PM Guest Article February 2021

An Emotional Project Manager – Part I

Manisha Bhattacharya, PMP, CSM, ISTQB, Certified Life Coach

Manisha is on a mission to inspire 1 Million Individuals to prioritize themselves. She is a certified PMP with 15 plus years in Corporate, a Certified Life Coach, Trained Image Consultant & practicing Spiritual Coach. She empowers you to look good, feel good, and be good.

It was just another day in the life of Harish. He reached the office after battling through the heavy rush hour traffic. As he was about to power-on the laptop, his manager called him to a meeting room. Harish knew that the discussion is not going to be an easy one. His project was running behind schedule, and there was a couple of customer escalation as well. Harish was managing a mid-sized software project with an adamant customer. It’s been six months when Harish took over this critical project as he had earlier experience handling projects well and delivering high-quality products ahead of schedule. Something was not quite right with this project. Maybe it was a new and different domain that he did not have prior experience in; hence, he was finding it difficult or because of the challenges he was facing in his personal life, affecting his work. Harish politely knocked on the meeting room door and slowly entered the room, closing the door behind him. What happened after that was a series of exchanges of words, emotions that were not very uplifting for both Harish and his manager. After some time, his manager stormed out of the meeting while Harish remained seated. He kept thinking while sitting in the meeting room that something was not right. It was not the domain, neither his family problems nor his customer. He was in inner turmoil. Harish was a very positive person, and he also knew that things would change for good. After a lot of introspection, a couple of SWOT analysis sessions, some round of personality tests, and reading quite a few self-development books, Harish figured out what was out of place, and he started to work on it. After a couple of months, he started noticing subtle yet effective differences in all aspects of his life, both personal and professional. His project was back on track and received loads of applauds from the customer for its outstanding performance. Amazed, his manager one day called Harish in the same meeting room and asked what had happened in the past couple of months. What did he do differently to achieve this? Harish smiled and said, “Sir, I learned how to think?” His manager was puzzled by his answer. Harish continued, “Unfortunately, sir, our education system does not teach us how to think. Amazingly, we teach our kids how to walk, talk, and dress and behave, but somehow we forget to teach them the art of thinking and are expected to learn on the job. Some are fortunate enough to learn it soon, but some like me learn it the hard way”. He further continued,” All I did was learn how to think and how to respond and react. To summarize, I simply enhanced my EQ”. His boss looked at him in surprise and asked,” What do you mean by “EQ” Harish?” He explained, “You might be surely aware of what is an “IQ” or “Intelligent Quotient” as we commonly call. It is a measure of one’s ability to think logically and analyze any situation and problem from a logical viewpoint. What is the Emotional Quotient? We are often so focused on logical thinking and critical reasoning that we completely ignore to nurture the right part of the brain, which is majorly responsible for emotions and creativity. 

EQ is nothing but an Emotional Quotient. It is a measure of how well we are equipped to handle any situation on an emotional level. How emotionally strong are we? Emotions are involved in everything we do: every action, decision, and judgment. Emotionally intelligent people recognize this and use their thinking to manage their emotions rather than manage them. Everyone experiences and relates their feelings and emotions in day to day life. Psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey introduced the concept of Emotional Intelligence in the early 1990s. Daniel Goleman defines emotional intelligence as: ― the capacity for recognizing our feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships‖. Goleman’s new model outlines four main EI constructs: 1. Self-awareness: The ability to read one’s emotions and recognize their impact while using gut feelings to guide decisions. 2. Self-management: Involves controlling one’s emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances. 3. Social awareness: The ability to sense, understand, and react to others ’emotions while comprehending social networks. 4. Relationship management: The ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while managing conflict. Advantages of Emotional Intelligence – For Organization Emotional intelligence influences organizational effectiveness in several areas: Employee Recruitment and retention| Development of Talent | Teamwork| Employee commitment, morale, and health | Innovation | Productivity & Efficiency | Quality of service | Customer loyalty Advantages of Emotional Intelligence – Mental Wellbeing | Improve relationships with human beings | Improves communication with people | Improve career prospects | Managing change more confidently | Reduce stress levels|  Increase creativity| Learn from mistakes. Listening to this, his manager became more curious and asked. So how can we improve my EQ? Stay Tuned for “The Emotional Project Manager – Part 2”

By Manisha Bhattacharya, PMP, CSM, ISTQB, Certified Life Coach https://www.linkedin.com/ in/manishabhattacharya/