Improving EI in Workplace
There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking and learning are all linked – Eric Jensen.
The rapid growth of industry has increased the number of complex projects across many sectors. These projects are associated with substantial challenges and attract strong attention, however their performance is often disappointing. Researchers have found the importance of project management and leadership skills to overcome these unpleasant results specially the role of “emotion” which is considered a central factor in how successful the leader is. This is known as “Emotional Intelligence”.
Emotional Intelligence EI, is the ability to understand and control one’s own emotions together with the ability to manage relationships through the recognition and understanding other people’s emotions. It is related to almost every aspect of human’s life including work management. Studies showed that effective project management is not determined by technical or hard skills only, but also by the capabilities related to emotions. But how is EI achieved in PM? And how to improve project manager’s EI?
Project managers must be able to create an atmosphere that allows the team members, stakeholders and customers to communicate clearly. Implementing EI in the workplace isn’t an easy task and project managers should be aware of.
They must be able to:
- Create effective teams: the success of any project is related to people working in, so project managers must be able to motivate team members to get the best out of them in overcoming the different conflicts they may face.
- Operate in complex environments: project managers must have the ability to negotiate and collaborate with others to better understand the project requirements and members’ power & capabilities.
On the other hand, to improve the performance of any project, project managers should work on their EI through:
- Self-awareness: the ability to understand and identify their own emotions. When things don’t go as planned project managers must not explode, they must be able to control their emotions and understand the reasons behind that. They should also realize the team members who are working hard to get things done.
- Self-management: the ability to take responsibility of their behavior and well-being. In other words, project managers must have the ability to choose how they will react to different situations.
- Empathy: the ability to understand team members’ emotions since everyone has his/her own set of feelings, desires, triggers and fears that may affect their work. For that project managers must remain reachable, approachable, listen to the member’s experience and connect to it with a similar one.
- Social skills: the ability to improve their skills and gain new ones. Such skills cover wide range of abilities such as communication, conflict management, dealing with changes, meeting new people and building new relationships.
In summary, project managers work in increasingly complex environments, and technical skills aren’t enough for a successful career. Improving the ability to perceive the emotions of others allows project managers to get better decisions and thus better results.
Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Aya Moheddine