To coincide with our Annual Conference on the theme of harnessing emotional intelligence for major project delivery, we’ve invited Cathy Thompson and Kirsty McWilliam from Coaching Direct to share their perspectives in EI.

vince-fleming-Vmr8bGURExo-unsplash_edited

We left you with some questions to reflect on at the end of our first blog post, hoping to allow you to get into the zone of our blog series. Maybe you’ve had a lightbulb moment??

The challenges we all face at the moment, what’s currently going on in the world, never mind the business world means it’s more important now than ever to focus on building emotionally intelligent leaders! It’s an unsettling time for everyone. As coaches, we recognise this need when working with our clients – emotions are running higher more now than ever and managing any major project means you are managing lots of your own emotions and emotional people.

In this blog, I’ll break the EQ-i model a little starting with self-perception and self-expression and how that might have an initial impact on delivery of projects.

How do you perceive yourself as a project manager?

SELF PERCEPTION

The Self-perception element of the EQ-i 2.0 is made-up of 3 sub scales –

  1. Self regard
  2. Self actualisation
  3. Emotional self awareness

And as we said in Blog 1, before you can begin to understand the emotions of your team, understanding how you perceive yourself and being in touch with your own feelings is key.

Did you reflect on how you can raise your emotional self awareness?

Reflect on your last meeting/project/challenging conversation with a stakeholder –

Did you have self doubt at any point? How confident did you feel when making decisions, having difficult conversations or how well you developed your team? What does the inner voice in your head sound like? Does it manage to motivate you, or does it hold you back? Would you dare speak to a friend like you do yourself?

Our self regard is closely linked to our Inner Voice. This voice affects our confidence, our ability to recognise our strengths and admit our weaknesses and our overall wellbeing. We also tend to have more inner verbalisation when we’re under pressure which happens very often when we’re leading projects! If your Inner Tone is overly negative, try to balance it out with more positive thoughts –

  • List your 10 top achievements
  • Write down the 3 top things that make you effective
  • Start to build gratitudes into your daily routines

How you speak to yourself really does matter!

Emotional self awareness can support this – do you understand the emotions you are feeling, in fact can you name each of them and understand the differences? People with a high level of emotional self awareness understand their emotions and they also know why they are feeling them. What is it that pushes your buttons, and triggers different reactions? Knowing this is the first step to controlling it.

Have you ever thought about the success of a project and how that success was a direct result of how you perceived yourself to be good at what you do?

Our own self-perception is the starting point for successful delivery of a major project!

SELF EXPRESSION

Self-expression comes next – now we know the importance of how we perceive ourselves, how do we express ourselves to our team?

The Self-expression element of the EQ-i 2.0 is made-up of 3 sub scales –

  1. Emotional expression
  2. Assertiveness
  3. Independence

Once we have mastered (or are getting there!) our own self perception, we want to congruently get those messages across.

A good way to sum up self-expression could be this reflection –

How does this look? “An emotionally effective and confident PM will be congruent in their approach, they can easily exert their assertiveness and can make decisions on their own without the need of emotional support from others.’’

Why is this important? “The most difficult part of getting a bigger salary is actually asking for it!’’. How we communicate is a key success factor for delivery of a project!

And when we think of assertiveness – when dealing with an assertive stakeholder or team member, have we ever thought they might appear to be aggressive? Or on the other side, do we roll over and become passive?

Assertiveness is not to be confused with aggression. On the scale of passive to aggressive, assertiveness sits in the middle of the two extremes. People expressing both passive and aggressive behaviours can develop their assertiveness skills through coaching and training, but it is important to understand how you express yourself.

An assertiveness person gets their point across, but also takes those in the room with them. By being aware of the impact on themselves and others, assertive people understand how to express themselves verbally and use appropriate body language, clearly expressing their independent thoughts.

In a workplace assertiveness is a highly desirable skill and there are significant benefits to all by displaying constructive and socially acceptable self-expression.

Some actions to become more aware of your self expression –

  • Practice your self expression skills!
  • Check in on your body language
  • Check in on the reactions of others

Something to reflect on before our next blog post –

  • Do you have the ability to deliver bad news without causing a scene?
  • Have you ever fired off that email response when you’re feeling hot about the situation?

How we express ourselves to our team has a major impact on those around us. In our next blog post, we’ll look a little closer at how our emotional intelligence influences our relationships and decision making.

So to reflect for now…”The cost of leadership is self interest’’ – Simon Sinek

Read Cathy and Kirsty’s first blog post in the Series

Read Cathy and Kirsty’s third blog in the Series

Read Cathy and Kirsty’s final blog in the Series

Coaching Direct

Cathy Thompson and Kirsty McWilliam are both Executive Coaches for Coaching Direct Limited. Coaching Direct works with organisations large and small to provide expert consultancy on the strategic use of coaching, using metrics and reporting tools. We also work with business leaders to help them build organisational and performance objectives which focus around the development of their businesses through their people.