Apr 15, 2021
Introduction: Geetu Bharwaney is the founding
CEO of Ei World. Geetu’s specialism is the advanced application of
emotional intelligence which focuses on the awareness and
development of emotional resilience & the associated
micro-skills of understanding, managing and switching emotions.
Geetu, is recognised as a thought leader & speaker and is a
prolific author. Her chapter in The Practitioners handbook of Team
Coaching expounds her approach. She is also renowned for her book
on Emotional Resilience: how to be agile, adaptable and always
perform at our best. Published in 2015.
Podcast episode Summary: Geetu Bharwaney
introduces us to a framework developed by Professor Vanessa Druskat
& Dr Steven Wolff, a methodology employed by Ei, that helps
teams understand the characteristics of outstanding team
performance and the work necessary to cultivate this level of
performance through the rules of engagement within a team. She
further explores the human dimension of teams and the core
emotional & social needs of a team, belonging, shared
understanding and control, that have now become primary since
Covid-19. Geetu litters the episode with vignettes, words of
wisdom, takeaways as well as Ei’s framework that make this episode
a must listen.
Points made throughout the Episode:
- Geetu’s career was highly influenced by her own struggles with
Cancer and her need to explore the intersection between
health/emotional wellbeing/life patterns & general lived
- Outstanding team performance is first served by getting 3
fundamentals in place, setting clear goals, having effective
meetings and clear roles and responsibilities
- Research shows that these 3 fundamentals while critical only
amount to average performance.
- To move the needle, outstanding team performance can be
achieved by first understanding and then developing 9 team
- These 9 team norms sit under 3 categories which include; Team
members as individuals with each other, The team as a unit and the
Team with its stakeholders
- We can think of these norms as expectations and when well
delivered can achieve outcomes such as Psychological Safety, A
strong sense of belonging and an ability for robust
- By managing the emotional dimensions of a team, the team is
effectively building a culture with very specific sets of
- The individual category: Team Understanding, Addressing
Unhelpful behaviour on a team (different from individual feedback)
and how to demonstrate caring on a team
- The team as a unit: Review the team in terms of its process and
achievement of intended outcomes (not outputs), Support expression
on the team, Building Optimism and Solving Problems
- Team with its Stakeholders: Understand Team Context &
proactively build external relations. It is important to get at the
perspectives held by the team & others in terms of how they are
doing against all of these norms. This engages dialogue on the
- Everything is VUCA. We are in an accelerated
mode and we need to cut through the noise to get at what
is meaningful and at the heart of true performance.
- One practical tool to employ with a team is the idea of
exorcising team ghosts, the ghosts of a team’s history, the ghost
of the Leader, and all of the ghosts that are in the way of a team
being clear about how they want to work with each other
- This exercise normalises the ghosts on teams and makes the
- Tools like the one above help free and also release the many
pent up emotions that exist on teams
- Ei’s approach with a team starts by getting clear on the
business imperative and then moving to the pains experienced by
team members. Ei, then moves to educate the team on the Emotional
Framework explored above and it helps the team to quickly benchmark
itself and then chose the work.
- A more in depth approach is detailed in Geetu’s chapter in
David Clutterbucks book, The Practitioners Guide to Team
- Covid-19 has brought the human dimension of teams to the
- What was known about the core emotional and social needs of a
team is now centre stage. Three core needs include belonging,
shared understanding and control or the autonomy to have a modicum
of control in a very uncertain world.
- If more Leaders can understand this human dimension they will
be in better service of a team
- A reset is needed if we are to explore our collective trauma
and psyche on teams.
- It starts with the self. Selfcare, Self-reflection and
self-responsibility – means put self -first if we are then to tend
- The ART of self-leadership means building self-awareness,
resilience and then my contribution in the team.
- Geetu, implores us to mine the opportunity 2020 has afforded
the planet-don’t act with yesterday’s thinking, instead use the
wisdom gleaned in 2020 and the wisdom we already know to rich
- Now is the moment
- Team Emotional Intelligence Framework
- Geetu’s book “Emotional Resilience: Know what it takes to be
agile, adaptable and perform at your best” and
- Dr. Geetu Bharwaney’s company website, Ei World: https://www.eiworld.org
- Accreditation in Team Emotional Intelligence framework:
- Bharwaney, G, Wolff, S.B. and Druskat, V.U. (2019). Emotion and
team performance: team coaching mindsets and practices for team
interventions. In Clutterbuck, D., Gannon, J. et. al (Eds).
Practitioner’s Handbook of Team Coaching, Chapter 13, pp 192-209.
Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
- Bharwaney, G. (2015). Emotional Resilience: Know how to be
agile, adaptable and perform at your best. Harlow, UK: Pearson
- Bharwaney, G. (2009). Coaching for emotional intelligence in
international business environments: Challenges and opportunities.
In G. Abbott, & M. Moral. (Eds). The Routledge Companion to
International Business Coaching.
- Susan Fiske; Social Cognition: Selected Works of Susan Fiske,