Emotional Intelligence : A Natural Weapon - Daily Current Affair Article

CONTEXT:

Filing a criminal petition in the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the FIR and charges against her under the Indian Telegraph Act and The Official Secrets Act, IPS Officer Rashmi Shukla said that she was made a scapegoat in the alleged leakage of phone calls regarding transfers of police officials.

INTRODUCTION TO EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

  • Emotional intelligence, abbreviated as EI, refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions.
  • Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capability of a person to assess, manage and control one’s own emotions as well as emotions of others. It is critical to manage our behaviour and decision making.
  • It has 5 components- self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. These 5 components are important to develop emotional intelligence among people
  • Emotional Intelligence is the summative of abilities, competencies and skills that signify a collection of knowledge in order to cope with life effectively.
  • Therefore, it is closely related to the personal and professional growth of the individuals who have to take decisions under stressful and difficult situations

NECESSITY FOR BUREAUCRATS AND ADMINISTRATORS

  • Emotional intelligence is necessary to develop the following traits of character:
  • Self-awareness: Self-awareness ability allow an individual to know his/her strengths and weaknesses. This is very important for a bureaucrat.
  • Developing Empathy: Having empathy is critical to understand and manage emotions of other people. Ability to recognize others’ emotions helps administrators to act accordingly.
  • Stress management: It’s important that one must learn how to manage stress first, so that he can feel more comfortable reconnecting to strong or unpleasant emotions and changing how you experience and respond to your feelings. It's a very important part for an administrator.
  • Effective Communication: An effective communication can help people to develop better strategies and increase their efficiency by synchronising their efforts.
  • Training to adapt: Bureaucrats should be able to adapt to changing circumstances. This can be achieved by training to manage different situations. Ability to understand and manage their emotions and of those around them help emotionally intelligent leaders to navigate through difficult circumstances.
  • A curriculum should be added in the training programs of the bureaucrats.
  • Taking responsibility: Take responsibility for one’s actions is a part of emotional intelligence. Administrators must develop courage to accept his/her deeds. This enables them to better accept his/her faults and work upon them ultimately leading to emotional intelligence.
  • We need whistle-blowers in the society today more than ever.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and without judgment. The cultivation of mindfulness can be achieved by yoga or meditation technique. Mindfulness helps shift ones’ preoccupation with thought toward an appreciation of the moment, physical and emotional sensations, and brings a larger perspective on life.
  • Helps in making ethical decisions:
  • This allows the bureaucrat to have ability of objective decision making and conflict resolution.
  • Even the 2nd ARC recommendations reflect upon change in Personal training and Management to inculcate emotional intelligence:
  • Training of civil servants should be able to bring about behavioural and attitudinal changes.
  • Administrative procedures, rules and regulations need to be simplified so that red tapism could be minimized; decentralization of authority and collegiate decision making; de-emphasis of hierarchy in the administrative structure
  • Adoption of modern management techniques such as management by objectives; elimination of corruption so as to secure clean, honest, impartial and efficient administration; creation of new work culture and encouraging creativity.
  • A National Institutes of Public Administration should be established to run Bachelor’s Degree courses in public administration/ governance/management
  • A National Institute of Good Governance may be set up by upgrading one of the existing national/state institutes. This institute would identify, document, and disseminate best practices and also conduct training programmes.
  • The Committee to Review In-Service Training of IAS officers, (Yugandhar Committee, 2003) recommended the need for three mid-career training programmes in the 12th, 20th and 28th years of service. Trainings at these 3 stages was suggested as there is a “major shift” in the nature of work of the officer, at these stages of their career.

IMPORTANCE IN A COUNTRY LIKE INDIA

  • In a country like India which is so diverse as one cannot fathom, Emotional Intelligence has a huge playrole to bind the different facets of society into one knot.
  • With issues like Criminalisation of Politics to Illiteracy and Poverty and from Corruption, Immoral Tendencies to Irresponsibility shown by today's youth towards the welfare of the society, Emotional Intelligence is the need of the hour.
  • The urge of the present day is to identify the necessity for an individual to develop emotional intelligence. It is important that schools practice it, families adapt it and society embraces it to fully transform

WAY FORWARD

As bureaucratic processes moved more and more away from the historical concepts of dehumanization and impersonality, the notion that emotional skills are essential to job performance and customer service has gained foothold in the public administration sector. Based on the concepts of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management, emotional intelligence has become key to the internal organization of public agencies (e.g. leadership, co-worker collaboration) and for the external exchange with citizen customers (e.g. as a basis for relational work/emotional labor). Despite some deficiencies (e.g. difficulties in assessment and costs), emotional intelligence skills will continue to be important for bureaucratic processes, and not just this, but in every sector of life, since social skills in general are expected to decline due to the increased dependency on technological forms of communication.

Sources

  • The Hindu
  • The Indian Express
  • DARPG website
  • 2nd ARC report
General Studies Paper 4
  • Ethics