By Holly Spitzer
There are many key factors that contribute to a functional workplace. One of which is the level of emotional intelligence (EI) of each employee, as that affects the dynamics of the organization and therefore the success of projects. Emotional intelligence is the ability that someone has to not only identify their own emotions but to manage them as they interact with others. It has been found through numerous studies that someone with a high level of emotional intelligence has more success in the workplace. In fact, emotional intelligence has direct connections to group dynamics and team success. Someone with high EI can manage their emotions in relation to others to achieve better harmony and balance. If the organization can achieve this, they are going to see two main benefits. First would be that, between coworkers, there will be a sense of connection and in client relationships, it will provide a sense of understanding between both parties regarding the project. On a broader scope, high emotional intelligence creates a happier workspace. Studies have correlated the two together to find that the quality of empathy, which is found in a high EI individual, allows those in the workplace to feel understood which creates feelings of belonging and therefore, happiness.
As it pertains to project management, communication plays a key role in the quality, timeliness, and coordination of the result of the project. Emotional intelligence can aid each team member working on the project to manage stress, deadlines, and conflicts that can arise from a project. In fact, there are five characteristics of emotional intelligence that directly impact project management.
The first component is self-awareness. Self-awareness is one’s ability to know different aspects of their personality and how each trait could positively or negatively affect others. In the case of a project, self-awareness allows an individual to handle constructive criticism.
The next characteristic is self-regulation which allows the individual to control their emotions. Within a group setting, it is imperative that each employee can work with others and disagree with others in a mature way.
The third characteristic of a high EI individual is motivation. Those with high EI will need little extrinsic motivation to complete their tasks and will be able to efficiently contribute to the project at hand. The next characteristic is empathy. Empathetic individuals in the workplace will be able to read others’ emotions and be flexible in responding to their own struggles and the struggles of others whether personally or as it may relate to a project. Lastly, people skills are imperative to a successful project. Being able to gain the trust of others and maintain connections throughout a project not only contributes to the success of the project but to the overall organization.
Having all of these characteristics can positively impact the success of an organization and allow for better project management. Emotional intelligence is something that we all have but it is important to not only use it in our personal lives but to also apply it to our workplace.