Model of Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

The model for EI in project management includes 5 factors: self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, interpersonal management, and leadership. 


This is “the ability to sense, identify and understand emotions”. A project manager with low self-awareness is like a person being handicapped. Without awareness, we cannot make changes. It is crucial for a project manager to know his feelings and then make decisions, or take action. Otherwise, we may make poor decisions resulting in unintended outcomes. Those with a high level of self-awareness are confident, responsive to feedback and maintain their own perspectives during the project. 


Another step further for a project manager after knowing and understanding his feelings is to know how to manage their responses to their emotions in order to make a rational decision rather than reacting. Self-Management is “using your understanding of your feelings to reason well”. Those with high level of self-management understand their feelings and choose to manage their responses to the feelings. 


Similar to self-awareness, which is the ability to understand your emotions, social awareness, the third component in the five building blocks of our project management framework for emotional intelligence, is “the ability to understand the emotions of others”. 
This involves empathy, which is “putting yourself in another person’s place to understand how they feel and why they feel that way”. The key to empathy is to “suspend judgment” and to listen and understand their feelings and emotional condition. 


Stakeholder relationships play a critical role in any project. A project manager must manage the project team, and more difficult, the stakeholders. Whether you have a good relationship with them is up to you. We must claim the higher ground in building relationships. 


This is the highest component in the model of EI for project management. Communicating is crucial for a project manager to understand and manage the emotional tone of the team while managing conflict is a precious aspect of team development. And delivering inspirational leadership is necessary. It involves motivating, engaging and inspiring your team to develop for themselves and for the team. 

To gain thorough understanding of 6 EI components for project managers, enroll in this course on Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers. Register now and earn 8.25 PDUs of Leadership for all kinds of PMI certificates after taking this course and receive a 50% discount. You can look for the course information on PMI CCRS:


- Casper, C. M. (2002). Using emotional intelligence to improve project performance. Paper presented at Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium, San Antonio, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
- Rechtfertig, G. (2010). Emotional intelligence and key principles to increase your capacity to succeed. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2010—North America, Washington, DC. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

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