Team EQ is a set of norms that develop as group members interact with each other. Norms need to be created in order to establish the following:

  1. Mutual trust among members;
  2. A sense of group identity; and
  3. A sense of group efficacy.

When working within a group, it is important to recognise that developing team EQ is most effectively done as the group engages in its task. Group norms develop as a result of the actions or inactions of team members.

Using the additional levels of awareness and regulation for team EQ, recommended norms are provided at each level.

Individual Level

  • Working with individual’s emotions:
    • Take time away from group tasks to get to know one another;
    • Have check-ins at the beginning of meetings and ask how everyone is doing;
    • Assume that undesirable behaviour happens for a reason – understand the reason and avoid negative attributions;
    • Tell team members how you feel or what you are thinking; and
    • Ask whether everyone agrees with a decision.
  • Regulating individual’s emotions:
    • Set ground rules and use them to point out errant behaviour;
    • Hold members accountable for errant behaviour;
    • Support members and volunteer to help if they need it, while being flexible and providing emotional support;
    • Validate individual’s contributions – let members know they are valued;
    • Protect members from being attacked by other team members;
    • Respect individuality and differences in perspectives; and
    • Never be derogatory or demeaning.

Group Level

  • Working with group emotions:
    • Schedule time to examine team effectiveness;
    • Create measurable tasks and process objectives, and then measure them;
    • Acknowledge and discuss group moods;
    • Allow members to question the process;
    • Post your work and invite feedback; and
    • Benchmark your processes.
  • Regulating group emotions:
    • Make time to discuss difficult issues;
    • Find creative ways to express the emotion in the group;
    • Create fun ways to relieve group stress and tension;
    • Express acceptance of group members’ emotions;
    • Reinforce that the team can meet a challenge;
    • Focus on what you can control;
    • Remind members of the group’s important and positive mission;
    • Remind the group how it solved a similar problem before;
    • Focus on problem-solving, not blaming; and
    • Anticipate problems and address them before they happen.

Cross-Boundary Level

  • Working with emotions outside of the group:
    • Create opportunities for networking and interaction;
    • Ask about the needs of other teams;
    • Provide support for other teams; and
    • Invite others to team meetings if they have a stake in what you are doing.


Druskat, U.V. & Wolff, S.B. (2001). Building the Emotional Intelligence of Groups. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

Wolff, S.B. (2006). Group Emotional Intelligence (GEI) Survey: Technical Manual. GEI Partners. Retrieved from

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