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Power Skills to Maximize Healthcare Leader and Manager Effectiveness

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Harnessing the Power of Emotional, Relational and Team Intelligence (ERT-i)

There’s growing recognition among leaders, researchers and educators that Emotional, Relational, and Team intelligence (“ERT-i”) is critical to personal and professional success. In fact, many analysts believe we are becoming a “Power Skills economy” – driven not only by technical skills but by essential human capabilities such as empathy, teamwork, resilience and communication.  

For example, a recent survey of 800 HR leaders across all major industries found that the top 2023 priority was increasing leader and manager effectiveness. To address culture, talent and change management challenges, the leader-employee dynamic must evolve to become a human-to-human relationship, the report concluded. This human-to-human dynamic requires that leaders display greater empathy, authenticity and adaptivity with their teams. Enter the ERT-i power skills.

What should healthcare leaders and managers know about ERT-i to meet the needs of employees while maximizing team effectiveness? Finally, can these power skills even be acquired or improved?  


Emotional Intelligence: The Hidden Edge for Human-Centric Leaders

The term emotional intelligence was introduced in scientific literature in 1990 by psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer. They described it as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.”

According to Daniel Goleman, a pioneer in workplace emotional intelligence research, E-i includes at least the following aspects: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. Other studies add the ability to handle stress and manage change and unpredictability as key aspects of E-i. At the core, high E-i is about knowing how to manage oneself, one’s emotions and one’s interactions with others.  

Study after study has shown that high emotional competence, like the ability to control one’s feelings, deal with frustrations and work well with others, is more predictive of life and workplace success than IQ alone. In fact, hiring based on perceived intelligence/IQ, cognitive abilities, or technical skills on their own has not proven effective. Some studies have found that IQ accounts for as little as 4-10% of the difference between successful employees and underperformers. 

Two critical aspects of emotional intelligence are success in handling interpersonal relations and working well in a team setting. These are how emotional intelligence translates into critical social skills that are at the heart of successful organizations. We’ll look at both of these more closely in the following sections. 


Relational Intelligence: Leverage the Social Power of E-i in Your Organization

Relational intelligence (R-i) is emotional intelligence turned outward. One’s ability to recognize and handle one’s emotions and remain motivated through setbacks translates into how one interacts with others. High R-i means awareness and sensitivity to the emotions of others. It includes the skills necessary to motivate and persuade others in positive and productive ways. Attributes such as empathy, humility and transparency are critical here—as are optimism and the ability to inspire enthusiasm.  

High R-i has been correlated to success among C-Suite executives, department heads and managers, in part because employees see them as more in tune with their concerns. In turn, R-i translates into greater job satisfaction and productivity. R-i also helps employees act ethically by considering the outcomes of their interactions with others and remaining sensitive to the needs of colleagues.   


Team Intelligence: Maximizing Group Potential and Productivity

Team intelligence (T-i) is emotional and relational intelligence in a team setting, where specific roles and responsibilities have been defined and particular goals need to be achieved together. High T-i means understanding that team dynamics are different than working alone and that teams can accomplish things individuals can’t. T-i is so crucial; that measures of a team’s collective aptitude or competence, reveal it to be more a function of the social abilities of team members, than their combined IQ. T-i includes one’s ability to deal with conflict, understand diverse perspectives and opinions, establish trust, build shared meaning and vision, and lead effectively from one’s position on the team. 

Highly intelligent or technically proficient employees may never have learned how to function well in a team setting, which can be costly. One recent study found that even when board or C-suite positions are filled by the most qualified individuals, low T-i means company-wide profitability is reduced by up to 20%. Not understanding team dynamics may also contribute to employee dissatisfaction, lowering overall productivity and retention. Another study of 130 executives found that the major factor influencing whether teammates wanted to deal with them or not was not perceived skill or competence, but rather how these leaders handled their emotions.  

Teamwork is essential for nearly all organizations. Companies should recognize that success in team settings and high T-i are strongly determined by employees’ E-i and R-i. Training and developing with these factors in mind is critical to employee success. Learning how to manage employee ERT-i effectively is critical to strengthening the organization and maximizing growth potential.


Developing ERT-i In Your Organization

The good news is that ERT-i skills can be measured, practiced and improved. According to Deloitte, “organizations that embrace, nurture and cultivate enduring human capabilities throughout their workforce will likely have a strategic advantage because their people will have the mindset and disposition toward rapid learning that is required to thrive in an environment of constant disruption.”

Deloitte also warns: “In an environment where the work doesn’t require or reward manifesting these capabilities, or even punishes it, they may be underdeveloped and go dormant.”

At SurePeople, we help hospitals and health systems bring data-driven development to ERT-i competencies. For more information about how leaders and their team members can build skills and capabilities that have never been more relevant for the modern workforce, please reach out.


Additional Resources: Leveraging ERT-i for Work and Life Success

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