Emotional Intelligence for Project Leaders

PMI Toronto Chapter

Syed is an experienced project manager with more than 14 years of ICT experience, successfully delivering high-value key projects across all domains of ICT services.

Emotional intelligence has been a fascinating topic for quite a long time. Whether we succeeded or struggled to use it as tool for driving positive change in our projects, we hopefully have tried our best to practice it.

Our inability to harness it might not have a measurable significance on project deliverables or key factors that determine project success—and we might have all the “right” reasons to undermine its importance. But I strongly feel that by being an emotionally intelligent project leader, we improve our project execution and people management skills. That might help us go that extra mile in delivering value for all stakeholders.

In this article, I will try to focus on the importance of emotional intelligence as a skill for project leaders.

As defined by the Institute of Health and Human Potential, emotional intelligence (EI) is the term coined by researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer—and popularized by Daniel Goleman in the mid-1990s.

Emotional Intelligence helps us to recognize, understand and manage or influence the emotions of others. When we practice emotional intelligence, we better our skills in understanding people, their opinions, behaviors, insecurities, strengths and weaknesses.

According to Goleman, the five key building blocks of emotional intelligence are:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation

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