Overview of Modules
Section 1: Toxicity:
Current perceptions and merit judgments are rooted deeply within the industry's history, manifesting from the top-down from those at the senior leadership level, and impacting each tier of production thereafter in a myriad of ways. The following sections exemplify how this trickle down effect impacts production at its most basic levels, given the understanding that each issue will be much more nuanced in reality and that similar scenarios encountered in reality will reflect the unique and complex work environment in which they occur.
1.1: Toxic Culture
The toxic cultural norms are often held more closely by those who have steeped within the culture for the longest amount of time. This toxicity can spread outward through empathetic microaggressions to every level of production.
1.2: Lack of Leadership Support
Toxic folkways & time constraints on many production projects, some members of senior leadership may be reluctant to support efforts for culture building, repair, and support, as it can be seen as an unnecessary expense and potential liability
1.3: Denial of Resources
Because we still produces on time results, there is often no demonstrated evidence that alleviation of these stressors within the work culture is needed, resulting in a denial of resources for implementation of alternative strategies.
Section 2: Preliminary Steps
Despite these obstacles, there are many aspects of emotionally intelligent project management that can be implemented at an individual level without leadership intervention or committed financial overhead. Choices about how the team is managed can be made by an individual project manager and implemented locally within their team to encourage community, trust, and respect. These efforts can help work towards the overall goal of creating an environment in which strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, and issues of capacity can be addressed proactively and planned for to facilitate the betterment of the team and the project at hand.
In order to be more receptive to these strategies, however, it is imperative that individual project managers first assess their own capacity and comfort with theories of emotional intelligence and potential personal perceptions that they may need to challenge within themselves.
The following issues are on the forefront of considerations that must be taken in order to proceed:
2.1: Acknowledging Blindspots
While individuals may experience similar things, not everyone shares experiences in the same way.
2.2 Accepting Different Perspectives
In a healthy work environment, differing perspectives do not create dissent but rather dialogue.
2.3 Creating a Support Network
Employing different perspectives as a resource rather than an impediment can enhance collaboration.
2.4 Speaking Up
Voicing one's opinions is often the first step to change, and in this particular area, even small steps can make a big impact.
Section 3: Creating a Community
The following is a discussion of strategies and steps that one can take within their own work group or team in order to encourage feelings of community and openness to best address common personal obstacles pertaining to burnout, personal capacity, and other stressors that may be daunting for team members to address with leadership but all of which may ultimately impact their work, their satisfaction, and the overall health of the team and the project.
3.1 Information Gathering
Information Gathering is perhaps the most basic and most important step in practicing emotionally intelligent project management.
3.2 Observation & Confirmation
By observing one's own team in action, there is an opportunity to reconcile the perspectives of the team members and team leadership.
Information can be synthesized into actionable knowledge to unite disparate goals pertaining to the function and satisfaction of the team.
3.4 Knowing When to Swerve
In some cases, a project manager must make a difficult decision to swerve around an issue and develop a contingency plan.