EI delivers a bouquet of benefits
In what ways has emotional intelligence contributed to one’s professional success? 8 women leaders recount their achievements and link it to EI:
Ritu Nazir explains the benefits of EI at 3 levels - personal, team and organization. She says emotional intelligence contributed not only to her professional success, but personal as well. “I am highly emotionally connected, whether it is my family or my friends or my social circle or in my office. A high EQ always helps build relationships and better inter-personal connects with the team. I feel more like a friend to my team members than a supervisor,” she says.
When it comes to the team level, she says a strong emotional bond connects her at the professional level, and she also understands the human and humanitarian aspects of the person. One goes beyond just the transactional dealing that one has on a day-to-day basis. This reduces team stress, diffuses conflict and most importantly, it helps improve job satisfaction, she says, adding, unless one feels emotionally connected with the organization, whether it is the vision of the organization or understanding the supervisors or understanding the team, one may not have the job satisfaction.
Ritu also emphasizes that at the organization level, while EQ may seem as a very intangible aspect of one’s profession, it definitely helps in improving the overall camaraderie which straight away helps the organization achieve its goals.
When we talk understand about IQ and EQ, there is a third quotient, says Shikha Bagai, which is spiritual quotient, avers Shikha Bagai. “I guess we have some distance to cover before we get to SQ,” she avers.
She maintains that businesses are not always about driving IQs, because all business problems cannot be solved with just IQ. “The reason is that when we drive business outcomes, we are really driving group energies, group pursuits. And as business leaders drive a group of people in pursuit of excellence in order to achieve business outcomes, it is important for us to be high on emotional quotient, because you are dealing with multiple types of people and then you are channelizing them into a single goal,” says she.
EI helps us stay focused, she says, and continues: “People falter because they can find intellectual solutions but to really implement them you need to harness the energy of your team through EQ.”
She also adds that EI helps one to understand how to implement mental models best in the real-life situations where people behave the way they behave; and people do behave differently.
Rishika Dasgupta reveals that her key to success is the capability to understand herself and thereby understanding others effectively. “Having handled various roles which called for customer interactions through diverse mediums (phone/email/ in person), I have realized at a very early stage of my career that no two people are same in any manner. What works for customer A may not work for customer B and hence the interaction needs to be different as well,” she says.
According to her another very important aspect of EI is to accept criticism and responsibility and being able to move on after making a mistake. The more you brood the more negative energy you emanate, she warns.
Sunita Handa shares the example of her present assignment in which she heads the teams that are responsible for developing and i mplementing various initiatives relating to mobility, e-Commerce, ATMs, SWIFT, payment systems, UPI, digital collections and comprehensive digital solutions for corporates and governments, treasury operations as also the tech initiatives in the bank’s offices in 25 countries across the globe: “The role of Technology Leader in a large organisation is much different from what it was say, 5 years ago. Today, she needs to contribute to corporate strategy and manage a lot more change. Apart from the technology know-how, personal qualities like communicating & influencing, partnering with others, conflict-management, providing a calm & empathetic leadership in exigencies and problem-solving abilities are important. A high EQ is essential for working effectively and sustainably in such an environment because it helps you regulate your habits and behavioural tendencies and consciously choose your responses, especially under pressure. It helps, for instance, to recognize how much effort is appropriate to spend on solving a particular problem, compared to the many other problems that require
attention as well. Sometimes in a highly complex situation, when you are likely to get stuck stubbornly trying to perfect something beyond a reasonable level of sufficiency, it’s your trained inner voice of self-awareness and self-assessment of capabilities that taps you to say ‘Hey Listen! Good is good enough here.’”
Purvi Bhavsar explains that when one is happy and contented, one can really look after others. “My work involves working with a lot of people – particularly with women in the bottom of pyramid space and dealing with intensive/difficult situations. So, emotional intelligence really helps me to stay balanced and be content in difficult situations,” says she.
She is never shy of asking for help as she believes that one is at one’s strongest when one dares to ask for help.
As she rose in seniority and she managed larger teams, EI helped Rajashree Nambiar build up a reputation of a boss who listens and cares. “I have been able to attract and retain talent. I have seen people with high IQ but zero
EQ. It is absolutely necessary for you to have the capabilities to manage for pulling a business also. I develop EI consciously,” she adds.
EI has definitely helped Loveena Khatwani go a long way. “There have been many instances wherein emotional intelligence has got the better of me - whether it’s during counselling sessions, answering questions at various forums or being part of various committees such as POSH. Emotional intelligence has helped me in expressing and controlling emotions. More importantly, it has helped me interpret and respond to the emotions of others not as a reaction - but in the right way.”
Rupa Balsekar says EI has helped her to listen and put herself in the position of the person she is interacting with and understand the requirements better.
In summary, each woman here credits EI as a critical factor in her professional success, and has backed that with meaningful background and explanation.