Using skills-based emotional intelligence training to improve team performance in construction management programs

Joshua Jason Mischung, Jake Smithwick, Kenneth Sullivan, Anthony Perrenoud

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


One of the most frequently requested skills of graduating Construction Management (CM) students is the ability to work well in team settings. As a result CM programs have incorporated many team activities and projects into their curriculum. This has provided students with exposure to the dynamics and complexities of working in team settings. But many CM programs stop at exposure. Examining another field's training practices suggests another crucial step in preparing students for the construction industry. Competitive sports teams operate in dynamic, complex, fast paced, high-pressure environments. All characteristics that are shared with today's construction environment. Much like CM programs competitive sports teams will often scrimmage to expose athletes to the environment they will be expected to perform in. Where CM programs can learn from these high performing teams is in the skills-based training leading up to the scrimmage. Just like the athletes, students will perform better when they are taught executable skills prior to being exposed to team environments than they would have without any upfront skills training. Over the past decade a myriad of evidence has amassed linking higher levels of emotional intelligence to both individual and team performance. Organizations outside of the construction industry have taken notice and implemented efforts to increase awareness and training of emotional intelligence. As a result these organizations are enjoying higher levels of performance at both the individual and team level. Unfortunately the construction industry remains hesitant and slow to embrace emotional intelligence as an effective method of improving performance. Due to emotional intelligence's documented positive impact on individual and team performance, as well as the ability to improve emotional intelligence through training, it was chosen as the method used to train students in a large Construction Management undergraduate class to operate in team settings. Researchers collected project performance data for two semesters. The second semester a certified emotional intelligence (EI) trainer provided skills-based EI training to the students prior to beginning their final project. Students that received the skills-based EI training not only performed better on their final projects, but also reported better team communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015


Other2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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