Recently, I heard a gentleman, Gary Rechtfertig from Doulos PM Training, speak on emotional intelligence to a group of project managers. Unfortunately, I missed the first few minutes of his talk, but I found the part I heard useful.

I’ve been pondering on his presentation deck for two reasons: 1) to understand the whole of his talk since I missed his setup of it, and 2) to identify what specific actions I can take to grow as a project manager. This post will focus on trying to understand the basis on which he built his talk, which also happens to be the part I missed.

First, Gary defines emotional intelligence (E.I.) using two quotes. Gary quotes Daniel Goleman to say that E.I. is “the ability to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and in others.” Anthony Mersino is quoted to say E.I. is “knowing and managing our own emotions and those of others for improved performance.” These definitions suggest to me that:

If I can get a grip on myself, then I can help others get a grip on themselves, so that we can all be more effective in what we do.

Second, Gary presents the “E.I. Framework for Management.” The visual is a simple, 2-D drawing of a box-shaped house with two rooms on two floors topped with a roof.

stick house

  • The 1st floor of the house consists of becoming self-aware and being able to self-manage. I interpret this to be a type of “foundation.” It’s important to first be able to understand my own emotions and to control them before I can go up further in the house.
  • The 2nd floor is being sensitive (empathetic) of those around me and managing those relationships. So once I stop being wrapped up in my emotional needs, then I can focus on the needs of others to more effectively deal with a situation.
  • These two stories are capped by the roof, which is leading a team. If I can understand and appreciate others, then I have the ability to influence and lead them.

This framework makes sense to me in the context of managing a project – which always involves managing a project team.

Next, I will recap key learnings from the second portion of the talk which covered each specific element inside the E.I. framework.