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Emotional Intelligence and Team Effectiveness - Marina Lumley

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Emotional intelligence and team effectiveness.

I’m really excited to be part of the EQ Connect conference in October and even more delighted that I’ll have the opportunity to share the research findings from a recent project I undertook to assess the impact of team effectiveness by coaching teams on their emotional intelligence. In this post, I set the scene for the research and share a sneak preview of three take outs and some comments from some members of the teams.


The power of team work

It’s widely accepted that teams are an important building block of organisational success and that high performing teams can achieve great things. (Neil Armstrong wouldn’t have made it to the moon without teamwork). There has been research conducted by many on the determinants that drive team performance. The ‘input-process-output’ model by Hackman, perhaps the most well referenced, and the seminal work of the likes of Amy Edmundson on the role of psychological safety highly relevant and topical.

And, in my experience of working with teams over the last decade, I’ve discovered that there is no single answer or fool proof recipe for success; because all teams are ultimately unique.


What makes teams unique?

The components are endless. They are made up of a combination of the individuals (personality, experiences, IQ, EQ) and their experiences of life, business and the organisation they are now in. The leader and style of leadership (if not a self-managing team). The place in the journey of team development from forming to adjourning. The context of the organisation and its broader external environment.

All these ingredients and more, drive their ways of working, informed by their assumptions, values and beliefs. Yes, there are models and frameworks that enable myself as a team coach to work with teams, and they all have important roles to play. But in this recent research, I asked a different question.


Can working with the emotional intelligence of a team, drive team effectiveness and engagement?

The short answer is – Yes, and several different ways! And will be sharing the full story and answering questions at the EQ Connects Conference in October.


For those who can’t wait for October, here are three of the most significant take outs for me:

1. EQ coaching was able to drive team engagement and effectiveness without directly working on the day job of the team – the work appeared to impact mindset, feelings and behaviours of the team, which in turn impacted their performance.

2. A unique and powerful experience for individuals. I was surprised at how little (almost no one)had ever had the opportunity to explore what emotional intelligence means, what the competencies are, and significantly how quickly it can make a difference to their lives.

3. Bought the teams closer together. The shared experience was bonding for the team – and I would suggest at a deeper level than white water rafting or an afternoon in the Crystal Maze.


What I will share in October:

1. How we conducted the interventions and the role of EQ in the process

2. How we measured team performance – before and after

3. What hypothesis were carried into the research

4. Results – what impact did the work have – both the numbers and the feedback from participants

5. Why we believe we saw the results that we did

6. Discussion how we’ll be moving this work on


Hope to see you in October


Marina Lumley

Founder of The EQ Practice and Greengrass Consulting


Enabling High Performing Teams | Executive & Team Coaching | Leadership Development | Enabling Emotional Intelligence


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