The role of Emotional Intelligence in Project Management
If you read this in 2019, it could mean that your teams are still made up of people, not robots. As a project manager, you must control and manage not only technical processes, but also your team’s emotional atmoshere. When people work together under stress and deadlines, like on a project, EI is a crucial factor for a successful leader, if he or she is going to submit a full project on time.
Interestingly, while you may believe that you have strong emotional qualifications, your team may have a contrary opinion. In fact, there is a huge difference between your individual performance and project team leadership in terms of EI use and effectiveness. How can emotional intelligence improve your team’s performance?
First, it will help you understand your own emotions and handle them. The management of our feelings management is the key to building stable relationships both professionally and personally. The outcome of the projects we handle does not completely depend on hard work. Career challenges and communications results are related to our emotions. The more developed your EI skill are, the better your project will be managed, and as a result, you will become a more reputable leader.
Second, a high level of conscious use of emotional intelligence helps you manage various changes and deal with conflicts. The result is increased productivity and stronger team relationships, which ensure success in many projects. If you know that you are a taskmaster, who is concentrated on productivity, tasks and outcomes, it’s time to place a higher value or establishing interpersonal relationships.
When you understand your and others people’s emotions, your mindset starts to nurture relationships insted of hindering them. EI has five main aspects that are essential for developing effective project management skills.
As long as you don’t know the real reasons for how and what you say, you cannot see and analyze others’ emotions and behavior motives. It is crucial to understand your feelings, and be ready to determine why you might be angry, passionate or upset. You need to know how you work inside. Some emotions are easy to correct, while others are much deeper and require more effort and time.
Through knowing yourself you will begin to recognize people’s emotions around you and empathize with them. Starting with this step you will be able to build a better relationship even with difficult people.
Another step towards emotional intelligence is the practice of self-control. First of all, to be a leader of a team you have to manage and stick to your own schedule. It’s important to learn how to distribute your energy, feelings and thoughts depending on the circumstances and tasks. It is also great to have a mentor in your life to push you to learn constantly regardless of where you are and in what mental condition. Another secret to effective self-management is to work on those emotional triggers which turn on your programmed reactions.
This aspect includes empathy. You have to put yourself in another person’s place to understand why he or she feels the way they do. The main idea is to silence your inner judge and start listening to people. Besides, it is necessary to take into account the influence of the political and economic situation, stereotypes and other equally important factors. Try to avoid emotional boundaries and be open to your team members.
Stakeholder relationships are significant for any project. Usually, stakeholders are at many levels, and we have to deal with each of them simultaneously. One should note here that you are obliged to communicate with the key persons, build trust and coordinate all changes. Strong relationships are developed on an emotional base and time together rather than on work effort alone. Don’t forget to ask questions and share values. You must have an positive attitude to your team members emotional development.
Communication sets the emotional tone in team management. Besides, your team can have its own common EI tone. By using EI skills, you can solve conflicts in the best way, and provide inspirational leadership to motivate your team to successful joint work. Doubtless, you need to remember about improving PM leadership, which includes proper communication and inspiration, anticipation of possible difficulties and steady movement towards the final goal.
You can change the way you manage your team and control your thoughts by understanding people’s emotions, developing a positive attitude, and letting your behavior influence the atmosphere within your team. Thus, applying EI can provide many advantages for you and your team future success. After all, if you are good at controlling your emotions, and regulating others, you have successfully learned the key secret of strong leadership.
Machiavellian PM Vol. I - Chapter 2
Machiavellian PM Vol. I - Chapter 1
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