Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Meeting of Minds(and Emotions)



Managers achieve results through people. Strategies, goals, service and innovation all depend on a team’s ability to envision a common outcome and make it happen. According to Robert Kelley of Carnegie-Mellon University, there is no choice-we need each other. Since 1986 Kelley has asked workers from many industries: “What percentage of the knowledge you need to do your job is stored in your own mind?” In his book, How to Be a Star at Work, he reports that at first the answer was typically 75 percent, but by 1997 it was between 15 percent and 20 percent.

The most common unit of collaboration is, of course, meetings. A recent business-school review of meeting research over several decades found that managers spend as much as 80 percent of their day meeting. While many believe much, if not all, meeting time is wasted, it is how management’s work gets done. What’s more, data suggest that using your Emotional Intelligence (EQ to distinguish it from IQ) contributes to meeting and team success.

A study of sixty work teams found the single most important dimension of success, was how members interacted with each other and with those outside the team. Another found that emotional competencies distinguished “star teams” from the others studied, based on objective performance data. Among those competencies were: flexibility in how they addressed tasks; unified effort; learning to improve by listing to performance feedback; open communication; setting expectations and confronting low performing team members. The good news is that these skills can be learned and applied quickly to improve the quality of collaborative work.

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