How you can become an emotionally-intelligent project manager:
Here are four suggestions for project managers to emphasize emotional intelligence, irrespective of the project they are working on.
- Begin with yourself
To develop greater emotional awareness, it’s important to understand our own emotions and learn how to handle them during stressful situations. We should be aware of what motivates us and prioritize authenticity to build meaningful relationships with stakeholders and lead an effective project team.
- Understand your team, not just external stakeholders
Although project managers should be sensitive to identifying and engaging with those affected by a project, it’s equally crucial to understand the project team that delivers the project, including team dynamics, personalities, conflict, and stress management. Knowing and communicating with the team and understanding their emotions are necessary to build emotional intelligence and support project success, especially for remote and diverse teams.
- Reflect and continuously improve
Emotional intelligence is a skill that project managers should continually improve alongside other leadership traits. Every project is unique, and no project can be delivered by a project manager in isolation. It’s helpful for project managers to learn from their experiences during a project, including team collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and their own and their team’s performance.
- Don’t view emotional intelligence in isolation
Emotional intelligence can be valuable in various project management aspects, such as managing scope changes or project risks where stakeholders may feel compelled to approve an approach to avoid delays. An emotionally-intelligent project manager would follow up with individuals after such challenges, as they would anticipate potential problems that could arise later.