The term ‘Emotional Intelligence,’ coined by psychologists Mayer and Salovey (1990), refers to one’s ability to accurately perceive, process, and regulate emotional information, both within oneself and in others, and to use this information to guide one’s own thinking and actions, as well as to influence others’.
The following are the various aspects of Emotional Intelligence:
- Self-awareness is the ability to appropriately assess our sentiments at any given time and make decisions based on those sensations. Another aspect of self-awareness is determining a reasonable appraisal of our skills and developing sufficient self-confidence.
- This feature entails emotional control so that emotions aid rather than impede the task at hand; it also entails sincerity of purpose and the willingness to forego instant gratification of appealing immediate pleasures; and, ultimately, it entails the ability to quickly recover from emotional pressures.
- Empathy is the ability to detect what others are feeling; it allows one to see things from their point of view; and it involves a willingness to build rapport with and adapt to various groups of people.
- Social skills include the ability to manage emotions in relationships by effectively recognising social situations and networks, as well as the ability to interact with others and foster cooperation and teamwork.
EI’s Importance for Civil Servants
- With an ever-widening sphere of administration and rising complexity of the tasks at hand, the need to hold civil servants responsible has never been more pressing. Aside from structural improvements, there are additional measures that must be considered. One of these is EI.
- Making government workers emotionally intelligent is a difficult, but not impossible, undertaking. Indeed, it is in line with the fields of governance that have gained prominence in recent years—human rights, disaster management, gender studies, and so on.
- EI imbues the task of governance with humanistic qualities, despite the fact that it is carried out through efficient yet mechanistic administrative systems.
- It fosters a positive work environment by encouraging cooperation and understanding between superior and subordinate officers.
- Many studies have demonstrated that those who are emotionally stable at work are better equipped to employ their cognitive abilities. This may result in better decision-making and a more planned use of the discretion granted to federal workers.
Emotionally competent civil officials are also likely to result in a more stable democracy. In fact, some have regarded EI as the third step in the development of democracy, following “courtesy” and “civility.”
The focus of EI is on the democratic experience. It forces people to consider each other as individuals rather than as roles.