Once upon a time, there was a (Project Manager) Princess. Interestingly, she thought she made herself more beautiful each time she verbally attacked someone else.
All of the team members (her own team and the contractors/consultants) had to wrap themselves in a protective cocoon on a daily basis to protect themselves from her toxic ways.
Instead of viewing the project as a collaborative and win-win effort, she treated the project activities as a “win-lose” effort and valued her own superiority and “being right” over all other people and project aspects.
Whereas she pretended that her approach was best practices for “consultant/contractor” management, in fact her practices resulted in poorer project performance and morale.
During stressful project periods (as all projects periodically have), she was particularly toxic in de-moralising team members and distracting from effective and timely resolution of project issues.
Her fairy god-mother (Project Sponsor) knew that deep down the Princess was insecure and masked her frailties with arrogance and hubris – and knew that she would end up not achieving what she wanted and instead would alienate all from working with her in the future. But the Princess wouldn’t listen.
Alas, this is one fairy tale in which it doesn’t end with “and they all lived happily together”.
However, achieving good Emotional Intelligence (EI) for Project Managers doesn’t have to be a fairy tale – effective Project Managers just need to focus on this, be mentored and gather the skills for demonstrating such.
But first you need to recognise the problem – if people don’t want to work with you, if you find that you are critical of almost every action, if you find yourself trying to “make yourself right” all the time, then chances are that your EI may be low – and it is time to work on it.