Book Review: Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
First, I want to express my deepest regret to Anthony Mersino. Anthony sent me his book last year, and it has taken me a while to post a review.
It’s not that I haven’t yet read it. It was the exact opposite. I grabbed it as soon as it arrived and couldn’t put it down. There are not many business books I can read from cover to cover without getting bored.
It’s the book that I wish I had written. Get one if you don’t already have one.
This is the brief review. You can read the full review if you want to learn more about the investment you would make if you purchase a copy.
Emotional Intelligence For Project Managers covers all soft skills that are not taught in project management training courses. The book’s subtitle reads, “The people skills you need for outstanding results.”
EI is about being able use your hard skills effectively through people. You could be the best project manager, but if you make everyone uncomfortable every time you open your mouth, then you will never be a good job at your job.
My opinion is that project management is about getting things done through people. Anthony would agree.
Anthony explains the history of EI, or EQ as it is sometimes called. He also explains how to measure your own EI.
This is the first part. Part 2 will cover self-awareness, and self-management. You can’t manage other people if you don’t know how to manage yourself. This section contains tips and techniques to improve self-confidence as well as ways to understand your impact on others.
Part 3 focuses on social awareness and relationship management. It is a great guide for building strong relationships and how this can be used to improve stakeholder management. It explains group dynamics and includes a section on developing others. This was particularly interesting to me.
Each section explains EI in the context of the project. This was important to me because so many business books are very general and don’t consider the sensitive nature of managing diverse, non-colocated, matrix team members in a project environment.
The book’s final section is very specific as it covers how to use EI to lead project team leaders. This section focuses on how to lead a team, creating a positive environment for team members, and the different leadership styles. It is fascinating to read about how project managers set the direction and tone for the project.
Anthony draws heavily from his own experiences and those of his colleagues throughout the book. He writes in a conversational style. Although there is a lot of information and additional reading in the appendices I felt that the emotional tally sheet, where you list the emotions of your team members during a meeting, would do more harm than good for my team.
You don’t have the book to use all the techniques. There’s plenty of information in this book. You can choose the parts that interest you and save the rest for later.

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