[Solved] ) “Emotional Intelligence is the ability to make your emotions work for you instead of against you.” Do you agree with this view? Discuss. ( UPSC GS-4 Mains 2019)
In order to have anything like a complete theory of human rationality, we have to understand what role emotion plays in it.” – (Herbert Simon, American Nobel Laureate scientist) At the point of decision, emotions are very important for choosing. In fact even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion. As Dr. Simon and others have pointed out, emotions influence, skew or sometimes completely determine the outcome of a large number of decisions we are confronted with in a day. Therefore, it behooves all of us who want to make the best, most objective decisions to know all we can about emotions and their effect on our decision-making.
People who are emotionally intelligent don’t remove all emotions from their decision-making. They remove emotions that have nothing to do with the decision. The secret to making smarter decisions that aren’t swayed by your current emotions, particularly when your emotions are unrelated to the decision at hand, could lie in emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a term used in psychology to signal the ability to identify and control both your and others’ emotions, and to apply that ability to certain tasks.
Decisions, especially decisions involving risk, are often guided by emotions, such as anxiety, that in fact emerge from completely unrelated events. Emotionally intelligent leaders are less likely to make a mistake with “incidental” anxiety because they recognize the irrelevant source of their emotions. Leaders can also help others reduce the impact of incidental anxiety by simply pointing out the true source of their emotions.
Leaders who perceive and relate to the emotions of those they direct are going to be seen as more caring and understanding leaders. Leaders who can better manage their own emotions will also develop more positive relationships with subordinates and superiors. Finally, emotionally intelligent negotiators have been proven to be more effective.
Only when we see this final result can we effectively utilize knowledge of emotions and feelings in the decision making process. Instead, if we try to understand that any particular emotion, say, disgust, will result in a feeling of, say, “loathing” or “judgmental” or “detestable,” then we can better evaluate the matter and take the better action. Leaders must not allow incidental emotions to color their decisionmaking, especially involving risks. Leaders are often warned to pay attention to assumptions and biases.
Ways to make emotions work for you in decision making process:
• Name what you are deciding.
• Recognize and name all feelings you are experiencing in connection with the decision.
• Bring your feelings inward to identify its root cause (an emotion).
• Process that emotion, not one of its symptoms (a feeling).
• Be aware of whether you want to make a decision from this specific emotion or if you want to adjust the course.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to understand one’s own emotions and those of others to regulate and manage them and utilize them to execute tasks. It is the basis of the social skills of administrators that contribute to organizational effectiveness.
These set of skills are imperative to deal with the challenges of administration such as political interference, communication with people and conflict management.
E.I. works in your favour in the following manner:
It helps in maintaining objectivity while dispensing work
It leads to efficient and desired outcomes.
Increases trust among colleagues.
Reduces stress and any extreme outburst.
Helps in understanding the state of mind of others.
Prepares you to deal with unexpected circumstances.
Emotional Intelligence could help an officer to be motivated and to inspire her/his subordinates to execute the given tasks efficiently.
In Decision making, Emotional Intelligence helps civil servant in restricting the overflowing of their emotions and keeping their temperament under control in case of any unwarranted influences.
Moreover, EI helps the civil servant to have an empathetic attitude towards the common people, especially poor and vulnerable ones.
Eg1: If you had a fight at home just before coming to office, then there is a strong possibility of a spillover of the bad mood at workplace in the form of shouting at the colleagues or being rude and excessively defensive. But, if you are good at E.I., then you’ll calm yourself down, managing your extreme emotions. This will assist you in better discharging your duties to the best of your capabilities.
So, this way , you moulded your emotions to work for you, rather than letting them create a hindrance for you.
Eg2: Suppose, you are supervising a very important project in the public domain with a strict deadline. As the deadline approaches, if you have low E.I. you will get easily agitated, anxious, frustrated, discouraged and pessimistic. This will create further obstacles for your projects.
But, if you have high E.I. then you will excel, motivate your team members to expedite the work, will calmly think of other innovative ways to hasten the work through a positive outlook and happy disposition.
Thus, E.I. helps in curbing the randomness and extremity of emotions. This further leads to a positive perspective and stable performance rather than creating any hindrance which may go against us.
Role of Emotional Intelligence in benefiting individual
Emotional Intelligence ensures that an individual is in control of his/her senses during challenging times. In such times, there are high chances that an individual may take steps that he/she may have to repent later. Emotional Intelligence prevents such events from taking place.
Ex: A Police officer slaps a citizen in public in the heat of an argument. Emotional Intelligence would have prevented such incidents.
Making use of developing emotions as a motivating force rather than a distractive agent can be possible by better handling of emotions. This will ensure that individual makes use of his/her weakness into strong character.
Ex: Emotional trauma faced by and individual during younger days can act as a motivational force to achieve success in life.
Emotions also play an important role in making an individual sympathetic to the problems faced by public. These emotions will generate an important trait known as empathy, that will be helpful to public officials.
Ex: An officer must develop only such emotions that will create sympathetic feelings for his/her fellow citizens. Controlling such emotions is the job of Emotional Intelligence.
Of course, you also need to do all the usual things you frequently hear about as conducive to objective decision making, such as avoiding making decisions when you are tired, stressed or being influenced by non-objective actors. Nevertheless, identifying the root or emotional basis of your feelings will go a long way toward improving your decision making
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