Engaging Emotional Intelligence Activities in the Workplace
We often hear the term “IQ” when talking about intelligence. IQ, or intelligence quotient, is how we measure and quantify our mental abilities to think critically, logically, and objectively. But what about the personality aspects that affect everything from how we relate to others to how we manage stress and conflict? That’s where emotional intelligence can be a valuable measure. Discover more about this skill and how to improve it with some of the most engaging emotional intelligence activities in the workplace.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ ("emotional quotient"), describes a person's ability to recognize, understand, manage, and reason with emotions. It is a key part of overall intelligence that tends to get overlooked. When it comes to managing others, being a team player, and functioning successfully in the workplace, emotional intelligence is absolutely essential. Studies have shown that employees with higher EQ scores also tend to be rated higher on measures of interpersonal functioning, leadership abilities, and stress management. Other studies have linked higher emotional intelligence with better job satisfaction and overall job performance.
Cultivating emotional intelligence at all levels of your organization helps establish a culture of empathy and where teams and colleagues can engage, collaborate, and learn from one another successfully.
Empower your employees to learn about and improve their emotional intelligence skills with these top emotional intelligence activities from HRDQ:
Encourage Self Exploration
Employees need to have a clear sense of who they are in order to understand how they relate to others. With these HRDQ tools, you can empower employees to explore their values and tendencies to kick off the emotional intelligence conversation:
Understanding ourselves—our core values, motivators, and personality traits—is fundamental to understanding others. The Values Edge System: An Exercise in Personal and Team Discovery is a powerful training tool for gaining personal insight, improving employee engagement, improving teamwork, and aligning culture at every level of your organization.
With this tool, participants create a hierarchy of their value system with cards that represent these values. As a visual exercise, Values Edge helps individuals literally SEE their own value set and how it compares to that of their peers, teams, and the organization as a whole.
Emotional Intelligence Style Profile
This is a resource to put learnings into PRACTICE. The Emotional Intelligence Style Profile helps participants understand how to apply the four elements of emotional intelligence to different situations in the workplace while giving gives them a picture of how they tend to apply those elements.
Taking EQ to the next level in this way—through actual practice—helps underscore the importance of its value in the workplace. This provides employees with more emotional responses and flexibility in tough situations.
Build Emotionally Intelligent Teams at All Levels
Ensure you’re building a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence by training employees across all levels of your organization. These resources will help you build emotionally intelligent teams and bolster teamwork:
The Emotional Intelligence Customizable Course offers a comprehensive introduction to emotional intelligence for all levels of your organization. It covers the four essential aspects to honing EQ along with strategies for developing each: intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, adaptability, and resilience. In this course, participants have the opportunity to work through real-life scenarios, confronting issues, tackling problems, and productively managing change and stress.
Team Emotional and Social Intelligence
Team Emotional and Social Intelligence (TESI) is a set of tools for determining and developing a team's emotional effectiveness in seven dimensions that are a prerequisite for high performance. Team members rate their abilities in the following categories: Team Identity, Motivation, Emotional Awareness, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Stress Tolerance, and Positive Mood. Individual team members learn about their own emotional intelligence strengths and areas for improvement, empowering everyone involved to be a more collaborative and empathetic team member.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Emotional intelligence is really put to the test when a conflict arises. How do you confront the issue in a productive, level-headed manner? This comprehensive, customizable course introduces participants to a seven-stage process for taking control in tricky situations. With real-world examples and role-playing activities, this program helps participants as they prepare, carry out, and close difficult conversations in the most productive manner. Empower your employees to embrace confrontation rather than to fear it.
Equip Managers for Success
Many times, managers set the tone for the rest of their teams. So, it’s especially important that these employees understand themselves and how to manage their subordinates with intention and thoughtfulness. Here’s a great activity to help:
Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment
This self-assessment is designed for manager-level employees, measuring their emotional intelligence on five scales crucial to that role: perceiving, managing, decision making, achieving, and influencing. This is a thorough, hands-on introduction to the subject of emotional intelligence and provides a framework by which managers at all stages of their career can gain a deeper understanding of themselves. Managers with this kind of emotional self-awareness are more equipped to understand how to manage others, extend empathy, and play to their team’s emotional strengths.
Have Some Fun While You’re At It!
Emotional intelligence activities can be fun, too! Make the process engaging and dynamic with some of HRDQ’s game options:
Creating an Emotionally Intelligent World
This downloadable computer game is an interactive exploration of each of the five EQ skills. It also comes with a personal development guide that helps employees learn about their strengths and improvement areas, additional development activities, and a facilitator guide to help you navigate this topic.
Thumballs make for a creative and engaging ice-breaker activity for your EQ training session. Simply toss and share your reaction based on the prompt lying under your thumb for fun and intuitive topics that create a stress-free environment optimized for training.
The Be A Leader Thumball is particularly helpful for emotional intelligence thought starters, starting the conversation with questions guiding introspection about leadership strengths and opportunities for growth. With questions like, “I'd be a better leader if I spent more time on...”; “When my workers disagree with me, I...”; and “I get honest feedback from workers when...”, participants begin to think about how they function emotionally in the workplace. This provides a terrific groundwork for a productive conversation about emotional intelligence.
Choose Happiness at Work
This interactive card game is another great facilitation workshop tool, especially as an ice breaker or break-time activity in your session. One set of cards introduces a common workplace issue or scenario, while the other set offers solutions that fall into the following categories: Positivity, Stress, Goals, and Relationships. The game encourages participants to think of positive, productive, and intentional solutions to common workplace issues, promoting a more empathetic workplace culture informed by an understanding of EQ.
More Great Resources from HRDQ
For even more great emotional intelligence activities in the workplace, explore the full Emotional Intelligence collection at HRDQ.