The last few posts we have been talking about the emotional intelligence domain of social awareness and how important it is to see others clearly. Project managers need to excel at social awareness to be able to connect with project stakeholders. In this post, I want to look at additional ways of seeing and understanding the individuals who we interact with on projects.
One thing we can do is study those individuals and determine if they have a consistent emotional Modus Operandi, or MO. Once we understand the MO of others, we can better understand and begin to predict their actions, emotions, and thoughts.
How do we determine the modus operandi of the people who work with us on projects? We can extend the tools we learned earlier for self-awareness to Social Awareness. This includes determining their emotional state, and seeing emotional triggers and stinking thinking in others. We can also use our understanding of emotional triggers and cognitive disorders to better understand and even predict the behaviors of others.
Use the following Checklist to analyze the emotional intelligence of one of your team members, a sponsor, your manager, or some other stakeholder.
Automatic or Default Emotion. Do they have an overriding or default emotion? Are they predominantly happy or sad? Put a check mark beside the top 2 emotions they experience on a regular basis.
Self-Awareness. How self-aware is this individual? Do they know what they are experiencing at any one time? Rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 on how aware you think they are (10 being highest):
____ Self Awareness Rating (1 to 10)
Expressiveness. How emotionally expressive is this individual? Do they express emotions in what they say, how they say it, or through their actions?
____ Expressiveness Rating (1 to 10)
Self-Management. How effective is this individual in self-management? Think about the techniques we use to manage ourselves. How does this person apply self-control for both positive and negative emotions? Does this person experience emotional breakdowns? What are their emotional triggers? Do they experience stinking thinking?
___Self-Control Rating (1 to 10)
___Emotional Breakdowns (check if it applies)
___Stinking Thinking (check if it applies)
Changes and Surprises. Look at how they react to changes or to surprises. Are they open and receptive? Or shut down, reactive, and negative about new things?
___Handling Changes and Surprises (1 to 10)
Stress. They say that stress will reveal a person’s true character. How does this individual respond under pressure? Are they graceful or, are they mean and vindictive?
___Handling Stress (1 to 10)
Social Awareness. How aware is this individual to the emotions of others? Consider their level of empathy, organizational awareness, and emotional boundaries.
___ Empathy (1 to 10)
___ Organizational Awareness (1 to 10)
___ Keeping Emotional Boundaries (1 to 10)
Tools like this checklist can help us to see others clearly and to understand their emotional state. This is the key to social awareness. In the next post, we will revisit some common emotional profiles for individuals.