How many times has someone come to you with a whole list of issues with a person they work with and they just cannot get along with? They feel they have reached the end and want someone to fix the situation. Surprising isn’t it? If we look back, say about 15 – 20 years from now, emotions were often thought of as a set of characteristics that needed to be controlled as they demonstrated weakness, instability and immaturity. It was believed that focusing on the task was the only way to increase efficiency. However, now we know that in order to function professionally, we have to acknowledge and manage our own emotions and others to encourage smooth communication and avoid conflicts. Organizations, in the past, would never have had thought of engaging experts to handle issues related to emotions. Today, with so much of stress, power struggle, unhealthy competition, and imbalance work – family life; People want to be heard…..

EI is one way and is a powerful means of communicating effectively, building relationships and creating a positive working environment

In today's business world - Organizations, leaders, HR professionals and managers need to be emotionally intelligent to deal with problems, lead by example, take the initiative, handle difficult situations and develop good relationships. EI provides methods to help retention and morale problems, improve company's creativity, create synergy from teamwork, improve information flow, drive forward objectives, and ignite the best and most inspired performance from employees

EI is a set of competencies demonstrating the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and the emotions of others in a situation. When we have high emotional intelligence, we can recognize and understand our own emotional state and the emotional state of others and then use this knowledge to relate, manage and achieve greater success. EI consists of four attributes:

Self - awareness

Self - management

Social awareness

Relationship management

The ability to recognize and name our own    emotions, and how they affect our thoughts    and behaviors. It helps us understand and    accept our strengths and weaknesses thus    resulting in more self-confidence

 The ability to control impulsive     feelings and behaviors, demonstrate and     manage our emotions in a healthy way    and  take initiative and follow through in     commitments

The ability to understand others point of view, their emotions,concerns,and needs and show empathy

   The ability of using social awareness to      build and maintain good relationships,      to communicate clearly, inspire and         influence others, and manage conflict       effectively

There is only one area which any organization needs to address if it wants to lift itself from averagely successful to excellent and that is ‘EI Management’

Until today, most of the organizations have focused their selection criteria and training programs on hard skills (e.g., technical expertise, industry knowledge, education) and the assessment of personality traits. Topics including competencies like stress management, assertiveness skills, empathy and political / social acumen were never measured in the selection process or focused on in training and development programs. In reality, these are critical success factors that should not be dismissed and have a direct impact on the bottom line

So how do we develop EI? The reality is that some people are better than others at reading their own and other’s emotions, however, unlike IQ, emotional intelligence can be developed if an employer is prepared to implement some strategies. Given below are some tips to increase your EI and that of your team:

  •  Ask for feedback, get to know your own strengths and weaknesses

  • Pay attention to your team, notice their mindset and emotional state

  • Encourage open and honest communication

  • Take the time to acknowledge and thank your team for their efforts, however small those achievements may be

  • Respect every member of your team and make them feel ‘very important’ for the organization

  • Together with your team, help those who need help rather than expressing anger and concern… Build your Team /s, Build an excellent Organization!

Employees today are aware of whether or not they are a good fit in their workplace culture and they want their seniors to be more mindful of their needs. Employees have become more sensitive about how to co-exist in a workplace environment that allows them to be who they naturally are. They just love to be themselves. For most of us, today’s economic landscape has made the career management journey extra challenging. And beyond career advancement opportunities, people want their supervisors, leaders and the organization to be more in touch with who they are as people (not just as their colleagues) to assure that their career track is aligned with and supports their personal and professional goals.

Beyond the traditional leadership roles and responsibilities, today’s workplace uncertainty requires leaders to be much more sensitive about what matters most to their employees. To many leaders assume that their colleagues have the same drive to succeed and willingness to sacrifice in order to advance as they do. Everyone is different and leaders must be more mindful to embrace those differences and strategically leverage them to create and sustain unique opportunities within their departments and for the organization. The bottom line is that leaders must be more emotionally intelligent to be more effective and efficient at maximizing outcomes and desired results. It’s never too late! We can start by a humble beginning by:


Caring is a simple thing to do but not always expressed or genuine in its delivery or tone. Leaders need to balance the head and the heart. This means that leaders can’t always be so intense about what is required from their employees. As leaders, we need to show maturity along with our passion and be more compassionate in order to balance what the job requires with the human spirit. Employees don’t want to feel like a herd of cattle – but as people who are being appreciated for their hard work and effort. For the most part, employees don’t need a boss that holds their hand. They just need to be reminded of what is expected of them. If this is done with proper tact and good heartedness, people will perform

Make the extra effort to say thank you and be consistent about it. Take the time to mentor and / or sponsor employees who have earned the opportunity. Show that you care about people. This gesture is more powerful than you might think in enabling you to achieve your leadership goals and objectives. To care, we need to know our team – their likes, dislikes, strengths, areas of improvement, a little about their families etc.

Embrace differences

We live in a world where differences in people are more apparent than ever before. People want to be authentic and appreciate those who embrace their differences. Today’s leaders must be more sensitive about how to manage and leverage differences in people to assemble great teams and assign unique talents and abilities to certain situations. Be smart and look for common ground within the differences between people. Our differences fuel our unique perspectives and cultivate innovation and opportunity. We must learn how to embrace and leverage those differences when people bring their unique ideas.

Help employees experience significance

Leaders should not get caught up in converting their employees to be more like them but rather in motivating employees with how the job can benefit their life. Allow your employees to appreciate and experience the human side of what success can bring to their families and life outside of work. Today people want to feel as if they are creating an impact, that they can make a mark for themselves and those around them. Lead your employees in ways that allow them to be both successful and significant at work

Be accountable like everyone else

Just because you are in-charge doesn’t mean that you can’t be an equal. This means that as a leader you must hold yourself equally accountable and enforce the same rules of engagement that you expect from your team. The best leaders always do. But in today’s workplace this behavior must be more deliberate. Employees appreciate leaders who share their perks and privileges. They want their leaders to be a more integrated part of the team; more available and less mysterious. Admit when you are wrong and be transparent in how you lead others. Employees want to know that you can be trusted, revealing the areas where you can improve makes you more real and genuine. Leaders have historically played the game of authority and allowed their titles to influence the conversation and their attitudes. Be accountable, be an equal, and be trustworthy. Employees follow and support leaders who are approachable and relatable; those who will roll-up their sleeves and fight the battles with them and for them.

Be mindful of the needs

Your sensitivity radar must always be on. If your team is not working at or close to their capacity, then you are not doing your job as a leader. This means that you are equally mindful of your employees reaching their full potential as you are about yourself. Everyone has the ability to improve and increase their performance and productivity. However, improvements are a consequence of continuous feedback, recommendations and suggestions. Be a better leader and get the best productivity from your team by being more mindful of their needs. Just because the department’s performance has exceeded the plan doesn’t mean that each employee can’t continue to grow and mature in their work. A team is more powerful than the sum of its parts – but each part must be continually refurbished and renewed in order for the team to sustain its power.

An organization which is emotionally intelligent has people who are motivated, productive, efficient, aligned with the business, and committed, confident, likable, happy and rewarded!

Let’s be emotionally intelligent and together build an excellent organization!

Clara Dsouza

Clara Dsouza, is Manager with IL&FS Urban Infrastructure Mangers Ltd ( IUIML ), based in Mumbai

IUIML is a subsidiary of IL&FS Financial Services ( IFIN ), India

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