CommunicationIT Best PracticesProject Management

How Emotional Intelligence Affects Project Outcomes

Emotional intelligence (often going by the awkward “EQ” abbreviation) is the simple principle of being able to address and work with colleagues’ emotions. Intuitively, we probably always knew it was important, but it is only just now becoming formalized. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander discusses the impact that EQ has on project outcomes.

I Second That Emotion

For starters, project managers can use EQ to take communication from customers and translate it into information maximally useful to the project team. The wording changes, but the ultimate meaning stays the same so that teams work toward building what the business needs. Another feature of EQ is that it is highly reactive. A manager with high EQ can adapt his or her communication style according to people’s vacillating moods.

Some people may not see what the big deal is with acknowledging different people’s perspectives and emotions. If you are one of those people, then consider how you would feel if your superiors blatantly disregarded your concerns and told you to just do the job you were assigned—probably not great. Granted, on the other side of that, managers should not have to bend over backwards to accommodate overly fragile people either. But the point is that there is a viable middle ground where people can respect each other’s perspectives and make an honest effort to at least work with them instead of against them.

Here is what Jose Costa, group president at automotive franchisor Driven Brands, says he looks for in leaders when it comes to emotions:

He looks for individuals who have an optimistic philosophy, as it instills determination. “Optimists have the ability of keep going despite the uncertainties and obstacles that life might bring. They embrace change and are not afraid to make mistakes. They always push forward. Additionally, negativity is infectious and brings down the whole team,” he said. He also looks for employees who recognize the strengths of others and act in the best interest of the organization as a whole. The final thing Costa said he is key in a leader is the ability to motivate others.

A lot of EQ ultimately boils down to “Be nice, and double-check your assumptions about how people feel.” Your team and colleagues will appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you will better enable them all to help you succeed. You can view the original article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-emotional-intelligence-is-key-for-project-success/

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