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Emotional Intelligence and The Project Manager

By Harold Kerzner, Ph.D. and Elissa Farrow, Ph.D.


The field of project management has witnessed numerous advancements and continuous improvement efforts across various leadership applications and management domains. While past efforts primarily focused on structural and technical aspects, recent developments have embraced the integration of previously unrelated knowledge domains to enhance both the process and outcomes.

Traditionally, project management practices predominantly revolved around well-defined requirements and followed the Waterfall approach, with improvements centered around management control concepts. However, as project management methodologies expanded to encompass diverse project types, such as those demanding creativity, innovation, and unclear scopes, flexible approaches like Agile and Hybrid emerged. These new methodologies emphasized collaboration, stakeholder engagement, and incremental value delivery, highlighting the significance of behavioral and psychological factors in project management. 

Additionally, with the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation in future organizational models, the relational side of project management gains enhanced value. Successful project managers and leaders must not only comprehend Emotional Intelligence (EQ) but actively demonstrate its application within their teams and in engaging stakeholders. As AI agents take over certain processes, forms, and checklists, the role of EQ in project management becomes even more critical.

Browse IIL’s Emotional Intelligence Courses!

Dr. Kerzner is a Keynote in this year’s International Project Manager Day 2023 – check it out and register today!

About the Authors

Dr. Harold Kerzner

Harold Kerzner, Ph.D.
Senior Executive Director, International Institute for Learning

Harold D. Kerzner, Ph.D., is Senior Executive Director at the International Institute for Learning, Inc., a global learning solutions company that conducts training for leading corporations throughout the world. He is a globally recognized expert on project, program,
and portfolio management, total quality management, and strategic planning. Dr. Kerzner is the author of bestselling books and texts, including the acclaimed Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, Thirteenth Edition.

Dr. Elissa Farrow

Elissa Farrow, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant and Facilitator
International Institute of Learning

Dr. Elissa Farrow is a futurist, author, facilitator, coach, and strategist. She has over 25 years of experience in research, organizational innovation, design, adaptation, and benefit realization. Dr. Farrow is known for her compassionate leadership and engagement approach. She is an experienced leader and has been a partner in transformation in various industries. Dr. Farrow is a published author, and her doctoral research explored the implications of Artificial Intelligence on organizational futures. Her research created innovative adaptation principles for leaders and delivery teams as well as new knowledge relating to how to best transform organizations operating models to anticipate and create positive futures. In 2023, Dr. Farrow became an Adjunct Fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

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