Emotional Intelligence It was fantastic how Deloitte took us through the session on “Emotional Intelligence” (EI) during the Global Leadership Lab in the September of 2015! Trust me, it happens more often than we think that we focus on our technical skills and totally forget about Soft Skills (or Transferable/Interpersonal Skills) like Emotional Intelligence! As I was talking to my fellow Fellows about it, they all seemed to be very excited in general to be taken through such a journey!

I am writing this post to help us revisit the topic and to get practicing the skill and nurture the attitude of being Emotionally Intelligent. This will help you adjust to the new cultures, meet deadlines at work and build good relationships with people.

As we found out there are four parts of Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Understanding your emotions and acknowledging your intuitions.
  2. The Ability to manage our emotions and control the impulses that might arise from them.
  3. Recognizing the emotional state of others and demonstrate empathy for their needs
  4. Building relationships and rapport with others.

It is interesting to see that many of the people around us have this skill of EI although they may never have heard of it. On the other hand it is unfortunate to see that many of the people who play an important role in our lives like our school teachers in many schools and supervisors (or mentors) later in our life lack these skills. The reason I mentioned teachers and supervisors is that in many countries children spend a lot of time at school  (like in my case, it was 5-6 hours daily).  And they usually bring a load of homework along, which naturally requires the kid to revisit their learning experiences at school.  So you see, your school and schoolwork take up a lot of your childhood. And unfortunately all the memories go bitter if the teacher fails to handle the kid’s EI by not facilitating the 4 points mentioned. You must have enjoyed all the fun and play at school but the vacuum that was created due to not  addressing the EI factor, could only be realized later in your life. Even worse, if your teacher has displayed anger or frustration towards you or towards your peers in front of you, the memory has perhaps affected you or your self esteem in one way or another. Think about it – could you forget the angry face of the teacher (if you were unlucky to have witnessed one) you experienced as a child?  On the other hand, how good do you feel  reviving the sweet memories  of your most favorite teachers? I am not  accusing our teachers- they most certainly played a great role to help us be what we are now, it is just that I am focusing on the importance of EI and how it can affect a child when overlooked!  I wonder how different our life would have been now if all teachers from our childhood were our ‘favorite teachers’

Similarly, your supervisor, especially in the early stage of your career plays a vital role in helping you learn how to have a high EI at work. Think about the time you just graduated  and joined work. Everything was so different (was it not?) –  The people, the type of work (as it was different from assignments at school), the work culture, and what not! How  would you have  felt if there was no one around  to help you nurture all the four points above at work and to overcome fear, manage stress, exchange feedback with colleagues in positive ways, etc.?

It is therefore of great importance to practice EI. As you are going to be leaders, this skill is going to be one of the core components of leadership! Would it not be rewarding to have this attribute visible in us in all sectors of life?


About the author of this post:

Imran Newaz Khurshid is passionate about helping the people nurture their Soft Skills like Emotional Intelligence, Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills, Communication Skills, etc. to become successful in different aspects of their life. You can learn more about his programs at www.facebook.com/MindMechanics.Bangladesh. Imran can be reached at imran.khurshid@atlascorps.org.
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