Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers: The People Skills You Need to Achieve Outstanding Results

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Technical knowledge alone just isn't enough to bring the toughest projects in successfully. You need good people skills. Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers introduces you to the basic concepts of emotional intelligence and shows how you can apply them to your project goals. You'll learn to use interpersonal skills to get more out of your people and achieve greater results with less effort.

Even if you already recognize the role and value of emotions in the workplace-the...

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Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers: The People Skills You Need to Acheive Outstanding Results

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Overview

Technical knowledge alone just isn't enough to bring the toughest projects in successfully. You need good people skills. Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers introduces you to the basic concepts of emotional intelligence and shows how you can apply them to your project goals. You'll learn to use interpersonal skills to get more out of your people and achieve greater results with less effort.

Even if you already recognize the role and value of emotions in the workplace-the way relationships influence the way decisions are made and work gets done-Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers gives you the tools and guidance you need to take your E.I. to a higher level, bringing projects in on time and under budget by changing the way you interact with your people. Packed with checklists and self-assessments, this book shows you how to: Set the tone and direction for the project, Communicate more effectively, Improve your listening skills, Motivate, coach, and mentor your team members, Create a positive work environment, Establish the kind of high team morale that will help you attract and retain high performing project team members, Productively handle stress, criticism, and blame, Cast a vision for project objectives that will energize, inspire, and motivate your people, Leverage emotional information to make better decisions.

The more complex the project, the more significant your interpersonal skills become to achieving a successful outcome. Rich with real-world examples, guidance, and step-by-step techniques, Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers will help you make the leap from being a good project manager to being a great one.

About theAuthor:
Anthony Mersino, PMP, teaches courses for ESI International and Northwestern University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...covers all the people skills that project managers need to get the job done.”—Project Management Tips

“The book makes sense where sense is not yet common… bringing the concept into a viable and useful area to constructively and effectively manage.” — Vancouver Business Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814474167
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Mersino, PMP (Northfield, IL) has more than 20 years of project management experience. He has worked at IBM, Ameritech, and Unisys Worldwide, and consults for clients including Abbott and the University of Chicago. He teaches courses for ESI International and Northwest University, and is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Project Management Institute.

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Read an Excerpt

1 My Growth in Emotional Intelligence

A Dangerous Situation

“Do you have any idea how dangerous it is not to be in touch with your feelings?”

This question was posed to me in the summer of 2001 by Rich, a therapist

who has since become my career coach and mentor. His words stopped

me in my tracks. Dangerous? That was a curious word choice. What could be

dangerous about not being in touch with my feelings? I was thirty-nine years

old and had been a successful project manager (PM) for over seventeen years.

I had a record of slow but steady career progression. I had been certified as a

Project Management Professional (PMP) since 1995. I owned my own project

management consulting business and lived, taught, and even breathed

project management. No one had ever asked me about feelings before. No

one had ever mentioned that there might be danger involved. What could be

dangerous? What was so important about feelings?

Rich’s question resonated with me but I wasn’t sure why. It didn’t feel

dangerous to be out of touch with my emotions. However, I had a nagging

sense that he saw or knew things that I didn’t. On some level I recognized

that the way I approached work wasn’t always effective. Hard work did not

always make the difference in the outcomes of the projects I managed. I wondered

how others seemed to succeed with less effort. I also felt insecure

about the lack of personal and professional relationships I had built, and I

suspected that it was hurting me. As much as I wanted to deny that my career

and relationship challenges might be related to my emotions, I began to

suspect that Rich might be right.

The truth was that I wasn’t aware of my feelings or emotions. I was about

as emotionally aware as a small green soap dish. If I could have taken an emotional

intelligence test at that time, I would have been considered the village

idiot.

With Rich’s help, I began to see a connection between my lack of emotional

awareness and my limited success in project management. Up to that

point, my project management career had been a bumpy road. While not quite

a dead end street, my career path hadn’t exactly taken a superhighway either.

Lately that road didn’t seem to be taking me anywhere. I had recently been

passed over for a key promotion at Unisys. My career ladder had literally run

out of rungs. Perhaps I had been promoted to my level of incompetence and

was therefore living proof of the Peter Principle.

Eventually I found I could no longer ignore Rich’s question about the

danger, and I decided to do something about it. I knew I needed to make some

changes. I was ready to make more of an investment in my emotions and relationships.

Initially it wasn’t for personal reasons. It was all about ROI, my

return on investment for improving my emotional intelligence. I believed

that my career would benefit from it. And after spending most of the last five

years working on my emotional intelligence, I am happy to report that my

career has benefited significantly.

As I grew, I learned how my work relationships reflected my world view.

Up to that point, my relationships with my project teams and other stakeholders

were weak or non-existent. That was largely the result of my project

management style as a taskmaster. I was all business. Unfortunately, I placed

a higher value on tasks, productivity, and outcomes than on relationships. I

lacked empathy. I had a way of driving the people on my project teams that

was hostile and irresponsible. My coworkers may have called me driven but

they would never have characterized me as a warm and fuzzy relationship person.

At best people warmed up to me over time.

My big shift came when I began to recognize the value of emotions and

relationships in the workplace. I became aware of feelings and learned to trust

them as a source of information. I learned to recognize and acknowledge

when I felt angry, scared, or happy. I also began to pay attention to what those

around me were feeling and to consider that information when making decisions.

By doing this I was able to better manage my projects, and to be a

better leader of people.

I learned the importance of stakeholder relationships and invested in

relationships with friends, co-workers, and other leaders. I learned how critical

relationships and support were to be successful on large projects. My relationships

began to grow as did my ability to lead others.

The results were nothing short of impressive. The investment and

changes I made began to improve my effectiveness as a PM. Within a year of

beginning my work on emotions and relationships, I was asked to lead a fastmoving

project of twelve people. As I demonstrated success with this team,

my responsibilities grew until I was managing seventy-five people across the

United States and internationally. As I continued to learn and apply my skills

in this area, I was able to effectively lead large teams, build strong relationships

with project stakeholders, and achieve the goals of the projects I was

managing.

Emotional Mastery for Project Managers

I am quite sure that many of you are thinking “of course, you idiot” when I

talk about mastery of emotions leading to success as a PM. You were probably

among the five million people that bought one of Daniel Goleman’s

books on emotional intelligence and then actually read it. Yes, of course emotions

play a role at work, no matter what your position. They are of special

concern to those of us in project management and leadership. Emotions play

a direct role in our success as PMs and leaders.

I was not one of the five million people who bought Goleman’s first

book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ when it came

out in 1997. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what emotional intelligence was when

I first began working on my emotional awareness. It wasn’t until I decided to

include emotional intelligence as part of the curriculum for the project management

course I taught at Northwestern University that I began to read the

published materials on the topic. By then I had accepted the fact that I lacked

emotional intelligence; proving, I suppose, that admitting I had a problem was

the first step toward recovery. More than that, I had begun to grow and make

changes and to experience greater success as a project manager.

After my own powerful experience with emotional intelligence, I conducted

some research to see what experience other PMs had with emotional

intelligence. In late 2005, I conducted a survey of over 100 PMs to determine

their beliefs and attitudes about emotional intelligence. The results

were very interesting (see Appendix K for details). Most of the PMs I surveyed

thought that emotional intelligence was important to success as a PM and

were interested in learning more. However, the survey also indicated that

most PMs didn’t know very much about emotional intelligence.

Was this surprising? Not really. Sure, PMs understand basic project

management techniques and the contents of the Guide to the Project Management

Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). They have also pursued PMP

certification and become black-belt masters of project scheduling tools like

MS Project, Artemis, or NIKU. In fact, those are prerequisites for success

even as a junior PM; consider them entry criteria. But in order to advance

your career, you will need strong interpersonal skills or soft skills. Emotional

intelligence provides the framework for those interpersonal skills.

Do you see a connection between emotional intelligence and your own

success as a PM? Are you trying to advance your career? Do you ever feel frustrated

by lack of opportunity even though you have done all you can to improve

your technical project management skills? Perhaps you are doing things

the hard way as I did, working harder to make up for soft skills.

You cannot make up for

soft skills with hard work.

To advance as a PM requires understanding and mastery of emotional

intelligence concepts. Yes, mastery of emotional intelligence. PMs who

master emotional intelligence can develop their careers by delivering more

consistently and by taking on larger and more important projects. In fact,

success with large and complex projects depends largely on the level of emotional

intelligence of the PM.

PMs who master emotional intelligence will set themselves apart from

other PMs. They will be able to achieve more with the same team. They will

excel in their careers. And they will feel more satisfied with themselves and

their relationships with others.

PMs that master emotional intelligence will set

themselves apart from other PMs.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments vii

PART ONE: An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence 1

1 My Growth in Emotional Intelligence 3

A Dangerous Situation 3

Emotional Mastery for Project Managers 5

Project Management Is Competitive 6

What Is Emotional Intelligence? 8

Measuring Your Emotional Intelligence 9

The Good News About Emotional Intelligence 11

Applying Emotional Intelligence to Project Management 12

Emotional Intelligence Is Vital to Project Managers 16

2 A Brief Primer on Emotional Intelligence 19

The Popularity of Emotional Intelligence 19

Some Useful Definitions 20

How to Improve Your Understanding of Emotional

Intelligence Concepts 28

Learning About Emotional Intelligence Is Only the

First Step 29

PART TWO: Project Management Begins with

Self-Management 31

3 Self-Awareness 33

Introduction to Self-Awareness 33

Emotional Self-Awareness 35

Accurate Self-Assessment 44

Self-Confidence 45

Techniques to Improve Your Self-Awareness 46

4 Self-Management 52

The Emotional Intelligence Model for

Project Management 53

Self-Control 55

Techniques to Improve Our Self-Management 75

Additional Techniques for Self-Control and

Self-Management 77

PART THREE: Building Project Stakeholder Relationships 81

5 Social Awareness 83

An Introduction to Social Awareness 83

Empathy 86

Seeing Others Clearly 92

Organizational Awareness 97

Emotional Boundaries 102

Techniques for Improving Our Social Awareness 106

6 Relationship Management 111

An Introduction to Relationship Management 111

Stakeholder Relationships 116

Developing Others 130

Telling the Truth 136

Additional Principles of Relationship Building 143

Techniques for Managing Relationships on Projects 149

PART FOUR: Using EQ to Lead Project Teams 155

7 Project Team Leadership 157

Introduction to Project Team Leadership 157

Communications 159

Conflict Management 167

Inspirational Leadership 174

Additional Considerations for Team Leaders 176

Techniques for Improving Project Team Leadership 185

8 Creating a Positive Team Environment 188

What Makes a Great Project Team 188

How PMs Set the Tone and Direction for the Project 191

The Team Within the Team 199

Techniques for Creating a Positive Team Environment 201

9 Leveraging Emotional Intelligence on Large and

Complex Projects 205

Are You Ready to Lead Large and Complex Projects? 205

Characteristics of Large and Complex Projects 206

Concerns for Large-Scale Project Managers 207

Applying Different Leadership Styles 209

Applying Emotional Intelligence to Virtual Project Teams 218

Emotional Intelligence Techniques for Large and

Complex Projects 222

Epilogue 225

Appendixes 227

A Emotional Tally Sheet 229

B Emotional Intelligence Assessment Checklist 232

C Stakeholder Management Tool 234

D Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) 237

E Emotional Intelligence Movies and Scenes 238

F Magazines and Journals on Emotional Intelligence 240

G Books on Emotional Intelligence 242

H Training Sources for Emotional Intelligence 243

I Emotional Intelligence Web Sites 245

J Emotional Intelligence Assessment Instruments 246

K Results of the 2005 Survey of Emotional Intelligence in PMs 249

Index 257

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