TESI model

The TESI model is a framework used to assess and develop the emotional and social intelligence of teams.
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What is the TESI model?

The TESI model, or Team Emotional and Social Intelligence model, is a comprehensive framework for understanding and improving the emotional and social functioning of teams. It is based on the concept that emotions play a crucial role in team performance, and that by enhancing the emotional and social intelligence of team members, teams can achieve greater synergy, productivity, and satisfaction. The TESI model was developed by Dr. Marcia Hughes and Dr. James Terrell, two leading experts in the field of emotional intelligence.

At the heart of the TESI model lies the recognition that teams are more than just a collection of individuals working together. They are complex, dynamic systems that require a delicate balance of emotional and social skills to function effectively. The TESI model provides a roadmap for teams to develop these critical skills and, in doing so, unlock their full potential.

The Collaborative Growth® Team Model

The TESI model is based on the Collaborative Growth® Team Model, a research-based framework that identifies the seven key emotional and social intelligence skills that teams need to be successful. These skills are:

  1. Team identity
  2. Motivation
  3. Emotional awareness
  4. Communication
  5. Conflict resolution
  6. Stress tolerance
  7. Positive mood

By focusing on these seven skills, the TESI model provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to team development that addresses both the emotional and social aspects of team functioning. This makes the TESI model an ideal tool for organizations looking to improve team performance, enhance team cohesion, and foster a positive team culture.

Uses for the TESI model

The TESI model can be used in a variety of settings, including:

  • Team building and development: The TESI model can be used as a framework for designing and delivering team-building and development programs that focus on enhancing the emotional and social intelligence skills of team members.
  • Team assessment: The TESI model can be used as a diagnostic tool to assess the current state of a team’s emotional and social intelligence and identify areas for improvement.
  • Team coaching and consulting: The TESI model can be used to guide team coaching and consulting interventions aimed at improving team performance and satisfaction.
  • Team research: The TESI model can be used as a theoretical framework for conducting research on team emotional and social intelligence and its relationship with team outcomes.

The Seven Skills of Your Team’s ESI

1. Team identity

Team identity refers to the sense of belonging and connection that team members feel with their team. It is the foundation upon which all other emotional and social intelligence skills are built. When team members have a strong sense of team identity, they are more likely to be committed to the team’s goals, to trust and support one another, and to collaborate effectively.

To enhance team identity, teams can engage in activities that promote shared values, goals, and experiences. This might include developing a team mission statement, participating in team-building exercises, or celebrating team successes together.

2. Motivation

Motivation is the driving force that fuels team members’ efforts and performance. It encompasses both intrinsic motivation (the desire to achieve personal satisfaction and growth) and extrinsic motivation (the desire to obtain external rewards and recognition). When team members are motivated, they are more likely to be engaged, persistent, and productive.

To increase motivation, teams can set challenging but achievable goals, provide regular feedback and recognition, and create a supportive environment that encourages learning and growth.

3. Emotional awareness

Emotional awareness is the ability to recognise and understand one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. It is a critical skill for effective teamwork, as it enables team members to empathise with one another, manage their own emotions, and respond appropriately to the emotions of others.

To develop emotional awareness, teams can practice active listening, engage in self-reflection, and provide training in emotional intelligence.

4. Communication

Communication is the process of sharing information, ideas, and emotions with others. Effective communication is essential for teamwork, as it enables team members to coordinate their efforts, make decisions, and resolve conflicts.

To improve communication, teams can establish clear communication channels, encourage open and honest dialogue, and develop active listening skills.

5. Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is the ability to manage and resolve disagreements in a constructive manner. Inevitably, conflicts will arise within teams, but when team members possess conflict resolution skills, they can address these conflicts in a way that strengthens relationships and promotes team growth.

To enhance conflict resolution skills, teams can provide training in negotiation and mediation techniques, establish clear norms for addressing conflicts, and encourage a culture of openness and respect.

6. Stress tolerance

Stress tolerance is the capacity to cope with and adapt to stressors and challenges. In today’s fast-paced, high-pressure work environments, stress tolerance is a critical skill for team success.

To build stress tolerance, teams can implement stress management strategies, such as encouraging regular breaks, promoting work-life balance, and providing resources for stress reduction (e.g., mindfulness training, exercise programs).

7. Positive mood

Positive mood is the ability to maintain a positive outlook and attitude, even in the face of adversity. Research has shown that teams with a positive mood are more resilient, creative, and effective problem solvers.

To cultivate a positive mood, teams can celebrate successes, practice gratitude, and foster a supportive, optimistic team culture.

Examples of the TESI model in action

The TESI model has been used in a variety of organisations and industries to improve team performance and satisfaction. Some examples include:

  • A technology company used the TESI model to assess the emotional and social intelligence of their product development teams. By identifying areas for improvement, they were able to implement targeted interventions that resulted in increased collaboration, innovation, and product quality.
  • A healthcare organisation utilised the TESI model to guide team coaching interventions aimed at improving communication and conflict resolution among their nursing teams. As a result, they experienced reduced staff turnover and improved patient satisfaction.
  • A non-profit organisation implemented the TESI model in their team-building and development programs, resulting in increased team identity, motivation, and overall performance.

Summary of the TESI Model

The TESI (Team Emotional and Social Intelligence) model is a powerful framework for understanding and improving the emotional and social functioning of teams. By focusing on the seven key emotional and social intelligence skills – team identity, motivation, emotional awareness, communication, conflict resolution, stress tolerance, and positive mood – the TESI model provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to team development. By implementing the TESI model, organisations can enhance team performance, cohesion, and satisfaction, ultimately leading to greater success and competitive advantage.

TESI Model Template

Click the link to download this template and use it to explore in your organisation.

TESI (Team Emotional and Social Intelligence) Model


 James Freeman-Gray 

I'm James. A change consultant and organisational development specialist. I've been working in people-centred change for over 15 years. I partner with causes, champions, teams & leaders on projects for social, environmental, technological & human good. If you think I can support in making your change a success, drop me a message. 

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