Better Project Management through Better Emotional Intelligence


Dhrubajyoti (Dhruv) Lahon

Bangalore, India


Enormous amount of studies on successful and failed projects have shown that the Emotional Intelligence of the Project Manager running the project has significant influence on the outcome of the project.

So, this paper talks about emotional intelligence in general, and then tries to relate to how the emotional intelligence influences the project outcomes. Let’s start with learning some basic theories about emotional intelligence.

“88% of Project Managers spend more than 50% of time cooperating with others.”

What is Emotional Intelligence?

In very basic terms, emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to identify and understand one’s own and others emotions correctly, and manage those emotions in a desired manner.

Daniel Goleman, one of the pioneer researchers in the field of Emotional Science, views emotional intelligence as “abilities such as being able to motivate one and persist in the face of frustration; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate one’s moods and keep distress from swamping the ability to think; to emphasize and to hope”.

There are four unique primary emotional states –

  • Glad
  • Sad
  • Mad
  • Scared









Some researchers claim existence of two additional emotional states, but other researchers contradict saying that these are extension or mix of one or more unique primary emotional states.

So, any project manager, being a human, at any point of time goes through one of these four emotional states, but it may vary person to person based on the life experience, emotional maturity and so on.


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About the Author

Dhrubajyoti Lahon

Bangalore, India



Dhrubajyoti (Dhruv) Lahon 
is currently with Philips India Ltd. in Bangalore, India as a Senior Project Manager in the Healthcare domain. The two main responsibilities in his current role are – group management involving people management aspect and also managing the delivery from the group.

He is an engineering graduate in Computer Science & Engineering. Dhruv has been working in the Software industry for last 16 years, also with experience working in different domains like building automation system, retail inventory management and healthcare. He was previously associated with Honeywell, Tyco International and ABB.

Dhruv’s deepest interest is in the areas of Project and Organizational Management, and the various human factors that influence the success of a project or an organization.

He can be contacted at [email protected]