Agile emotional intelligence is a technique of soft-skill negotiation that every agile manager should know and adapt. Agile emotional intelligence is applied by project managers in order to promote collaboration in agile team. It encourages adaptive leadership which means agile projects that are flexible and can be adapted as per customer’s requirements.

Agile emotional intelligence is being aware of and being capable of managing emotions. The later requires the former understanding. There should pre-supposed awareness, and the ability to assess, analyze, predict and guide or direct them. Understanding emotions is essential for all projects irrespective of it being agile or not. However, the importance of emotional intelligence is greater in agile as agile teams need to work in concert and collaboration with each other. Emotional Quotient (EQ) is a term used in agile to identify the level of emotional intelligence in project managers.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Agile:

Operates well in matrix environment:
Emotional intelligence is essential for project managers working in organizations with a matrix structure. In such organizations, the project managers need to deal, negotiate and collaborate with people whom he or she might not direct authoritatively. In that case the project manager needs to use emotional intelligence in order to make them work effectively in the project.

Helps building an effective team:
To motivate team members and to resolve conflict between team members whenever it arises, understanding of emotions is essential. Thus, agile emotional intelligence enables one to build an effective team.

Helps in managing changes:
As a popular saying goes, “Life is about the 3 Cs – Choices, Chances and Changes. You have to make a choice to take a chance that brings forward change.” Change is always difficult and an agile project is mostly comprised of changes as it works in iteration along with customer’s satisfaction. In this case, a project manager needs to understand the impact of changes on the people and help them deal with the change with a positive approach. Thus, emotional Intelligence (EI) is very essential for project managers. To provide good leadership and deliver positive results a project manager needs to have better hand over EQ. The Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment (EISA) framework provides a strong fundamental assessment of EI in project managers.

Five core factors of the EISA Framework:

  1. Perceiving: The ability to recognize, acknowledge and attend to the emotions of one’s own self and other team members.
  2. Managing: The ability to express emotions in a controlled manner.
  3. Decision making: The ability to apply emotions effectively in decision making.
  4. Achieving: The ability to generate the emotions that will motivate oneself towards pursuit of a desired goal.
  5. Influencing: The ability to motivate others in the pursuit of a goal, by evoking similar emotions in others as well.

Project Manager’s benefits of Agile Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Helps them become better leaders
  2. Effective hand over handling and resolving disputes
  3. Helps building an effective and productive agile team environment
  4. Helps in negotiating with stakeholders during crisis
  5. Makes them good decision makers

To know more about agile techniques and effective agile project management, you can join Simplilearn’s PMI-ACP online training. You can also attend PMI-ACP agile certification classroom training workshops to enhance your PMI-ACP exam prep towards attaining a PMI agile certification. Know the upcoming dates of agile certification training in your city.

About the Author


Chandana is working as a Senior Content Writer in and handles variety of creative writing jobs. She has done M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University.

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