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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What do you understand by emotional intelligence? How can it help you in improving your interpersonal skills and decision making? Give examples from your own life or from any public figure. (150 words)

    02 Mar, 2023 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    • Start your answer by briefly introducing Emotional Intelligence (EI).
    • Discuss how EI helps in improving interpersonal and decision-making skills.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that enable individuals to recognize, understand and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. The concept of emotional intelligence was first introduced by psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990, who defined it as "the ability to perceive, understand, and regulate emotions in oneself and others." Daniel Goleman later popularized the concept in his book "Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ" (1995).


    • There are Four Main Components of Emotional Intelligence:
      • Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand one's own emotions, strengths, and weaknesses.
      • Self-Regulation: The ability to manage and regulate one's own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
      • Social Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand emotions in others and to empathize with them.
      • Relationship Management: The ability to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and build positive relationships with others.
    • Emotional Intelligence Helps in Improving Interpersonal Skills and Decision-Making, Emotional intelligence is essential for improving interpersonal skills and decision-making abilities.
      • When individuals have a high level of emotional intelligence, they are better equipped to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of others. This allows them to communicate more effectively, build positive relationships, and make sound decisions like as follows:
        • Effective Communication: Emotional intelligence helps individuals to communicate effectively by enabling them to understand and express their emotions clearly. This helps them to build rapport with others, resolve conflicts, and work collaboratively.
          • For example, Oprah Winfrey, a renowned media personality, is known for her emotional intelligence. She has been able to connect with her audience by being authentic, empathetic, and relatable.
            • Her ability to understand and express her emotions has helped her to build a loyal following and become a successful media mogul.
      • Conflict Resolution: Emotional intelligence also helps individuals to resolve conflicts effectively by enabling them to understand and manage emotions in difficult situations. This allows them to remain calm and objective, listen to others' perspectives, and find mutually acceptable solutions.
        • For example, Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, demonstrated high emotional intelligence during his leadership.
          • He was able to reconcile with his former oppressors and bring about peaceful transition to democracy by understanding and managing his own emotions and those of others.
      • Decision Making: Emotional intelligence also plays a critical role in decision-making. When individuals have a high level of emotional intelligence, they are better able to understand and manage the emotions that influence their decision-making process. This allows them to make more informed, rational, and sound decisions.
        • For example, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, has demonstrated high emotional intelligence in his leadership. He has been able to turn around the company by making strategic decisions that are based on empathy, understanding, and collaboration.


    Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that are essential for effective communication, conflict resolution, and decision-making. By developing these skills, individuals can improve their interpersonal relationships, work collaboratively with others, and make informed and rational decisions.

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