Emotional Intelligence Skills in the Workplace
Project managers are team leaders. They have certain abilities and competencies to carry out the project works and make sure everything is on track. Emotional intelligence is one of the most impactful leadership skills that a project manager can have. It is the ability to understand and manage both your own and other’s emotions. 5 Core skills of Emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. If you know how to develop 5 core skills of Emotional Intelligence, you can overcome many problems within the workplace. Let’s discuss this real-life example to recognize how emotional intelligence supports your leadership.
A Real-Life Example of Emotional Intelligence Skills in the Workplace
One of the project team members attended a weekly progress meeting with a very different attitude. During the meeting, his behavior was different from the others and he argued with his teammate for nothing.
As a team leader, how can you overcome this situation? Will you ignore this situation or offer him to have a talk and understand the problem even if you are going to deal with something outside your responsibilities?
You choose not to ignore him and have a talk to bring him back to the teamwork. You are sure that during the meeting, he wasn’t himself. You encouraged him to talk with you in a safe place about what has happened. Then he began to talk about his family matters and the problems he was facing. After a long conversation with him, he decided to get psychological support to overcome the problems. This example shows that you used your emotional intelligence skills to guide and help him to come back to teamwork.
Emotional Intelligence Skills Helps You to Influence Others in the Workplace
People interact with each other more than ever. Having just a list of technical skills in project management is not enough to impact others. If you want to be an effective leader in your organization, you need to have soft skills like emotional intelligence as well as technical abilities.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own and other people’s emotions and use this information to lead your own behaviors or actions. This definition tells lots of things. Emotional intelligence helps you to influence your team members, others, stakeholders, or anybody involved in the project. So, it will give you the power if you know how to develop 5 core skills of emotional intelligence.
Project Managers Influence Others to Do a Good Job
Emotional Intelligence is one of the most useful tools in your PM Toolbox. As a project manager, you spent your day with meetings to improve the productivity of your project. Your positive behaviors leave positive impressions on your team members. Because you affect your colleagues around you. A healthy team and a happy workplace mean high productivity and better teamwork.
On the other hand, negative behaviors affect the team member’s motivation and pull down their performance.
How to Develop 5 Core Skills of Emotional Intelligence Workplace?
Emotional Intelligence can be cultivated if you could practice and work on. In this section, we will share some examples to show you the advantages of Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist, introduced the Mixed Model that focuses on a collection of skills and abilities that affect your leadership performance. Let’s discuss them in detail to provide you a better understanding.
Roughly speaking, self-awareness is being aware of yourself. If you recognize your emotions and feelings, you will know what drives your behaviors or actions. You will prevent yourself from taking decisions just based on your emotions. Furthermore, if you are aware of your strengths and weakness, you will improve yourself.
Self-regulation is the ability to control your emotions to adapt to changing situations. If you think before taking action, you will not show the wrong behaviors.
Social Awareness is managing relationships to establish good communication channels with others. Social awareness helps you to become a social leader. Thus, you will be capable of managing relationships with difficult people.
Another important emotional intelligence skill is Empathy. If you put yourself in another person’s place, you will better understand how and why they feel something. Many factors affect an individual’s decision-making. Past experiences of a person affect his decision-making today. Factors such as trauma, unhappy childhood, lack of parenting may influence a person’s decision-making process in the future. As a project manager, if you are aware of this, you will understand why someone makes illogical decisions regarding an issue while others make logical decisions.
A project team is a group of people who performs important project works during the life cycle of a project. When you raise their energy and improve teamwork, they can accomplish anything you set. If you are a highly motivated leader and aware of what motivates you, you will boost your team’s performance by motivating them. There are many ways to keep your team motivated. Below are some of the powerful ways to boost your team’s motivation.
- Paying team members what they are worth
- Providing a good working environment
- Encouraging decision making
- Encouraging happiness
- Improving collaboration
- Setting clear and realistic goals
- Avoiding micromanaging
- Giving a chance for self-development
According to Daniel Goleman, the brain shapes itself depending on the repeated experience. That’s why many schools train children in a systematic way to reduce their negative behaviors and improve positive social behaviors. Emotions are often left at the door when people enter their workplace environment. However, humans have emotions. When we look at the greatest leaders in history, we see that they demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence. If we turn back to our business environment, we will see that becoming more emotionally intelligent makes a difference in the workplace.
In this article, we discuss how you can improve your emotional intelligence and change your daily workflow in a good way. Thus, you can improve yourself and grow and become a more successful project manager. If you improve your emotional intelligence skills, not only your projects will be completed successfully, but also, your team members will be happier than before.
What do you think about the project manager skills and competencies? Do you think that you are an emotionally intelligent leader? Share the examples of emotional intelligence in your life with our community through the comments box below.
How to Manage a Project with Emotional Intelligence
Lorena Denny is a passionate Transformation, Portfolio, Program & Project Management Consultant with a natural flair for breathing new life and energy into individuals, teams and projects, moving people to action and making change happen. She is the founder of Lorena Denny Consultancy.