The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Project Management
How to manage a project with Emotional Intelligence? Is it possible to manage projects with empathy? It is not easy to imagine without considering your project as if it is human. Maybe this sounds a bit crazy, but overall, if you think of a project like that, you will manage it as if you are managing a team member. Actually, you don’t have to manage your project in an emotionally intelligent way. You can just manage activities, resources and track the performance, go through your punch list of items, etc. However, you can increase your chance if you manage your project with emotional intelligence. Keep on reading to explore the role of emotional intelligence in project management.
What Does it Mean to be Emotionally Intelligent?
Emotional Intelligence includes a set of skills that help you to understand and manage both your and other people’s emotions. If you have a behavior problem, you must analyze the origins that power that emotion. If your perception is false, it will direct you to bad behaviors. In other words, if you worry about everything, your body will respond to negative thoughts. Emotionally intelligent people focus on emotions without reacting rashly.
So why being emotionally intelligent is important for project managers? Being emotionally intelligent provides many benefits to project managers. First, it helps to understand other people’s strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Second, it helps to manage relationships to get along with stakeholders. Furthermore, an emotionally intelligent project manager and his team are aware of what motivates them.
How to Manage A Project With Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence includes five skills according to Daniel Goleman.
Self-awareness is very important because if you don’t know your strengths and weakness, you can not decide how you relate to others in the right way. In order to relate to others more effectively, you need to identify your wrong behaviors and try to change them. For example, you need to know why you are so angry and what is the driving reason behind your anger.
It can be a good idea to keep a journal and write down what happened day by day. Write down the situations, who were involved, and how you responded without bias. After a while, you will be aware of your red lines and how your co-workers affect your feelings.
Self-control is one of the most important aspects of self-management. Project managers with self-control are more successful than their counterparts. For example, if you don’t manage your project resources and control your project schedule you may complete your project on time.
Empathy is the key element of social awareness that is putting yourself in another person’s place to understand how they feel in a given situation. Through this, you will understand other people’s feelings and decisions. As a project manager, you must also consider the emotional boundaries of team members and stakeholders.
You need to establish the right strategies to deal with stakeholders according to their importance. Because they can be at many different levels and they may affect your project’s success.
You must also manage the project team and other people close to you as well as managing key project stakeholders.
Team leadership includes practices to build and manage the best team that will conduct the project works. Team leadership includes four areas.
- Considering the project team as if it is a human and understanding the emotional tone of the team is key to improve team performance.
- Using conflict management techniques to deal with conflicts in the workplace.
- Being aware of what motivates the project team. The promise of bonuses, wage increases, senior titles boost your team’s productivity.
- Encouraging team members to participate in decision-making.
Best Practices to Manage A Project With Emotional Intelligence
There are numerous practices that can assist us to manage a project with emotional intelligence. Here below are a few of them.
Believe in Your Project
As a project manager, you need to believe in your project to become successful. You must be aware of its worth to your organization and stakeholders. Even if you are building a small or a large project, you must know why this project is needed.
Cultivate an understanding of the Project Goals
First, you must understand the goals of the project then, you need to cultivate an understanding of the project goals among the project team members. By this means, your project team will follow you through the goals.
Rais Your Teams Enthusiasm to Increase Productivity
As a project manager, you need to talk about the importance of the work that your team is performing to keep them motivated. Encourage your team members to participate in decision-making.
Lead Your Project Team Coolly Even If the Project is Slipping
When the project has deviated from the plan or things are not going as planned, the team’s motivation goes down. As a project manager, your mission is to keep your team motivated in those dark days.
There are lots of things to be discussed regarding how to manage a project with Emotional Intelligence but time doesn’t allow for it. We recommend you read the articles below related to the topic.
- Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
- Emotional Intelligence in Project Management.
Are you an emotionally intelligent project manager? Do you aware of your feelings and emotions? You can take a test and see if you have the skills to be emotionally intelligent. Note that Emotional Intelligence can be taught and cultivated.
Irwin Michael Reston is an expert who has more than 30 years of experience in optimizing businesses, inspiring individuals and improving human resources departments. He established the BlueLight Consulting Limited to provide learning and training service worldwide.