Emotional Intelligence At Workplace To Maintain A Balance Between Professional And Personal Life

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Emotional Intelligence at Workplace

While the qualities traditionally associated with leadership like intelligence, determination, and vision- are required for success but they are insufficient. Truly effective leaders are also distinguished by high degree of emotional intelligence – Daniel Goleman

In the backdrop of this statement, critically discuss the relevance of emotional intelligence at workplace. (20 Marks)

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Emotional intelligence is the quality that enables us to confront with patience, insight and imagination the many problems that we face in our effective relationship with ourselves and with other people. Emotional intelligence is a foundational skill and when you work on it tends to reach out and affect many other behaviours that you might have otherwise worked at on your own. Emotions are the primary driver of our behaviour. Our brain is hardwired such that our emotional reaction to events is what motivates us to act so when we become more emotionally intelligent we become better at a lot of things and become more assertive, better at managing stress and time.

Every decision we make on a daily basis is based on emotions. We often feel choice A is better than choice B, Therefore many times the choices we make are based on what our emotions or what gut feelings are telling us. People need to have the self-awareness of their own emotions as well as of origins to understand themselves better their motivations, fears, limitations and strengths. It’s also extremely important for people to be in touch with their emotions especially when working in teams by keeping in mind not only their emotions but also of others i.e. they must have empathy to imagine a problem or situation from another person’s perspective and to stand in somebody else’s shoes. People’s emotions and concerns are becoming of great significance today when teams are cross-cultural and businesses are global.

When a person is emotionally unstable, he does not think about the way he reacts to things and how it may affect the people around him. Emotional intelligence is very important in to maintain a balance between professional and personal life. For example, an individual has fought with his wife at home or there has been a death in his family, he will not be able to work effectively thereby affecting his productivity and also hampers his ability to make decisions. Similarly if an individual is not been appreciated enough for his work he will get demotivated and thereby may remove his anger at home i.e. on the people who actually care about him and who have no fault whatsoever.

There are various factors that distinguish a good leader from a great leader; one of them can be attributed to emotional intelligence. A great leader empathizes to the needs of all its stakeholders and therefore takes into consideration, the effects his decisions will have on them and therefore responds accordingly. A great leader is able to deliver the appropriate message to the appropriate people at the appropriate time and manner. A great leader turns his weakness into strengths and thereby leveraging his emotions to benefit him instead of hampering him whereas a good leader will only provide solution to weaknesses. A greater leader is able to understand and identify the capabilities of the people around him and makes them believe they are good at it and therefore can motivate them effectively; whereas a good leader tells them what they are good at. A great leader has many followers and people inspire to become like him whereas a good leader may deliver results and be respected by all for his work but may not be liked by all.

Humans did not evolve to be successful in modern workplace environments, human cognition, emotions and behaviour evolved overcome hunter-gatherer problems such as how to hunt forage, attract a mate and politically operate in a small tribal society. Psychologist Mark Van Bruntargues suggests that our human instincts have not evolved so that people can comfortably operate in a large and impersonal bureaucratic structure. In our modern day workplaces many employees feel dissatisfied, frustrated and alienated. A key skill that can lead to both workplace effectiveness and satisfaction is emotional intelligence. Author Dan Goldman suggests that there are five emotional intelligence skills that are of great value in the workplace which are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

Self-awareness involves knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses i.e. when we are self-aware were able to realistically assess ourselves being open to constructive criticism which is also a sign of confidence and gives us the advantage of being able to learn and improve every day. Self-awareness involves knowing our underlying values our values allow us to be consistent in our actions and to be guided by higher principles which over time often lead to greater levels of respect. Self-awareness involves knowing the impact that we have on others for example a self-aware person may have insights into why one’s bosses are always angry thus providing them with an opportunity to be a calming influence.

Self-regulation involves being able to control our biological impulses and moods .For step back and try to understand why they’re getting angry rather than letting the feeling of anger lead to an aggressive act. Someone who can regulate their mood is more likely to build and keep good relationships in the work.

Motivation involves having a passion for work and a desire to raise the performance bar and achieve beyond expectations. When we’re motivated we have extra energy and we’re able to achieve more in the workplace.

Empathy involves understanding other people’s emotional makeup empathy is associated with listening to what others have to say and putting yourself in their shoes. Long-term working relationships are strengthened by empathy. Managers and organizational leaders who demonstrate empathy are also more successful in retaining pelleted employees. For example, the people who are providing services with armed forces a given specially training in which they are made to go through similar situational conditions like the soldiers so that they understand how the soldiers would be feeling leading to effective and efficient delivery of services.

Social skills involve building rapport with people to move them in a desired direction. People with social skills are able to find common ground and build emotional bonds with others. An individual who has social skills is able to successfully network through building positive rapport with new and existing contacts. Social skills are also associated with being persuasive therefore social skills are a key trait in being an effective.

Managers are required to have a high EI, because they are required to work with a wide variety of people. He is the one who is responsible to get the work out of them. Managers need to understand that actions speak louder than words. Managers with emotional intelligence are able to understand the employees are human beings first and then employees. Understanding the emotions of his employees helps him communicate messages better, faster and also helps him to resolve matters effectively which therefore help them to hold on to employees which lead to company loyalty and decreased employee absenteeism. When managers see that certain employees are not able to cope up and are too stressed, being able to understand them, can tell them to calm down or take a day off, regroup and join back tomorrow with double the effort as sometimes leaving a person to be with himself of utmost importance. Emotional intelligence helps you leverage your emotions to work in your favour instead of working against you. Emotional intelligence allows us to anticipate and thereby respond to people in an appropriate manner.

People with high emotional intelligence are able to assess emotional and psychological state of others more easily, thereby making it easier to understand if a person is suffering from anxiety, depression, trauma and many others. By identifying threats to employee’s psychological state, professional’s help and support can be provided to help them recover.

Each and every employee in the organization has a different emotional quotient. Anyone can increase their emotional quotient by working on it and therefore the organization will function better if programs are conducted within the organization which evaluates emotional intelligence and helps them learn to improve it.

Employees should not be promote only the basis of skills set and for how long they have been working in the organization but also based on their emotional quotient as it is often said the emotional intelligence is twice more important than technical knowledge. Maintaining relationships are integral for a business to be successful which includes relationship not just with clients but also other stakeholders like suppliers, employees etc. Our understanding of emotional intelligence improves our relations with peers and also imbibes a deep sense of personal fulfilment and professional success and therefore emotional intelligence is very important in order to maintain long term relationship with peers.

Before the formation of a team it is important to know the technical knowledge and emotional quotient of each and every member of the team. They must undergo a program so that they can work in harmony and develop mutual trust. When working in a team emotional intelligence plays a very integral role, people are of different skillsets and mind sets and therefore there are many conflicts regarding various decisions and choices to be made and the first thing that needs to accepted is the there will be difference of opinions. In a team, emotions should be dealt with as soon as they arise because it is very important in order to develop the foundation of the team. The performance of the team depends on how well are work together in harmony.

The personality and emotions of certain people in the organization are contagious i.e. the presence of the person boosts performance and productivity of other members by creating a conducive environment. Our emotions contagious but what the trigger point for that is mimicking other people’s expressions so you go into a workplace where everyone’s kind of frowning you’ll tend to start frowning too you go into workplace where people are happy not be you’ll tend to operate that way too. When we get infected by someone else’s emotions it stays with us, we carry through that day, we carry it home to our families, and we carry it into work the next day and infect new people. When we see people happy around us we are happy too whereas if people around us are sad or have a negative vibe, we will behave similarly too.

Emotions of a single member in the team can boost or hamper productivity. A good joke often can cheer up employees and thereby creating a happy environment. People with high emotional intelligence will know what will people find funny, when to use which phrase, and how to balance serious work and light-heartedness which increases the employee morale.

People need to listen each other’s views, respond positively both verbally and through body language. Even if one person wants to oppose the other he must do it in a way not hurting others feelings and putting forth the point meant to go through. Also it is very important to be an active listener, so that he can receive criticism and feedback in a positive spirit. One needs to self-regulate his emotions and not let it affect the way he works with others thereby acting against others even though they are not at fault.

An individual who is aware about his emotional state has better control over his actions and therefore able to deal with it accordingly. Also a person who has gone through a situation similar to that of his peer is more likely to understand the situation better and also help in deal with it in a better way.

Emotional intelligence is an evitable quality in modern times. Different people have different emotional quotients and can learn to improve it over time through timely evaluation and feedback programs. Emotional intelligence is very important in order to maintain a balance between professional and personal life and to maintain harmony in the both lives. The importance of emotional intelligence is likely to increase in the future as it is going to be increasingly vital to hold on to good employees due to lack of specialists and labour force, especially in a growing economy like India.


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