Q. What do you understand by Emotional Intelligence(EI)? Highlight its significance, discuss the ways to develop EI among civil servants.

Approach:

  • Explain the concept of Emotional Intelligence(EI) and discuss its components
  • Highlight the significance and importance of EI for civil servants.
  • Discuss the ways to develop EI among civil servants.

Model Answer

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to the capability of a person to recognize, understand and manage own emotions, as well as to understand, manage and influence emotions of others. It is not always virtuous and can be used as a tool for positive and negative ends.

It is said to have five main elements which help in the following ways:

  • Self-awareness: A self-aware person is in better position to understand the emotions of others.
  • Self-regulation: It makes a person think before speaking/doing. It has many positive aspects including that of self assessment and holding himself accountable for his actions.
  • Motivation: It helps in achieving goals. A motivated person leads by example and is in a better position to influence others.
  • Empathy: It helps in understanding a situation by putting oneself in the position of others. Those who can empathize with others earn respect.
  • Social skills: It helps in communicating your point of view and builds rapport with others. It makes the relationship more comfortable.

Emotional intelligence is valuable in a multicultural society as it brings the following advantages:

  • Interpersonal skills, team work, negotiation, networking and other critical social skills
  • People-oriented characteristics with a high sensitivity to diversity
  • Attuned to cultural sensitivities and behavioural norms such as Integrity, honesty and trustworthiness
  • Credibility and reliability rating in terms of commitments and pledges
  • Personal learning skills, especially the ability to learn from, and help others learn from, experience.

The most effective civil servants tend to exhibit a high degree of emotional intelligence. EI can help the civil servants in following ways:

  • Managing family and work life: A civil servant with balanced family and work life can contribute more to the system due to a relaxed state of mind owing to EI.
  • Mutually satisfying relationships: An emotionally intelligent civil servant can reconcile the differences among co-workers or different factions of people and can resolve problems in a more constructive and effective manner.
  • Better work-culture: An emotionally intelligent civil servant brings more energy to the system, thus influencing the working attitude of each employee.
  • Better decision making: Being aware of one’s wants and fears can help the civil servant in being neutral and impartial during conflict of interests.
  • Repose trust in the system: Listening attentively to the problems of people, empathizing with their situation and bringing positive change in the work attitude of bureaucracy, EI can help in making the system more trustworthy in the eyes of citizens.

Development of EI among civil servants:

  • Training through practice and feedback, civil servants can learn from their mistakes using real life examples and reflection opportunities.
  • Support: Coaching, encouragement and peer support can assist with lasting change and positive development of EI competencies
  • Experiential learning: Emotional and behavioral changes require life activities which are primarily outside of the traditional classroom and is commonly referred to as experiential learning.
  • Learning transfer it refers to how people use what they learn in training for performance improvement. Learning transfer seeks to reinforce and apply the information learned on the job immediately.

Emotional intelligence is the single best predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence. 

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