Has your project leader got EQ?

Oct 21, 2022

EQ gets a lot of press these days, but what exactly is it?

EQ, or emotional intelligence, can be best described as the ‘intelligent use of emotions’. It’s about having the self-awareness, self-control and self-expression to ensure you handle your relationships with sound judgement and empathy. And as leaders command groups of people, all of whom have emotions, it doesn’t take a genius to work out why leaders with EQ usually excel in their roles. 

Leaders who have EQ have proven time and time again to be some of the strongest and most inspirational leaders. Think Indra Nooyi and Richard Branson. 

But let’s look closely at why emotional intelligence in a leadership role affects the quality of decision making and ultimately, the successful delivery of the project. 

Project teams under stress can show high emotions. This is when blame can set in and relationships can be tense. A high EQ leader will look after and empathise with their team in a way that reduces stress and connects the team. This means that members aren’t vying for their own interests, unable to see the connection. An EQ leader is aware of what is going on within the team and the project, and they will know how to manage individuals in the team so that they can collectively work together for the common goal.

The second trait of the EQ leader is that they foster effective communication. This  allows all team members to voice their opinions, flag issues early and unite the team to solve problems for the benefit of the overall project. Bad decisions are often a result of a lack of communication. An EQ leader has this covered as they are open to options, and prepared to find alternative strategies that might work better. They are prepared to accept their failures and learn from their team. An EQ leader is prepared to learn from a mistake, and hope to grow through experience. This is far superior to a leader who out of weakness refuses to budge from a clearly failing strategy. 

Overall, a leader with strong EQ can ensure the quality of decision making is reflective of the project and the business’s best interests. And we all know a team full of like-minded supported people is a far nicer environment to be in as opposed to a team dragging their heels or feeling undermined or neglected. 

A leader with EQ and strong decision making processes is your best chance at project success. Have you got the right person leading your next project?