Being Emotionally Intelligent Is Important!
A thirty year old successful chartered accountant called me. She had been a participant of my workshop around eight years ago. She narrated her life story in a few minutes and it sat me thinking. She married the guy she loved after a four year courtship but wanted to get separated after a year. She seemed unhappy with her work too as it was stressful. Her voice sounded lifeless, her tone hardened. Since I generally remember my workshops participants and their personalities long after their completion of workshops, I often talk and meet many of these young people whom I guided as adolescents.
When I met these young, ambitious working brigade of girls and boys, I often wonder - they are intelligent (have a look at their grades and packages) and they are emotional (they show them through their reactions). But are they emotionally intelligent? Perhaps not.
Daniel Goleman explains the four pillars of emotional intelligence as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skills.
For personal and professional happiness, women need to strengthen all the four parameters. This article will focus on the first two pillars while the next article will cover the remaining two.
Self-Awareness: Women, since childhood get conditioned by expectations of others. If they are given a social rule book to follow at an early age, they bend their personalities to fit in the mould of social approval. As a result, they fail to assess their own emotions. When girls are not aware about their own emotional well-being, they lead a life designed by others. They never feel at home because they have never asked themselves:
- What makes me happy, excited, and ecstatic?
- What makes me sad, frustrated and depressed?
- What makes me angry and furious?
- What makes me feel like I have achieved something?
- What makes me feel loved, valued and respected?
- What do I love to do?
- What do I dislike or fear in people/situations?
- What scares me?
If a woman can answer these questions personally and professionally, she would gain emotional awareness about herself. She would be able to read and understand her own emotions which will surely help her to improve her work performance and relationships.
Each woman must evaluate her strengths and weakness with a realistic eye, so that she is well aware of her place in the sun.
A girl pampered by her parents will not be able to face the world. At the same time, a woman needs to talk and show her strengths at the workplace. A silent worker in the name of being righteous works wonders for others. There is no harm in claiming credit for what you have done. Highlight your strengths and dilute your weaknesses. You will be able to do so only when you know about them.
Self-awareness means being aware about your self-worth. Lot of people around us love to demoralise us or play with our confidence. Many superiors would use demotivating language in the name of giving constructive feedback. An emotionally self-aware woman would be able to differentiate between honest, valid feedback and deprecating, jealous feedback.
Assess your self-worth yourself. If you feel confident, you act confident and you don’t empower others to play with your self-worth.
I met a young mother who was working as an administrative assistant. She said “No one in my family ever expected me to study for a lucrative career. Even I did not expect much from myself as no one else did”. She never tried to assess her own potential as she only believed in what others wanted her to believe.
Self-Management: To be emotionally intelligent, a woman must be good at regulating her habits, behaviour and value system. Women tend to go overboard with their emotions sometimes. If a man cries during an interview (Thank You Kapil Dev), he is considered human, but if a woman does so, she is termed weak.
We need to be honest with our emotions but regulate their expression. It is prudent to control our impulsive responses in formal work environment.
Though woman are adaptive to changing situations and overcoming obstacles. I witness an unwelcoming change these days. Millennia’s get upset when they don’t get their way. Adaptability doesn’t come easy to them.
Self-Management includes a drive to achieve excellence in the chosen area of interest with readiness to seize opportunities.
An emotionally intelligent woman is balanced. She doesn’t shy away from starting conversation or blowing a whistle.
She would be ready to go to unimaginable lengths to prove her presence under the sun.
When I spoke to start up enthusiast Sweta Mangal who launched ambulance services in many states through Ziqitza Healthcare, she shared her experience.
“I started the venture with three of my friends when a personal tragedy made us realize the need. I have worked as CEO of the company for eight years. Then I stepped down from day to day responsibilities as I became a mother.” She has just launched a medical app called MUrgency to facilitate medical services online. The sheer detachment from one role and a mature transition into another speaks volumes about the emotional intelligence of this passionate woman.
If a woman is emotional and academically intelligent, it is a half battle won. To win the full battle, to enhance personal happiness and professional success, we must hone our emotional intelligence by becoming more aware about ourselves.
By Dr. Swati Lodha