What's Your Emotional IQ?

What’s Your Emotional IQ?

Last month I wrote to you about my excitement for our upcoming NANP Team Building Excursion. This year’s gathering was another great investment into the administrative future of our organization. We tackled several critical issues and had a wonderful time getting to know our newest team member, Brad Linberg.

But, these are also supposed to be growth experiences, where we strengthen our bond as a cohesive team working toward one goal: promoting our association’s mission in everything we do. In past years we’ve done some interesting team building exercises, including walking a blind-folded co-worker through an obstacle course with only our voice (no touching!), silently piecing a picture book back into correct sequence, and teaming up to build a nest for a raw egg that could withstand being dropped from the second level of a building out of only office supplies. These were all wonderful learning experiences that helped draw out areas where we could improve our communication and cooperation skills.

Yet, when it came to organizing this year’s team building agenda I was at a loss. After all, we’ve done just about every exercise I could find online for free, and team building facilitators are expensive. Then, our NANP President, Miriam Zacharias asked, “How about an Emotional Intelligence exercise?” My first thought when I heard this term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ was, “What an oxymoron!” But the exercise was really revealing and powerful. And the bonus was having Miriam’s help as a facilitator.

Turns out ‘Emotional Intelligence’ includes:

  • Self-awareness
  • Managing emotions
  • Motivating oneself
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

I love this kind of stuff. I like delving into the emotional side of things; exploring motivation and finding what makes people tick (thus my degree in Drama). I also enjoy learning where my own strengths and weaknesses are, so I can make improvements where needed.

Wondering how this kind of assessment would go for you? Great news! You can get to the assessment tool we used by clicking here. The instructions are clear and the process is enlightening. If you run a business or work in a team environment, this is a great tool to build better communication and cohesion. It’s important to share your results with one another. Because let’s face it, learning about yourself is good, but understanding your co-workers at a deeper level is invaluable.

We all learned a bit more about each other during this exercise and I can see how the organization will benefit as we each work to improve the areas that need attention. But here’s the real gem: knowing my own ‘weaknesses’ (for lack of better term) and my team member’s individual strengths, I can lean on them to help me tackle tough issues by targeting those who scored higher than me in certain categories. As a manager I can also pair team members together on projects based on their respective strengths and weaknesses. Yep! Invaluable.

So… not the oxymoron I first thought. I hope you’ll give this exercise a shot. Whether you work in a team or you’re a solopreneur, there’s a fantastic opportunity for growth with this simple (and free!) tool.


Nicole Hodson, NC, BCHNTM
NANP Executive Director

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