The Self Aware Project Manager

In this week’s episode of Project Management Paradise, Johnny speaks with Naomi Caietti; project management consultant, guest speaker, author, PPM expert and managing editor at on the topic of “The Self-Aware Project Manager”.


Based in Northern California, Naomi is the founder of Naomi Caietti Consulting, a sought-after speaker coach, published author and has spoken to thousands of project managers around the globe. Having worked with a diverse range of clients including corporate, entrepreneurial and private individuals Naomi is also the founder of a women’s networking group called Glass Breakers connecting women in the area of projects, leadership and management.

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Excerpts from Episode 48 – The Self Aware Project Manager

Caietti chose the topic of “the self-aware project manager” because she feels the area of leadership is “bubbled-up” in the project management arena. Leadership is a key area in the PMI talent triangle and Naomi also feels that softer skills such as leadership is a weaker area for many PM’s.

Naomi, in one particular article asked the question; “how can you tell if you have emotional intelligence?”. As an answer, she quotes an article by Mark Murphy entitled “the five signs of people with high emotional intelligence” and explains the signs are as follows

  • Handle criticism without denial, blame, excuses or anxiety
  • Open-minded
  • Good listener
  • Don’t sugar coat the truth
  • Apologise when wrong

Someone who possesses emotional intelligence has their own situation under control as well as being able to deal with a project team and stakeholders. “You don’t know what you don’t want to know” says Caietti stating “the brain is a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it gets”.

Your emotional intelligence is going to be more important than your education and IQ to be successful. Everyone has some level of emotional intelligence to get started with and while some have a natural ability in the area it is something that can be improved with consistent work to accomplish career development.

Naomi believes that many project managers are paper PM’s and attributed this to the struggle of successfully implementing emotional intelligence into the project management industry.

Organizations need to figure out how to hire, train and retain key talent in project management. They need to understand if the correct people are writing the job descriptions Are the C-Suite embracing, coaching and mentoring not just sponsors but bringing PM’s and Business Analysts together as a strong team to lead the project and set organization standards to develop repeatable best practices? This will provide consistency, drive motivation and put the organization in a more competitive position in the workplace.

Naomi believes that project managers should always be focused on personal growth and development; no matter where they are in their career, whether starting out or leading a large project team. “You can’t not focus on yourself” which leads to the self-awareness concept in the podcast title.

“Once you choose leadership you’re never not leading”.

Show Notes

Visit Naomi’s website at

Connect with Naomi on Linkedin here.

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