even though these strategies yield results, we often neglect an important element to success in our personal and professional lives. This fundamental ingredient is termed Emotional Intelligence.
Individuals and teams with a high Emotional Intelligence possess the following skills:
The ability to recognise and understand your own emotions and those of others.
To be able to discriminate between emotions and label emotions.
Appropriate expression of emotions and the ability to control your emotions.
The ability to listen to others, show empathy and communicate emotions and thoughts effectively. The integration of thoughts, feelings and behaviour for effective living.
Possessing Emotional Intelligence is vital because it leads to:
Communication that is efficient
Interpersonal relationships that are satisfying
Successful conflict handling
Self confidence in our daily interactions
According to the Behaviourist Albert Bandura, our Emotional Intelligence and social skills are learned through observation and copying the models we observe in childhood. Thus, Emotional Intelligence learning mostly takes place subconsciously. As a society we have not bothered to make sure that kids are taught the essentials skills of Emotional Intelligence. Acquiring these competencies depends largely on the types of models we are exposed to.
Acquiring these competencies depends largely on the types of models we are exposed to.
The good news is that Emotional Intelligence can be improved through working on the following competencies:
Self-knowledge is the first step to improving your Emotional Intelligence. Do you know yourself and where you are going? Do you know what your values and needs are, as well as what is really important to you? Do you know what parts of yourself you are willing to make compromises with and what you are not willing to change without giving up on yourself?
Assertiveness is a crucial factor of Emotional Intelligence. In order to be self-assertive one has to have a degree of self-acceptance and self-respect.
Self- awareness is the ability to know what is happening inside and outside of you and to know how to react appropriately. An important aspect of Emotional Intelligence is to be able to be emotionally aware, of both yourself and others. This means being able to perceive feelings correctly. If you misperceive emotions, it will cause you to react in a way that will make it unlikely for you to get what you really want. If you misperceive the feelings of others, it might lead to unintended consequences. Work on identifying your emotions in the moment and practice identifying emotions in others.
Communication skills, especially being able to listen to others and validate their feelings. It also entails being able to communicate your feelings and needs to others in an appropriate way.
Emotional control is one of the most important aspects of Emotional Intelligence. You will be able to cope with any situation with a certain amount of confidence if you are in control of your feelings.
Becoming aware of the beliefs and thinking patterns which are characteristic of yourself forms an important part of Emotional Intelligence and your ability to have control of your inner functioning and emotions. You cannot guide your life if you are unable to control your thoughts.
Developing these competencies has a direct impact on team productivity: teams will function better together which results in a better standard of work, which in turn encourages greater efficiency and ever-increasing standards.
Now, it’s your turn to think about Emotional Intelligence and team productivity:
What competencies do you need to develop to improve your Emotional Intelligence and in turn, your productivity?
If you are working in a team, what competencies are lacking and which are lowering the productivity levels?