Ruth Pearce, USA

Ruth Pearce, USA

Social Intelligence: Why we need it and how we can get it!

Project managers and their teams agree that communication and connecting stakeholders to the goals of a project are core to the role of project managers. Connection is a fundamental part of both aspects of our role. Connection is built on social intelligence – the way that we build and maintain relationships with others and elicit co-operation. This session explores social intelligence in project managers and provides tools for building social intelligence from the moment the session starts.

Social intelligence is how we connect with others. Connection directly impacts communication, and as that is such a big part of our role as project managers, social intelligence would seem like a key ingredient for success. Yet when I ask project managers about social intelligence, they shake their heads and laugh. They say social intelligence is not a go-to for us!

To investigate further, I asked a group to take the VIA Character Strengths survey. Results showed that far from having more social intelligence that our team members as we might hope, on average, we have less. Earliest results show that project managers rank it at just 19/24 on average compared with 10/24 on average for the US at large!

From project initiation to closeout, a project manager’s understanding of how people process information and make decisions, informs the way in which we tailor communications to our stakeholders – or does it?

How effective are we at tailoring our message to the needs of others?

If the survey results are correct, we have work to do. If we are good already, we can be better.

This session will introduce you to character strengths and the ways you can use them to increase your social intelligence to build more effective teams.

Do you know your character strengths?

Take the free personality assessment test from the VIA Institute on Character so you can discover them. The VIA Survey is a scientifically-validated survey that is regarded as a central tool of positive psychology. It lists your greater strengths down to your lesser strengths and helps you understand your character makeup.

Ruth Pearce is President and founder of Project Motivator (ALLE LLC) offering project leadership services and training and coaching for project managers. She is a Certified Coach Trainer. With 25 years of project and program management experience in financial services, state government and non-profits, working with teams across the globe, her focus is developing skills in human factors enabling leaders to build empowered and engaged teams that deliver. Using character strengths and positive psychology, she helps project leaders and their teams feel better about work. They find their purpose. She is the author of Be A Project Motivator: Unlock the Secrets of Strengths-Based Project Management.

Ruth speaks about social intelligence, character strengths, and mindfulness to audiences online and in-person and has reached over 16000 people worldwide to date. She has spoken at three live global PMI events as well as many PMI Chapter meetings. She also contributes to PMWorld360, Forbes magazine, and the project management platform She has been a guest on numerous podcasts and was interviewed by Dr Ryan Niemiec, Director of Education for the VIA Institute on Character.

Her motto is Be hopeful; Be strong; Be brave; Be Curious

Ruth’s signature strengths are Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence, Bravery, Curiosity, Fairness and Gratitude.