Category Archives: Education

Are people that have a better vocabulary more emotionally intelligent?

Last month, at Shradha HRD, we were designing a learning intervention for managers. One component of the module was the skills and behaviors that emotionally intelligent people display. We came across this question during our research.

There is an external vocabulary that can help you describe “the world well”. Then there is an vocabulary that can describe your emotions well. The difference is striking, even though we are speaking about vocabulary in both cases.

While interacting with teenagers, most experiences are “awesome”. A McDonalds burgers, a Professor, a movie and even a trip to the moon would all be categorized as “simply awesome”. The challenge here lies in our inability to correctly label our emotions while going through different life experiences. Emotional intelligence above all is the ability to be in touch with your own emotions. Are you happy, overjoyed or ecstatic. Moved, profoundly impacted or going through a life changing experience.

Building awareness around our own emotions helps us deal with our emotions better. Including anger, pain, depression and despondency !!!!

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 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. Unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

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.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

A couple of years ago during a program I was facilitating, we came up with an interesting question. If we were asked to describe an emotionally intelligent leader, we would all be able to do it. If we were asked to identify an emotionally intelligent leaders & a not so-emotionally intelligent leader we have worked with, we would all be able to do it with ease. The question we all asked was, if you know what behaviors to display, then why is it that organizations are replete with examples of apathetic behavior?????

So what makes a good leader a great one? It seems today, conventional wisdom favors the fluid ability of Emotional Intelligence as compared to the fixed capacity of brainpower or IQ as an important precursor to CEO success.

This article analyzes which top 10 Fortune 500 company CEO fits the bill of being the ‘emotional thermostat’ of their companies. What definitely sets these CEO’s apart is a level of disciplined self-awareness that helps them develop as leaders faster than the average CEO, as well as knowing how to attract a complimentary team around them.

Personal effectiveness for “Techies”

 

The VUCA environment throws up some interesting challenges for us as Learning and Development professionals at Shradha HRD. We recently conducted a series of workshops for a large telecom service provider in India. They had a team of professionals that was technically competent but lacked a customer service orientation and the necessary skills to effectively interact with their clients.

At Shradha HRD, we have conducted several interventions for participants from different industries and levels. What was a little unusual about this intervention was that due to the constant change and churn in the Telecom industry these “techies” were increasingly moving into a Client facing role. Their new deliverables included being able to present their ideas effectively, network and influence clients when they were over for reviews and handle difficult client situations.

We ran a detailed diagnostic for this project, designed a learning journey that included classroom training and hand-holding post completion of training. The results were immensely satisfying !!!!

The Value of Emotional Intelligence

“I overvalued intelligence”-Bill Gates. I read this article a couple of years ago (relevant sections are appended below). It appeared in the Times of India and its stayed with me since then.

3 points stood out in my mind from this article:

1. The importance of emotional intelligence for people in Leadership

2. People management skills are not correlated with Scientific IQ and may even be negatively correlated

3. It is rare to find someone who combine Scientific skills with IQ

We often quote this as an example in our People management programs at Shradha HRD. We often ask participants to reflect on anyone they have met at the workplace, past or current that possesses both these skills.

To my mind, if you have both these skills you mind well be on the Satya Nadella path !!!!!!

We had Satya Nadella (Microsoft’s present CEO) as Guest Editor barely a fortnight ago. We’d love to hear what you think of him.

I’m really happy that he’s running Microsoft, so that I don’t have to. I still love Microsoft, I still worry about it and I spend 15% of my time on it and Satya’s very good at using that time. He’s always telling me “Go meet this group. Are they doing a good job, let me know.”

I’ve worked with Satya for a long time. He was always very thoughtful, very good at working with people, He has this very calm way of dealing even with very hard problems. Happily the board endorsed him, because I was so enthusiastic that he should be the CEO. Why is he such a good CEO? It’s hard to say. His book talks about his (quadriplegic) son – which may explain a lot. He’s a very Zen person (laughs). In that respect, he’s probably better than I was. I was too emotional –if something’s not going well – “This is terrible”. But it’s fun to work with him.

Sometime ago, you gave a speech about how you once used to “overvalue intelligence”. Can you elaborate?

There’s a certain type of IQ where I can give you a 500-page book on meteorology and you read it and you understand how tornadoes work. I always admired people who were good at that, and I thought if you were good at that, then everything else is easy. Managing people? Just use common sense. Understanding profit and loss? That’s just a little mathematical equation. “You’re a smart person. You know physics. Go manage this group. It can’t be worse than the Navier-Stokes equation (a complicated fluid dynamics equation),” I used to think. I was wrong about that.
The idea that some of these skills were not correlated with scientific IQ, in fact, that some of them were negatively correlated, it took me a while to figure that out. Those who combine scientific IQ with people skills—like Satya –are rare. You have to learn to build a team with different capabilities and as Microsoft got bigger, it became more important. I’m a little broader in my understanding of different talents now.

Leadership Lessons With Justin Trudeau

Whether Justin Trudeau’s display of emotional intelligence in this particular incident is genuine can be debated, what is undeniable is that emotional intelligence is a critical competency for leaders. The concept of Emotional intelligence has gained traction in Corporate India in the last 5- 6 years. At Shradha HRD, we have seen this emerge as a top ask with our clients. We have run several learning interventions around this theme, especially for first time managers. Our experience tells us, while class room training is great as an introduction and a sensitisation to this behaviour, it will only become a part of an organisation’s DNA if this behaviour is rewarded along with the hard competencies in the Performance Management System.

Opinion: Emotional intelligence is Trudeau’s best skill, and it's paying dividends

Pan India learning intervention for the Dealership network of a Market leader in the Automobile sector

Kick off workshop to enhance training capabilities of internal trainers. This learning intervention is a Pan-India initiative and targets the entire dealership network of a leading Automobile manufacturing company. Starting from Lucknow, we will cover close to 1,000 trainers over the next year.

It was a program where the post workshop feedback was 10 on 10!!!!!!!

 

The “Emotions” of Emotional Intelligence

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.

Recently on a short trip with a friend, I overheard her conversation with her 7 year old, who was immensely upset at the prospect of going to school alone the next day, because his older brother was sick and needed to take the next day off. He begged and cried to urge his mom to let him stay at home as well, for which his mom replied that when he is sick  his brother doesn’t stay home and goes to school alone. This little 7 year old responded “ but  Ma, I am a different person from him, I have my own feelings and I am scared to go alone in the bus”

Now for a 7 year old that was pretty impressive. He was not only able to communicate that he was his own person with his own set of feelings but was clearly able to pinpoint exactly what feeling (Fear of the bus) stopped him from going alone to school.

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. Unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

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.

So our kitty of words needs to grow, with feeling words..and you will be surprised how many there that we can start to use. The right words go a long way and as Rumi famously said “Raise your words, not voice, it is rain that grows flowers not thunder”

Forgiveness and Happiness


This video talks about the relevance of forgiveness. The doer of the action will get the results of their action. That is the law of Cause and Effect. Forgiveness does not change that. Forgiveness unburdens the person who has been hurt by the action from carrying the hurt. They are able to get release from that hurt and pain. Forgiveness is the ultimate art of acceptance & moving on.


The concept of Forgiveness comes in when an action is performed and there is hurt generated as a result. If we look at Forgiveness fundamentally: there is an action that has been performed & the result of the action will accrue to the doer of the action. That is certain. Whether the doer of the action is forgiven by the person who has been hurt or not, the doer will still get the fruit of his/her action. That cannot be wished away.


Then how does forgiveness matter or help? Is it just a sham? Why is there so much talk and thought around forgiveness when in the ultimate analysis, it does not help the person being forgiven?


Forgiveness is for the person that has been hurt. If someone has been hurt, the person can either brood, plot revenge, hurt the person back or forgive. Forgiveness is the ultimate art of accepting a hurt & moving on. The person that forgives, will benefit. He/she is not burdened by the hurt. Forgiveness does not take away the consequences of the action for the doer, it just releases the person that carries the hurt from the pain of the hurt. Someone that is carrying the burden of hurt is always stressed out and in pain.


Forgiveness is not in the interest of the doer; it is in the interest of the person that has been hurt. It allows them to start living life, stress free and unburdened.

Neuroscience of Emotional Intelligence (EI)

It’s very likely that you have come across the term ‘EI’ or even ‘EQ’ quite frequently in recent times, especially as part of corporate soft skills training calendars. What exactly is EI / EQ or Emotional Intelligence / Emotional Quotient, and why is it much hyped of late? Read on to find out.

Consider this real life scenario: A sudden change at the top management level resulted in ‘nil appraisal’ (read zero increments) for all the team members at ABC Corporation. In the absence of lucrative alternate job options, most team members were forced to continue working, albeit grudgingly. As for the team managers, it was business as usual and pressure to achieve organizational goals was at its peak. Stuck between junior teammates who were not bothered and the top management that didn’t care, the managers had no choice but to deliver results, come what may.

There are two popular ideologies to tide over such situations –

I. “Shape Up or Ship Out!” Announce that those who don’t perform may simply resign

II. “Don’t Burn Bridges!” Reason with the junior team in all earnestness about the need to perform as long as they are employed and ease out the transition process

How do you think a team manager with comparatively higher EI would respond? (Hint: Tactful is the way to be)

Ponder over the following 5 characteristics of Emotional Intelligence that would be covered during any standard business soft skills training program to enhance Emotional Intelligence:

1. Self-awareness: Be able to accurately recognize your true emotions, strengths, limitations, and how these affect others around you.

2. Self-regulation: Harness the power of Positive Imaging; look at the positive side of things and conduct yourself accordingly.

3. Empathy: Attempt to feel the emotions that those around you are experiencing.

4. Motivation: Do whatever it takes to keep those around you pepped up and putting their best foot forward.

5. Social Skills: Be known as an accommodating and adaptive person, as against being ‘stuck-up’.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is closely interlinked with a fair understanding of how the brain works and the neuroscience behind it. An interesting analogy equates the following:

Brain = Management | Body = Workforce | Heart = Workforce Representative

Earlier, human behaviour was described only in terms of stimulus and response. However, with advancements in psychology and neuroscience, it has been inferred that there are several stages of information being filtered, by way of our Attitude before being processed as Feelings, Emotions and Thoughts. Factors such as Knowledge and Action being controlled by mutually exclusive parts of the brain namely Neocortex and Limbic region, have provided clarity as to why forming good habits take diligent effort despite having the best intent.

Simply put,
• EI is about Attitude
• EI is about Relationships
• EI is about Awareness
• EI is about Practice
• EI is about Self-Management

Clearly, Emotional Intelligence is not an optional ‘extra’ for leaders, considering the fact that it unlocks one’s untapped potential and helps translate it into effective performance. By identifying the underlying attitudes that underpin an individual’s thought process, it is possible to help them make sustainable behavioural change.

Effective Leadership skills training guarantees outstanding results; enroll for one today!

Actions and Results, Intent and Action, What is Right Action?

This video discusses whether you will get the result for your actions based on the intentions behind the action or the actual action itself. It is the intention that makes an action correct or incorrect and not the action that determines this. There is further thought around how God judges us: on actions or intentions?

If the intent behind any action is right but the action taken appears to be wrong to those around you, they will judge you based on your actions. There is no way for others to know the intent behind your action. Intent is internal and not known to others. You, on one hand, may feel internally at peace and may not be disturbed as you know your intent was correct. However, you may still be faced with a negative external reaction with respect to the people involved as they may feel that you have done something incorrect. Many a relationships get affected when you feel that your intent is right but people feel that your action was wrong. The relationship may even end. In such a case your happiness and equanimity may not be affected adversely. However, in the opposite case where your intent is incorrect, it may keep pricking your conscience.

The speaker was asked the question: would God judge us on actions or intent. His answer was that you may or may not believe in God and may even negate God. Had God been an external person, He would have judged your actions and rewarded accordingly. God is your inner self, He will choose intent to judge you.

Aananda Sutras is a video series that throws light on some of the critical questions that plague mankind. Discovering Happiness, Art of Forgiveness, Is the world an Illusion- Maya?, Does God give us the fruits of our action?… are some of the mysteries addressed by Amul.

Amul S Bahl, an M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has invented a unique topical use only set of protocols to treat different ailments. Under God’s Own Store, validating this ancient Yogic Science scientifically today has created a high impact alternative in healthcare.

Amul, as a founding principal of Shradha HRD, is a multi dimensional free thinking individual, believes in sustaining life through wisdom, light & urjaa (energy).