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Emotional Intelligence

  • 15 Mar 2019
  • 7 min read

"Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power, that is not easy." —Aristotle

Emotional Intelligence (EI)

  • The term was coined by two researchers – Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990 but got popular in 1996 from Dan Goleman’s book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’.
  • Emotional intelligence refers to ‘the ability to identify one’s own emotions and those of others, harness and apply them to tasks, and to regulate and manage them’.
  • Emotional Quotient (EQ) is a measure of one’s EI i.e. through a standardized test, one’s awareness of emotions in relation to self and others is known.

Elements of EI (as given by Daniel Goleman)

  • Self-Awareness: It is the skill of being aware of and understanding one’s emotions as they occur and as they evolve.
  • Self-Regulation: It is about controlling one’s emotions i.e. instead of reacting quickly; one can reign in one’s emotions and thus will think before responding.
  • Internal Motivation: It includes one’s personal drive to improve and achieve commitment to one’s goals, initiative, or readiness to act on opportunities, and optimism and resilience.
  • Empathy: It is an awareness of the needs and feelings of others both individually and in groups, and being able to see things from the point of view of others.
  • Social Skills: It is applying empathy and balancing the wants and requirements of others with one’s. It includes building good rapport with others.

Four Different Areas of EI (Mayer & Salovey Ability Model)

  • The ability to perceive emotions in oneself and others accurately.
  • The ability to use emotions to facilitate thinking.
  • The ability to understand emotions, emotional language, and the signals conveyed by emotions.
  • The ability to manage emotions so as to attain specific goals.

Emotional Quotient (EQ) vs. Intelligent Quotient (IQ)

"What really matters for success, character, happiness and lifelong achievements is a definite set of emotional skills – your EQ — not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests." —Daniel Goleman

  • EQ is a measure of a person's level of emotional intelligence. It refers to a person's ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions.
  • IQ is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess an individual's intelligence. It is used to determine academic abilities and identify individuals with off-the-chart intelligence or mental challenges.
  • EQ is centred on abilities such as identifying emotions, evaluating how others feel, controlling one's own emotions, perceiving how others feel, using emotions to facilitate social communication and relating to others.
  • IQ represents abilities such as visual and spatial processing, knowledge of the world, fluid reasoning, working memory and short-term memory and quantitative reasoning.

Importance of EI in Civil Services

  • For Targeting Policies better: Bureaucrats need to know emotions, moods and drives of persons at whom public policy is targeted for better acquaintance with the nature of problems in society and their possible solutions.
  • For motivating subordinates: EI helps a person in comprehending emotions of others, thus an emotionally intelligent civil servant can motivate his/her subordinates towards a particular goal.
  • Stress Management: EI enables one to manage emotions in anxiety-provoking situations and thus helps one in maintaining one’s physical and mental well being.
  • For change: An Emotionally Intelligent person is more likely to try new things, take risks and face new challenges without fear. This will help in finding innovative solutions to different problems.
  • For Decision making: EI helps in recognizing such emotions that are unrelated to any specific problem and not allowing them to be influential to the final result.
  • For Better Communication: An Emotionally Intelligent civil servant will be able to communicate policies better. Also, the person will be able to foster a healthy relationship with subordinates.
  • For maintaining balance in life: EI helps a civil servant in managing his/her personal life as well as professional life.
  • On personal front, EI makes one more flexible, empathetic and clear in expression.

Relevance of EI in Civil Services

Civil Servants today face numerous problems in the work environment such as:

  • Increasing regional, economic and digital divide.
  • Widespread application of IT.
  • Demand for improved governance.
  • Issues getting politicized easily.
  • Political Pressure and Rampant Corruption.
  • Decentralisation of governance to grassroot levels thereby increasing responsibilities.
  • Issues of globalisation, migration, terrorism, cybercrimes, information technology etc.

Improving Emotional Intelligence

  • By self-evaluating oneself, one can know one’s emotions and reactions to different situations.
  • By observing others, one can comprehend feelings of others.
  • By improving one’s expression, one can communicate better.
  • By analyzing the impact of one’s action over others, one can fine tune the actions.

Now-a-days, organizations take initiative to improve Emotional Intelligence among its employees through different group activities, exercises, seminars and tests. However, EI also improves with age (maturity) due to one’s experiences in life.

Rule Your Feelings, Lest Your Feelings Rule You.  — Publilius Syrus

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