“In the world today there is plenty of technology, plenty of entrepreneurs, plenty of money, plenty of entry capital. What’s in short supply is great teams.”

John Doerr, Legendary Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist

Teams with high levels of EQ consistently outperform those with strong IQ. Why? To a large degree, it is a result of intelligently handling ‘difficult to manage’ emotions. Emotions, not handled properly, can lead to a breakdown where the simplest tasks end up taking more energy than required, resulting in not only impaired innovation but a diminished ability to solve key business issues.

IHHP’s Emotional Intelligence programs can be geared to promote team development by blending ‘activity-based’ learning with core EQ concepts to increase team performance. This is accomplished by focusing on:

  • Activities that challenge a participants EQ requiring them to operationalize two key EQ competencies: self-soothing and courageous conversations while solving a game-related problem
  • Bringing greater clarity to the blockers of team performance (such as behaviors i.e. defensive routines that keep a team from ‘knowing’ all of the important information required to make good decisions).
  • Courageous Conversations – exercises will be delivered with the objective of providing insight to participants around what is not being said that is acting as a barrier to building a more trusting relationship • Activities that associate behaviors with cause – without a discussion of the cause that is driving a behavior, dissecting the behavior becomes impossible
  • Accountability: there is an opportunity to create post-work where managers choose an accountability task so that after the program they are both:
  • held accountable to the task (why did they not if it was one that they chose to do?)
  • as well as held accountable to the way of the ‘art’ of holding someone accountable. The question is, how can the proper environment be constructed so that the work to hold individuals accountable is framed within a context of a greater ‘relationship’.

Three experiential team-based exercises that may be used within IHHP’s Emotional Intelligence for Personal Leadership program to enhance team performance are:


Leveraging a very engaging and eye opening communication exercise called “Tanagrams”, the focus of this segment will be to help participants get in touch with the importance of communicating from another person’s frame of reference the foundation of Empathy. While building objects using Tanagram shapes, this dynamic exercise requires participants to coach each other from another persons frame of reference. This activity is very revealing and will foster a dialogue into the art of building “Partnerships. Tanagrams ends with group work focused on opportunities to use the learning and application in the workplace.


We will break the group into teams of 10. Each team will have the same challenge. Their goal is to break into 2 groups of 5 and line up facing each other on the 11 provided spaces (5 on one side, 5 on the other with the 11th space in the middle) Abiding by a series of rules, each group of 5 must “cross over” to the other side. What seems easy suddenly becomes very complex, and issues of leadership, problem solving and participation/morale quickly become evident.

O Shoot

O Shoot is a dynamic team activity that will challenge the paradigms of what is possible. Broken into teams of eight to twelve, participants will work on a problem until they feel they have “done all that is possible”, only to find out that others have found ways to better their result with less effort and fewer mistakes. By the end of the exercise, all teams will have accomplished what only moments ago they would have deemed “the impossible”. The debrief will focus on the journey, exploring the emotional and intellectual barriers that were self created as well as the behaviors that enabled major breakthroughs.

Author's Bio: 

Bill Benjamin is the CEO of IHHP, contributing to its status as a world leader in the exciting field of Emotional Intelligence. Bill is a seasoned business executive with over 14 years of experience and is responsible for the sales, marketing, financial and business development areas of IHHP.

Bill is also a highly acclaimed and award winning keynote speaker. His passion and enthusiasm for Emotional Intelligence and its impact on performance leave audiences inspired and wanting to hear more.

Prior to starting IHHP Inc., Bill was Vice President of a large computer software firm, leading the sales, consulting, and marketing divisions. He was also responsible for customer relations and helped the company build a large and successful business partner network.

One of Bill's passions is coaching and mentoring others. He is highly sought after as an executive coach for Fortune 500 companies, whose senior leaders look to him to help them understand how to apply Emotional Intelligence to improve their leadership skills and get to the next level in their careers.

Bill has a degree in Mathematics with a major in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in Canada. In addition to leveraging his background in sales to motivate and inspire more extroverted groups (e.g. sales and marketing), Bill's degree in Mathematics and technical background give him credibility and shared experience when he is speaking to groups that are more analytical in nature (Financial, IT, engineering, etc).