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How can you perform to your fullest potential day in and day out? Is it by understanding the job at hand? By doing tons of research before you start your day on the task in front of you? Perhaps, both of these will help you reach your highest productivity. But what if there was another factor that can help you outperform your peers, even when you think that they may be smarter than you.

This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. Emotional intelligence is defined as the capability to recognize your own emotions and the emotions of others. It helps you identify feelings and helps you understand them appropriately, and it is a behavior that helps us manage our emotions to achieve our goals.

How does this help you in the field? How can this help your project management career? It can help for a number of reasons.

Emotional intelligence helps people with average IQ’s outperform those with high IQ’s 70% of the time. That is a great statistic as to how this can help you further your project management career.

Emotional intelligence is broken into two different categories that are all able to help you perform better.

The first being personal competence. This is how self-aware you are of your emotions and of your self-management skills. Having personal competence means that you are able to control your emotions and behaviors. This is extremely helpful in a work setting, as you can adjust your behavior accordingly if something doesn’t go exactly as you had planned.

Social competence is the second category that emotional intelligence is broken into. This involves your social awareness and your relationship management. Your social awareness is how easily you are able to pick up the emotions that other people are feeling and being able to understand how and why they are feeling this way.

Relationship management is the ability to use the awareness of your peers’ emotions to have interactions with them successfully. Using this set of skills can help you build better relationships with your employees or your co-workers and can give you leadership skills to help them with their issues.

How does this relate to project management? It can relate in a number of ways, but the most important way that it can relate is how you manage your team. Understanding your team’s emotions can help you help them perform better day in and day out. You can address their problems in a productive manner and see where they are struggling you so you can help them grow.

Connecting with your emotional intelligence is a great way to stay ahead of the curve by managing your team in a thoughtful and productive way.