There is a lot that goes into project management and being a successful project manager relies on a variety of skills. Though it’s important to be organised and proficient within the industry itself, emotional intelligence is also a key part of what it takes to be at the top of your game. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, control and understand personal emotions, and being able to do so whilst dealing with the emotions of other people. Social skills, self-control, empathy, self-awareness and motivation are all part of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can have a huge impact on a project manager's career, helping them to stand out as a professional worth paying attention to.
How Emotional Intelligence Contributes to a Project Manager’s Success
Improved Communication - To be a successful project manager, you need to be able to communicate effectively. This includes clearly communicating information to others, interacting with your team and stakeholders, and resolving issues together. Emotional intelligence is a key part of communication, as it helps you to clearly convey your ideas, whilst also making others feel heard. As a project manager, you need to be able to adapt your communication style, depending on who you are talking to.
Better Conflict Resolution - There are bound to be conflicts in the workplace, and the responsibility of conflict resolution often falls upon the project manager. How a conflict is handled can have an impact on the success of a project, but emotional intelligence enables you to better deal with the problem by understanding the motives of both parties, before finding a mutually beneficial solution.
Improved Adaptability - There is no knowing when you could be thrown a curveball during the project lifecycle, which is why being adaptable is key. When you have emotional intelligence, it’s a lot easier to be flexible to challenges and hurdles, staying resilient and calm even during high-pressure situations. You need to be able to manage your team through changes, resulting in a smoother transition.
A More Motivated Team - When you have emotional intelligence, you can connect with your team on a personal level, which can boost motivation. By recognising the individual needs and preferences of team members, you can curate a passionate, dedicated and motivated group of people. This is important, as everyone has slightly different backgrounds and personalities, and not everyone is motivated in the same way.
Effective Decision Making - As a project manager, you need to make difficult decisions, many of which will impact the outcome of the overall project. When you have emotional intelligence, it’s a lot easier to make informed and pragmatic decisions, rather than rushing into things rashly based on emotions.
There is no denying the link between emotional intelligence and successful project management. Though being a project manager requires a wide range of versatile skills, emotional intelligence is one, often overlooked, that makes a significant difference to the project's overall success, as well as employee satisfaction.