Culture is grown not built

High performing teams are guided, mentored, and yes, coached.

Team members of AFC Richmond, from the Ted Lasso television series, stand under a beat up "BELIEVE" poster and touching it with their hands.

Employee performance and organizational culture are mission critical to the success of any organization. 

A positive work culture can help increase employee engagement and productivity. And on the flip side, employee engagement and performance are key determinants of culture. 

If three seasons of Ted Lasso have reminded us of anything, it’s that the relationship between individuals and workplace culture is fluid, dynamic, and interdependent. And it takes time and effort; more than we probably think.

And winning teams work on themselves

One powerful tool that can help with this is the EQ-i 2.0 model of emotional intelligence.

The EQ-i measures an individual’s emotional intelligence. This model is comprised of 15 distinct competencies, which fall under five composites: Self-Perception, Self-Expression, Interpersonal, Decision Making, and Stress Management.

By assessing and developing emotional intelligence competencies among teams, leaders can identify opportunities to guide employee performance and work culture. 

Here are some specific ways that the EQ-i 2.0 model can help:

  1. Greater self-awareness: Increasing self-awareness is a powerful way for employees to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. By developing self-awareness, employees can think differently about the impact on their team, and become more effective in their roles and better able to contribute to the success of the organization.
  2. Improved communication: Emotional intelligence competencies such as Empathy and Interpersonal Relationships can help those who need to communicate more effectively with colleagues, managers, and customers. Improved communication is always a good thing, but specifically it can lead to better collaboration, greater honesty, and increased buzz.
  3. Better conflict management: Conflict is inevitable, but emotional intelligence competencies such as Assertiveness and Reality Testing can help employees manage themselves in a more responsible way. This can lead to a more positive work environment, reduced stress, and improved morale.
  4. Increased resilience: Stress can become a problem in many workplaces contributing to toxic cultures. Emotional intelligence competencies such as Stress Tolerance and Flexibility can help employees develop greater resilience. By becoming more resilient, employees are better able to cope with stress and change, which can lead to improved performance and morale.
  5. Enhanced leadership skills: Emotional intelligence helps individuals develop inspirational leadership and influence. Effective leaders are critical to the success of any organization, and by developing leadership skills among employees, organizations can create a more positive work culture and improve employee performance.
  6. Shared purpose: Many organizations flounder from a lack of shared vision and purpose. Helping teams understand how their individual Self-Actualization can connect with the organizational raison d’etre is golden. 

By assessing emotional intelligence competencies among employees, HR professionals can identify weaknesses and strengths, areas of opportunity, and openings for skills development. 

We encourage organizations to do this as openly as they are able to, and incorporate the language of EI into the everyday workplace. By sharing in the process, and speaking openly about emotional intelligence skills development, team members can experience growth and growth mindset. This feels good, but it also creates belonging.

It’s easy to want to improve communication, conflict management, self-awareness, resilience, and leadership skills. But it takes great commitment to actually do it. And the commitment is often underestimated. This commitment is better taken as a team.

Culture might eat strategy for breakfast. But then it’s still hungry! It’s looking for growth mindset.

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