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The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Project Leadership


Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one's own emotions and the emotions of those around them. 

A person with emotional intelligence is aware of the important role emotions play in everyday situations, behaviors,  decisions, and more. The higher a person's emotional intelligence, the easier it is to empathize with others and navigate social interactions. In a professional setting, having emotional intelligence can be quite beneficial. 

Keep reading to learn about the role emotional intelligence plays in Project leadership. 

Trust

Project leaders with emotional intelligence are great at building trust. 

They are great listeners, are empathetic to others’ feelings, and navigate conflicts with a calm and fair approach. This creates a safe workspace where team members feel valued, heard, and comfortable expressing their concerns. 

When trust is present in the workplace, everyone can feel confident that challenges will be handled with integrity This helps projects succeed, especially when conflict arises. 

Communication

Emotionally intelligent leaders are also great at improving communication in the workplace. They can read the room and tailor their messages for everyone without straying from the concept they are trying to get across.

They control their own emotions, making it easy for others to come to them and employees know that conflict will always find unbiased resolution. 

When leaders use their emotional intelligence while communicating, it keeps everyone on the same page, which ultimately boosts project communication and teamwork. 

Adaptability

Project leaders with emotional intelligence are like chameleons, adapting to anything (but in a genuine way). 

They can read a situation, stay calm under pressure, and change plans on the fly when needed. Since they understand their team's needs, they approach problems with flexibility. Plus, their calm demeanor inspires confidence, making everyone comfortable with the challenges and uncertainty that come with change. 

Decision Making

Emotionally intelligent leaders make great decisions and help their team do the same. 

These leaders use logic mixed with emotional insight. This lets them weigh both reason and intuition, leading to healthy choices that consider everyone's well-being. 

When under pressure, they manage their emotions, avoid biases, and make ethically sound, effective decisions. This leads to project success fueled by both wisdom and heart. 

Conflict Resolution

Emotional Intelligence in a leadership role also helps tremendously with conflict resolution. 

The leader's ability to understand both sides of a situation makes it easy for them to sit down with both parties and have a civilized conversation. All individuals involved can comfortably express their emotions and know they are being heard. 

This helps employees feel confident that their project leaders' decisions or suggestions are unbiased, fair, and likely the best solution. 

Conflict impedes the success of a project so the sooner resolution is found,  the sooner the project can go on without interruption. 

Inspiration

We have spoken a lot about the confidence that is spread when your project leader has emotional intelligence. That confidence is essential and often stems from the confidence the leader has in themselves. 

Confidence can be contagious. It promotes positive feelings and inspires others to feel confident in their own behaviors and decisions. 

Emotional Intelligence is inspiring in many other ways as well.  It inspires creativity, honesty, outgoing attitudes, and courage. 

Team Morale

An Emotionally intelligent project leader is the best person for the job when it comes to keeping team morale high. 

Since this leader is so great at fostering trust, confidence, individuality, and strong communication, the team's overall attitude remains positive. 

Employees don't mind walking into a stressful situation because they know they have a great support system and they look forward to their work day since it's a comfortable environment. 

How to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence as a Project Leader 

You can strengthen your emotional intelligence as a project leader by practicing self-awareness and self-reflection, paying attention to your emotions, triggers, and reactions. 

Practicing empathy is also important and can be done by listening to your team and considering their perspectives without bias. 

If you are a project leader and are not already using a project management software, consider implementing one into your daily practices. These software have many features that lighten your workload and make it easier to connect with your team. When using a service that streamlines your work, you have more time and energy to put into practicing emotional intelligence.

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