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Episode 445: Social Intelligence for Project Managers (Free)

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K. Wasson
Kim Wasson

Feeling disconnected from your team? Is getting them all together more like herding cats than project management? Social intelligence concepts (the connections part of emotional intelligence) can help you connect and keep your team all moving in the same direction.

This interview with Kim Wasson was recorded at the PMI® Global Conference 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. We discuss the concepts of her interactive workshop in which she helped the attendees develop strong connected leadership, handle problems gracefully and create and support effective teams using principles from the world of social intelligence translated into project management tools and techniques. They were able to leave the session armed with tools to support their project manager coaching and mentoring back in the workplace, with their colleagues.

From the interview you will learn how to use social intelligence tools to build teams and keep members connected and engaged and how to utilize social intelligence tools to achieve balance among the project dimensions of people, product and process. Note that social intelligence tools are not the same as social media for project managers, although there is definitely value in social media tools too.

People from so many different backgrounds joined Kim's talk and benefited from what she shared. From people who fill the role of project manager in SAFe agile environment, through to people managing multiple projects, there is so much to take away from today's interview. And without further ado, let's listen in.

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Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, we discover social intelligence and how it can help you connect and keep your team all moving in the same direction


Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome back to The Project Management Podcast™ at I am Cornelius Fichtner.

We are coming to you live from the 2019 Project Management Professional (PMI)® Global Conference in Philadelphia. And I’m sitting here outside in the hallways at a very wobbly table together with Kim Wasson.

Hello, Kim! Welcome back!

Kim Wasson: Thank you!

Cornelius Fichtner: Another conference, another interview. I think this is what it’s starting to look like?

Kim Wasson: It is. I’ve been lucky to be able to present for a few years. I have a lot to say.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes. And what you have to say this year is social intelligence for project managers. And if I understand this correctly, this is sort of a preview to your upcoming book, right?

Kim Wasson: Yes, yes, which also has emotional intelligence concepts.

Cornelius Fichtner: Right. And just you know to give you a plug here, the book is called “The Socially Intelligent Project Manager – The Soft Skills that Prevent Hard Days.” I love that subtitle. The Soft Skills that Prevent Hard Days. So we have already established obviously social intelligence is a soft skill. What is it all about?

Kim Wasson: It’s all about the connections between people so it kind of Daniel Goldman took off from emotional intelligence and took another kind of sideways look at the research and did more research to find emotional intelligence kind of inside out. It’s oriented from us.

Social intelligence is about the connections between people and establishing them and maintaining them which of course what project is built on.

Cornelius Fichtner: And how does it relate to emotional intelligence?

Kim Wasson: It’s on the same continuum. If you don’t start by establishing the relationships and exercising emotional intelligence, it’s very difficult to get to working with social intelligence. The emotional intelligence concept kind of lay the ground work for you to be able to get those connections working with your team.

Cornelius Fichtner: And does it have a single abbreviation because emotional intelligence is either abbreviated as EI or EO. So do we have SI and SO?

Kim Wasson: I haven’t seen it. I’ve only seen SI. You’ll never know, the BSQ.

Cornelius Fichtner: Who knows! So where do emotional intelligence and social intelligence interact and intersect and how does that apply to project management?

Kim Wasson: So you start with emotional intelligence. You establish connections with your team. Not only connections, but relationships with the individuals on your team. Once you’ve built that, you have the ground work to start working on the connections not only with yourself and the team because the team is its own entity but with the individuals on your team interacting with each other and bonding to be that single-team entity that you want because all teams have personality. We all know what happens when one person leaves and another person comes in, right? Your team is different. People are not interchangeable. And so, you want to establish this team personality and get people working well together.

Cornelius Fichtner: So in other words, emotional intelligence and social intelligence go hand in hand when we’re talking about the project team.

Kim Wasson: Absolutely, absolutely. And you build them concurrently.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! So we’re going to look forward into one of the things you’re going to be doing during the presentation. You’re going to be doing a poll but before we get to the poll, we have to look at the definition --- attunement. What is attunement?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

PDUs: Power Skills, Project Manager Soft Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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