Harvard Business Review has listed emotional intelligence as a top leadership skill and defines it as “the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions.”
Numerous factors contribute to effective project management and one of those factors is emotional intelligence. This skill permeates into many parts of an IT Project Manager’s life, including one’s ability to manage teams, handle stressful situations, and make important decisions.
Project management involves completing all aspects of a project within the given time constraints while ensuring all members of the team are on track and efficient in their tasks.
The role of emotional intelligence in IT project management is expansive and spreads to how managers deal with interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, relationship building, and more.
1. Improving interpersonal relationships
IT project managers plan, organize, and manage IT projects from start to end. Such a role involves dealing with various teams including engineers and scientists to complete a project.
An IT project manager’s ability to acknowledge and react correctly to the emotions of their team is crucial in building an effective team. An emotionally intelligent project manager creates a safe space for team members to share their creative ideas and concerns.
Being emotionally intelligent enables the project manager to be conscious of the power behind their words and actions. They use this knowledge to draw out the best result from their team while showing compassion, trustworthiness, and intent.
2. Stakeholder management – keeping all parties happy
IT projects involve various stakeholders with diverse needs and expectations. An emotionally intelligent IT project manager would understand and address the emotions, concerns, and interests of each stakeholder.
They would actively engage with stakeholders, manage their expectations, and build positive relationships with them. This in turn ensures stakeholder satisfaction and overall project success.
3. Conflict resolution
In most projects, conflicts are bound to arise. This can be due to differences in opinions, priorities, approaches, and thought processes. Emotionally intelligent IT project managers navigate and resolve conflicts as they arise. They are able to identify the underlying emotions and concerns, mediate disputes, and find mutually beneficial solutions that satisfy all parties involved.
4. Adaptability and resilience
IT projects are normally dynamic, requiring flexibility and adaptability to changing circumstances to produce the best results. Emotional intelligence allows project managers to embrace change, manage uncertainty, and adapt their plans and strategies accordingly.
High emotional intelligence can demonstrate resilience in events of setbacks, by motivating teams to overcome challenges and maintaining a positive outlook as they strive to achieve a common goal.
5. Relationship building
Employees are humans, not robots. Building strong relationships with team members, stakeholders, and clients is crucial for project success. A psychologically safe and emotionally intelligent project manager allows open communication between team members, enabling growth and business success.
Emotional intelligence helps project managers build strong relationships by establishing and maintaining trust, which eventually leads to positive relationships.
By demonstrating empathy and understanding, managers can build good relationships that can help them better address concerns, manage expectations, and foster a cooperative and productive work environment.
IT project managers wear a lot of hats that allow team projects to succeed. Looking for project managers to take your project to its completion with agility? Contact us here.