Emotional Intelligence & Agile in the Workplace: Consider Yourself a People-Person? You Must Have A High EQ

October 18, 2018

Agile Relies on the Human Element

During our certified Agile training classes, long before the “ah-ha” moments, attendees often cite several roadblocks they repeatedly face on a day-to-day basis in the workplace. All of their challenges often boil down to “the human element.” Professionals struggle when it comes to interacting with their peers or managers effectively, efficiently, and comfortably. This leads to a chronic onset of frustration, anxiety, loss of enthusiasm, and mental roadblocks. Emotionally Intelligent individuals are better able to understand, connect, and inspire others around them. At Braintrust, we believe Agile doesn’t work unless people do. As your Agile advisor, we hope this quick-read helps you become a bit more of a “people-person.”

According to emotional intelligence (EI), or emotional quotient (EQ), success is strongly influenced by personal qualities such as perseverance, self-control, and skill in getting along with others. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results. (Source)

The High EQ Advantage

The traditional definition of EQ says that when someone has a high EQ, they recognize and understand their emotions and are able to control them and express feelings adequately. However, this is where we differ from the traditional view. We believe that that trying to “control your emotions” is actually what gets us into trouble. When you focus on controlling your emotions, you learn to bury your emotions and not truly feel, and to others, you become a false superhero. Instead, in our classes and in our company, we teach that true emotional intelligence is being willing to feel your emotions, with others present, and allowing your team to see your humanity shine through. That is not to say that you should yell at your team members in the heat of an argument, but there is nothing wrong with feeling anger in front of others, nor any other emotion. Emotions make us human and allowing others to see them is fundamental to Agile Leadership. This may seem contrary to everything you know about EQ but click here to watch Braintrust Founder, Brian Rabon, explain his views on Strength versus Vulnerability. 

What is Emotional Intelligence (Emotional Quotient)?

EI is made up of four domains: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Within those domains are twelve EI competencies, starting with emotional self-awareness in the self-awareness domain. Emotional self-control, adaptability, achievement orientation, and a positive outlook fall under self-management. Empathy and organizational awareness make up social awareness. Relationship management includes influence, coaching and mentoring, conflict management, teamwork, and inspirational leadership (HBR, Goleman & Boyatzis, 2017).

Emotional Intelligence in the workplace

USC’s Masters in Applied Psychology Program states, in its most refined form, emotional intelligence provides empathy necessary to fully understand another’s perspective even when it contradicts one’s own. Research has shown women, who traditionally rate higher on tests of emotional intelligence, tend to have a more collaborative and inclusive leadership style than men. Practiced by persons of any gender, emotional intelligence has much to offer the modern workplace and stakeholders across all functions:

• It helps leaders motivate and inspire good work by understanding others’ motivations.
• It brings more individuals to the table and helps avoid the many pitfalls of groupthink.
• It empowers the leader to recognize and act on opportunities others may be unaware of.
• It assists in the recognition and resolution of conflict in a fair and even-handed way.
• It can produce higher morale and assist others in tapping their professional potential.

Give your team a boost

Boost your Agile team’s morale, performance, productivity, and overall satisfaction in the workplace by taking steps to increase your EQ today! At Braintrust, we provide services to help Agile flourish in your work environment. We address several EQ key competencies as a part of our certified training classes, like adaptability, coaching and mentoring, influence, and inspirational leadership. Increase your worth and effectiveness as a team player by registering for an upcoming certified training class near you.




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