[Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude] Emotional Intelligence – Basics

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior. There are two dimensions in emotional intelligence – one is interpersonal emotional intelligence and other is intrapersonal  emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence has five essential components prescribed by Golemen:
  • Self awareness – first crucial component is awareness of one’s emotions. The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions. It drives their effect on others. Hallmarks of self-awareness include self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humor.
  • Self regulation – managing one’s emotions. The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting. Hallmarks include trustworthiness and integrity; comfort with ambiguity; and openness to change.
  • Empathy- knowing about other people’s emotions (need to know different types of emotions). The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions. Hallmarks include expertise in building and retaining talent, cross-cultural sensitivity, and service to clients and customers. (In an educational context, empathy is often thought to include, or lead to, sympathy, which implies concern, or care or a wish to soften negative emotions or experiences in others.)
  • Social skills –  Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks, and an ability to find common ground and build rapport. Hallmarks of social skills include effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness, and expertise building and leading teams.
  • Motivation (More recently, Goleman favors only Four Domains of EI as described in his 2002-book “Primal Leadership”. Motivation is missing in those domains). A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. Hallmarks include a strong drive to achieve, optimism even in the face of failure, and organizational commitment.
More recently, Goleman favors only Four Domains of EI: 
  • Self-awareness – awareness of one’s emotions (Emotional Self-Awareness. Accurate Self-Assessment and Self Confidence)
  • Self-management – managing one’s emotions (Emotional Self-Control. Transparency (Trustworthiness). Adaptability. Achievement Orientation. Initiative. Optimism. Conscientiousness)
  • Social awareness – knowing about other people’s emotions (need to know different types of emotions) (Empathy. Organizational Awareness. Service Orientation).
  • Relationship management – managing other’s emotions. (Inspirational Leadership. Influence. Developing Others. Change Catalyst. Conflict Management. Building Bonds. Teamwork and Collaboration. Communication). Emotions should be managed in rational /intelligent manner.
Marshmallow experiment was done by a famous psychologist Walter Mischel to find out deferred gratification of people. In this experiment, 5 year children were given option of eating one marshmallow instantly but they will be 2 marshmallows if they will wait 15 minutes. Some waited for more time and they were found to be more successful in life. Based on this experiment following characteristics of emotional intelligence person can be listed:
  • Ability to delay satisfaction of desires/ delay in gratification important for emotional intelligence
  • Aware of his awareness
  • Handle stress/setback 
  • Positive attitude
  • Resilient on the face of adversity
Benefits of Emotional intelligence:
  • Better dealing with different kind of conflicts
  • Optimistic and resiliency
  • Better decisions can be taken
  • Person develops leadership qualities
  • Wise and appropriate behaviour
  • Better professional progress
  • Help in managing stress
  • Achieve positive mental health
  • Employee commitment, morale, and health
  • Innovation and improvement in productivity, efficiency and effectiveness
  • Build public trust
Aristotle has said that “Anyone can become angry- that is easy, but to be angry with right person at right time and for the right purpose – that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy” . Emotional intelligence can be developed and nurtured in individuals with proper guidance and training. IQ is relatively stable throughout life but much of emotional intelligence(EQ) is learned.

Public Administrators need high EQ because they represent the organization to the public, they interact with the highest number of people within and outside the organization and they set the tone for employee morale. Leaders with empathy are able to understand their subordinate’s needs and provide them with constructive feedback. Different job requirements call for different types of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence influences organizational effectiveness in a number of areas.

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