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Emotional Maturity of Project Managers
Significant work has been done on defining “Emotional Intelligence” or “Emotional Quotient” (EI or EQ) and its application in business management. I would like to take a step forward and define “Emotional Maturity” (EM). The key difference between EI and EM is individualistic vs. team. EI or EM is about individual performance and how a person deals with situations using emotions. On the other hand, EM is about how a leader responds or reacts to emotions expressed by team members and manages emotions to achieve success for the entire team.

In the past few years, there has been a distinct shift from manual to intelligent work. Innovative ideas are crucial for any organization to stay ahead of its competition. The key to innovation is smart ideas coming from the team. It is necessary to find and retain team members with smart ideas and give them the right environment.

Smarter people are usually emotionally sensitive. If the leader of such a team does not handle diverse emotions of the group, things can go wrong. Hence, project managers play a crucial role in making or breaking the innovation culture in a group.

Emotional Maturity Skills for Project Managers

Building a Team

While selecting people for a new team, apart from technical and soft skills required, the project manager must evaluate new team members on their EQ and compatibility with each other.

It may be good to have outspoken, aggressive people in the team, but too many of them can lead to discontent and chaos. One should check personality traits of team members so that those match with each other in order to create a team culture. At the start of the project, the project manager must have a clear dialogue with the team to ensure that right expectations are set. Reactions from team members, including nonverbal (facial expressions), should be noted so that you can anticipate risks well.

Creating Team Culture

The project manager can use the following ways to build a team culture:

The future workplace is all about innovation and team dynamics. The project manager of the future needs to be emotionally mature to handle these.

(Shrikant Deo is a senior project manager at one of the largest IT companies in India. He has more eight years of project management experience and has managed diverse IT projects and programs in the US, the UK, Australia, and India.)

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