Monthly Archives: May 2018

Emotional Intelligence

While all of us experience a wide array of emotions, only a select few can accurately identify them and use the right words to express them. This capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them is what is known as emotional Intelligence. Research shows that only 36 % of people have the words to do this. Without the insights into exactly what we are feeling and without the right words to express them, we are binging on many problems. Unlabelled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

There is a little bagful of words that we carry around all the time, the one we often refer to as our Vocabulary. We replenish our wardrobes often, throwing out old shirts and dresses that no longer fit and add fresher ones that define us better with each growing year. But that little bag of words remains unchanged. Years go by and we often hear ourselves saying the same words… “Oh that makes me so mad” “I feel bad” “I am so angry”… especially with our feelings, we tend to use very few and generic words to express how we feel.

While many might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “disappointed” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it. Like the anecdotal angry career women profiled in the #shradhahrdblog#, Recognizing and identifying emotions is a prerequisite for developing emotional intelligence.

So growing our kitty of words, with feeling words and self-awareness is just one of the five things we can do to be more emotionally intelligent at the workplace. According to David Goleman there are 4 more – self regulation, intrinsic motivation, Empathy and Social Skills. Developing these skills improves our Emotional quotient which plays a vital role in many everyday decisions we make at the work place, such as how we deal with pressure, decisions on promoting, hiring and firing employees and dealing with conflict and change.

Pack then a bag of feeling words and get on the long but rewarding journey of emotional intelligence. It is a journey with 5 flagship places (as listed by David Goleman ) to visit. Strew with events and eventualities, you may find yourself trudging slowing, one word or thought at a time, but a journey that rewards with better mental health, wellbeing and career success.

Corporalita – “ The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise”

The last time I voluntarily read a science journal was for an honours credit class in Astro Physics, way back in my college days. A rescheduled meeting at a bioscience company left me waiting several minutes and exposed, after so many years, to a bunch of science journals and no other reading material. Reluctantly I fingered them and had almost resigned myself to boredom, when an article on multiple personalities caught my attention. Outside of all the research data and new findings on schizophrenia (more commonly called Multiple Personality Disorder), there was a curious and actually unbelievable case study by psychiatrist Bennett Braun who describes the case of Timmy.

As we all know Multiple personality disorder is a neurological disorder characterised by the presence of two or more distinct personality identities in the same person. Each may have a unique name, personal history and characteristics. This case study was about Timmy who had multiple personalities. One personality was allergic to orange juice, and when this personality drank orange juice, Timmy would break into blistering hives. However, another personality would be able to drink orange juice quite uneventfully and with no allergic reaction whatsoever. If the allergic personality was in the midst of an allergy attack and he shifted back to the non-allergic personality, the hives would disappear instantly.

Fascinating! The power of the mind! While all the doctors in the world can research and list down a thousand data points to pinpoint the exact metabolic and chemical factions leading to this sort of an allergy to orange juice, a subconscious switch to the other personality of this boy, could make the hives disappear. There is but only one conclusion to this – that the mind has more control over the body than we can even begin to fathom.

Research has found that the mind and body have a curious synergy and they can effect and be affected by one another.

Negative thoughts and feelings takes it’s toll on one’s health, this we all know. But our body, how we carry it, how we care for it and it’s well being has a direct effect on our mind.

There now is ongoing research on how our body postures and body image affects how we see ourselves and how others perceive us. Research is also establishing that altering our body postures and language can alter our body chemistry. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and can impact our chances for success.

An early proponent of this theory of how our body postures, gait and poise affect our mind was Leonardo Da Vinci. His notebooks give us an insight into his mercurial mind that was curious and fascinated by almost everything in this world. Da Vinci’s seven principles, as listed by Micheal Gelb includes “Corporalita” which means “ The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise”

Da Vinci believed that in order for one to be creative we must pay attention to our body. We must mindfully work on our posture, carry ourselves with more grace and have a fitness regime. He also advices that each of us must strive to be ambidextrous… i.e develop the ability to use both hands. It is said that Da Vinci could draw with one hand and write backwards with the other. All of his note books are written backwards with mirror images of the words. Da Vinci professed that by pushing the physical limits of the body the creative side of the mind develops. The more creative the mind is the less we are boxed within constructs of perceived roadblocks and constraints, thus leading to creative decision making and more satisfying interactions with our teams and more holistic experiences.

Today’s genius strives for a healthy body that complements a healthy mind. So take a leaf out of Da Vinci’s book and take time to empower your body to support your powerful mind and feed your mind with positivity, passion and zest to find physical vigour and agility.

Giving to receive


That has been the phrase on my mind for a few weeks now. Yes, we really should give for the Joy of giving and not with the expectation of getting back. Altruistic giving – but that is not what I have been thinking about.


There are things that each one of us wants to receive at the work place that go beyond the tangible benefits of salary, designation, stability and status. It is the non-materialist things such as appreciation, loyalty, respect, commitment from your team members and other such things that are more elusive.


The more I think about it and dwell deeper into my prior experience as an entrepreneur and current one as team player, I realise that this rather basic mantra of “Give to get” could be a powerful beacon to practise #meaningfulness at work#.


So dare to give what you want most.


If it is respect from your team that you crave for, begin by respecting them in turn. A little empathy and insight into their trials and tribulations will help you develop respect for what someone brings to the table. If it is appreciation you crave for begin by appreciating someone else’s work. If you want to be understood, give it the best you can to understand. If you want to grow your business, help those around you grow theirs. If you want certain connections and contacts, share yours with others.


It never fails – the energy you put out will always recirculate and find its perfect way back to you. Giving and receiving are two halves of one circle, a circle that will encompass everything you hold dear- friends family, careers, progress, power. So chart your half of the circle by giving and the universe will chart the other to ensure you receive.

#giving# #mindfulness# #leadership# # meanigfulnessatwork#