Learning Emotional Intelligence is essential for developing soft skills like leadership, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and negotiation. These qualities have the most impact on whether a project succeeds or fails. Project and programme managers who acquire these abilities have a significantly higher success rate than those who do not. Understanding and using the power of human emotions is the basis for mastering these talents.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to recognise, control, and communicate our feelings. People with high emotional intelligence know how they feel, what their feelings imply, and how they influence others. It is also the ability to empathise with others in interpersonal situations. This entails being aware of and good at deciphering people’s emotions, reactions, and motives in practice.
Emotional intelligence is all about fostering a happy work atmosphere, which is critical to any project’s success. According to a recent study, most project managers spend around 10% of their time on people-related activities. The top project managers devote 70% of their time to these tasks. As a result, emotional intelligence is critical to the success of any project.
Why is Emotional Intelligence important for Project Managers?
Emotional intelligence is crucial for project managers because it allows them to know the environment in which they operate and the individuals with whom they interact. Informal teams of remote individuals are frequently used to complete projects. Depending on the job, they may have never worked together before.
As a result, a project manager must be mindful of their own and their project team’s emotions. They will have to figure out what drives them, what stresses them out, how they operate, and how they process information. Assessing how well a project team can manage successes or failures, difficulties, and dangers, as well as emotional intelligence, is crucial. It will enable a project team to collaborate successfully to fulfil its goals.
Projects generally deliver some change, and that has an impact on particular groups. These could include citizens or residents, the organisation’s workforce, or others.
When it comes to engaging stakeholders, emotional intelligence is crucial. In key meetings, project managers must have strong awareness skills. They must establish a connection with difficult groups and gain their support. They will need to know how various stakeholders will receive the project’s messages and activities.
According to the PMI, 20% of projects fail due to poor communication. On the other hand, emotional intelligence allows project managers to get to know their audience and comprehend what they care about. This has a direct bearing on a project’s success or failure.
Tips for improving Emotional Intelligence
1. Reflect internally
We must understand our own emotions and regulate them in demanding situations to become more emotionally aware. We will need to figure out what drives us. Developing emotional intelligence, leading a successful project team, and creating meaningful relationships with stakeholders need authenticity.
2. Know your project team
Project managers are typically aware of the individuals they need to connect with who engage in a project. Understanding the project team executing the project, from team dynamics to personalities to how they cope with conflict and stress, is just as crucial. To develop your emotional intelligence, you must first know your team, communicate with them, and comprehend their feelings. It will also contribute to the success of your project. This job becomes even more crucial for teams who operate in several locations and who are diverse.
Along with other leadership skills, project managers should consistently enhance their emotional intelligence. Conditions around a project often change, its scope may shift, the number of stakeholders may grow, and projects may eventually come to an end. Every project is unique, and no project manager can complete a project independently. It is beneficial for project managers to consider what they learn during and at the end of a project. You should think about how a project team operated, what you saw during crucial times with stakeholders, and your own and your team’s performance.
4. Apply emotional intelligence everywhere
Emotional intelligence may help in practically every project management situation. For example, people may feel forced to sign off on a strategy to minimise delays while managing scope adjustments or project risk. After resolving difficulties like these, an emotionally intelligent project manager would follow up with individuals because they see that this might lead to more significant problems in the future.
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