Alan Hudson provides team building workshops that enhance team building

10 emotional reading skills that benefit you and your team

I checked in on a client where I ran a workshop for his team – six months on and they’ve seen significant improvements in the team’s emotional reading skills.

High performing teams have high emotional intelligence, or ‘EQ’. Unfortunately, most hiring managers focus more on technical job qualifications than so-called ‘soft skills’ like emotional reading skills.

This is particularly true of departments or functions that are traditionally internal support roles, rather than customer-facing. These include Finance, ICT, product development, in-house legal, HR and some parts of marketing teams. Understandably, some of these departments required highly technical skilled people, and training sessions are often geared towards these areas.

However, emotional reading skills are critical in building cohesion and enabling a high performing team culture. In fact, 90% of top performers in business have high EQ.

Six months ago I had a client book a team-building workshop*. He was unusual in that he was an incoming CFO of a large government agency. His team had been through 100% turnover the previous year. Hence, he was starting fresh with a brand new group of people.

The CFO recognised the need to build good cohesion and trust. He needed to rebuild trust within the team itself and also to enable and maintain good relationships with internal customers.

I recently caught up with him and asked how the team was faring six months on. I learned the whole team since had a very positive year and reaped benefits from improving their emotional reading skills. The CFO and his team were surprised at some of the benefits they received!


*If you’re interested in booking a similar workshop for your team, please get in touch. I run workshops on-site. If you’re not sure whether you need a team building workshop, download this useful resource – Culture Checklist – to assess whether your company needs a culture reboot.


Learning emotional reading skills improves team effectiveness

10 ways ESR training helped the CFO

  1. Team bonding improved, which reduced instability and petty grievances;
  2. They learned about his work style which led to less emotional stress;
  3. He shared more of his own job pressures and gained empathy;
  4. Building his own emotional skills helped him shield his team from the impact of internal relationships;
  5. Having an improved functional team meant his job was made easier;
  6. Previously the team saw the CFO as a bit inscrutable. His willingness to expose his style in the front of the team gave them more empathy for his role;
  7. His team appreciated his offsider more, who acts as his proxy (or filter). They recognised more clearly he was not simply being a barrier between them and the boss. Rather, he now plays a valuable role in interpreting what the CFO needs and giving valuable feedback on the team’s needs;
  8. It highlighted the importance of good face-to-face contact and relationships and improved internal client service.
  9. The CFO gained insight into the importance of the team understanding each others’ strengths. It enabled good team cooperation.
  10. The same team that went through the training are still with him six months later.


10 ways ESR training helped the team

  1. The team got a greater awareness of how to deal with the CFO
  2. They got an insight into what commercial and political pressures their boss has to respond to
  3. The team gained insight on how to support the CFO face the pressures of his role.
  4. They gained more confidence in their place in the team.
  5. They recognised the stability of the team had improved, thanks to their contribution.
  6. It reduced role ambiguity. the team is now clear on roles and responsibilities. They have a better view of how the moving parts fit together,
  7. Understanding how their contribution connects with the bigger picture improves job satisfaction.
  8. The training established role delineation and accountability, important for small team dynamics.
  9. The workshop had the added benefit of improving interpersonal relationships, improving camaraderie.
  10. Not only were individuals’ KPIs improved, but the whole team improved due to better work connections across tasks.

The team now has greater efficiency and can support the CFO’s vision and goals. In turn, the CFO runs a well-oiled machine.

How ESR workshops can also help your customers

Having a smooth working team can insulate the effects of work politics and create a congenial atmosphere. It’s important to help your teams gain insights that can only be learned through increasing or improving their emotional reading skills.

By improving your team’s emotional reading skills needs you can smooth the wheels of your organisation. It improves internal client relationships and also filters outwards to better end customer relationships.

I’d love to hear what you think! Have you had a good (or maybe not so good) experience with team building? Why do you think it was good/bad? How did it help you or your team? What sort of benefits are you seeing from yourself, your team or across the organisation? Do you think your team would benefit from improving their emotional reading skills?

All the best!


PS. If you’re interested in booking a similar workshop for your team, please get in touch. I run workshops on-site. If you’re not sure whether you need a team building workshop, download this useful resource – Culture Checklist – to assess whether your company needs a culture reboot.

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