In recent years, the way businesses work has changed completely. And, in order to maximise results, whilst still maximising the use of any available resources, it is important for a project manager to understand and use the principles of Emotional Intelligence (EI). This means creating an environment in which sponsors, team member, management and clients can communicate with each other and effectively deal with the challenges that occur.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence or EI is the ability to understand, sense, manage and then apply any information and power of emotions. This is done as your greatest source of motivation, connection, energy and influence. The concept of leaving emotions out of it is an outdated one. In fact, there is nothing to be gained by doing this. Emotions can play an important part in the decisions that need to be made and are neither a good thing nor a bad thing. EI represents the ability to manage these emotions so that they work for you on a professional and personal level. They help to make a person more authentic.

Research has shown that when individual members of a team have an EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) and the team have an EQ, where there is high performance, both attained and sustained a team will have a high EQ. This is believed to be twice as important as the IQ, education and technical know-how needed to success.

Benefits of improving EI

One thing you learn during training for project managers is that it is really important to be able to work effectively as a team. EI can help you to remove some of the barriers that can occur when working with other people. Those individuals with a high EQ have an increased level of trust and leverage over the potential of other people in order to create strategies that are breakthrough and can help increase value to stakeholders.

In addition, high EI offers people the chance to express and fully discover their authenticity. If you can recognise and respect your own self-worth, then this helps others to recognise it as well. This means you can communicate in an impactful way and help to keep the team working on the project motivated and aligned for the duration of the project.

Emotions are a valuable tool when it comes to guiding and improving your thinking

 If a person has a lower EQ then this can mean poor performance and an inability to achieve promotion. There are people with amazing IQ’s who are simply not what is often referred to as “a people person”. They know their subject inside out, but they are poor team members, they offend others easily, they cannot build effective relationships, often personal ones, as well as work ones and they find changes in the team difficult to work with. Those who have a high EQ on the other hand are more able to weather change, don’t take things too personally and have the capability of networking effectively in order to focus their attention on any important goals ahead of them. For the project manager this means they can concentrate their project management skills on the complex issues attached to the project rather than spending too much time people managing.