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Beyond the Cat Herding: Why Emotional Intelligence Makes You a Project Whisperer

Picture this: you've meticulously crafted the perfect project management plan, the goals are clear, the budget is assigned, the schedule agreed and yet... the elusive project sponsor remains elusive. The whispers begin, "Herding cats is easier than finding a high-calibre project sponsor." But fear not, aspiring project manager, for the key to unlocking this mythical creature lies not in better cat wrangling, but in harnessing the power of your emotional intelligence (EQ).

Ditching the Bullhorn, Embracing Empathy:

Traditional sponsor acquisition often resembles a one-way street: bombarding them with facts, figures, and technical jargon. While essential, this approach fails to recognise the human element. Enter EQ, your secret weapon for navigating the sponsor landscape:

  • Self-awareness: Recognise your own biases and anxieties about approaching potential sponsors. This allows you to present with confidence and authenticity.

  • Empathy: Understand the sponsor's perspective – their priorities, concerns, and risk tolerance. Tailor your communication and approach accordingly, fostering trust and rapport.

  • Social awareness: Navigate the complex dynamics within their organisation. Understand the players, their relationships, and how your project aligns with their broader goals.

From Project Plan to Project Partnership:

EQ empowers you to transform a project into a compelling partnership:

  • Storytelling, not instructing: Craft a compelling narrative that resonates with the sponsor's emotional needs and vision. Highlight the impact your project will have, not just the technical specifications.

  • Active listening: Truly listen to their concerns and questions. Address them directly and demonstrate a genuine understanding of their perspective.

  • Building value beyond ROI: While return on investment is important, emphasize the project's broader value proposition, aligning it with the sponsor's values and aspirations.

EQ: Your Sponsor Magnet:

Remember, technical skills are crucial, but EQ attracts and retains top-tier sponsors:

  • Motivational leadership: Inspire the sponsor with your passion and commitment to the project. Use your EQ to understand their leadership style and tailor yours accordingly.

  • Effective communication: Communicate clearly, concisely, and consistently. Be transparent, address concerns proactively, and maintain open communication channels.

  • Building trust and collaboration: Foster a relationship built on trust, mutual respect, and shared ownership. This ensures the sponsor feels valued and invested in the project's success.

Beyond Project Plumbing:

Securing a sponsor is just the beginning. EQ fuels a successful ongoing partnerships:

  • Managing expectations: Clearly communicate project goals, timelines, and potential challenges upfront. Be realistic and manage expectations throughout the project lifecycle.

  • Navigating conflict: When disagreements arise, use your EQ to mediate effectively, focusing on solutions rather than blame. Foster a collaborative environment where everyone feels heard and valued.

  • Celebrating wins: Acknowledge and celebrate milestones and achievements together. This strengthens the sponsor relationship and reinforces the project's value.

So, ditch the herding mentality and embrace the power of EQ.  Become the project manager who attracts and retains interested and committed sponsors, transforming projects into partnerships, and turning "Cat Herding" into a collaborative performance. Remember, in the end, EQ is the key to unlocking the magic of project sponsorship and leading your project to success.

Move Beyond Frustration to Real Results:

Are you inspired to cultivate a stronger professional practice for both you and your team that will move beyond absent Sponsors and fraudulent Stakeholders to build an enviable reputation for reliable engagement and trusted project success?

Applied EQ Services is here to guide you every step of the way.

Our comprehensive project coaching services are designed to optimise project setup processes and develop real world delivery skills, building clear insight and understanding for Project Managers to more confidently conduct their project "orchestra".

Apply your applied emotional intelligence to set-up, guide & deliver transformation projects successfully. Use a your secret weapon for effective sponsor engagement, and eliminate the frustrations of cat herding to add value, not cost to your projects.

Don't wait another moment to take the first step towards professional quality project performance – contact us today!


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