Article (November-2018)


One has to be socially intelligent too

Dr. Vipul Saxena

Designation : -   President & CPO

Organization : -  ABG Group (Shipyard, Cement & Shipping), Mumbai


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How do you describe the concept of workplace emotions and how far it affects your professional and career growth?
VS Working environment affect employees' emotions due to company policies, boss's attitude, working relationships, office environment, inter personal relationships which impacts their emotional levels both positively or negatively. If the company has employee friendly & employee caring policies, it adds to employee well being and emotional levels positively.  If a boss is not empathetic to its team members, it triggers negative emotional level leading to employee feeling depressed & disengaged as employee feels that there is no one whom one can confide working comfort/personal matters and there is no one who cares for their emotional needs. It is the duty of leader to make & keep work place Emotionally Intelligent (EI). Emotional Quotient is defined as score obtained through a standardized test which denotes the level of EI present in the individual. EQ is measure of one's EI. Average EQ score ranges from 90-100, 160 is considered a perfect score. Those with above 160 EQ score need not put any effort to improve their EI while those below 160 needs to make it good through training, supervision & practice. Now a days along with need for emotionally Intelligent, it is also expected to socially intelligent too as it is believed that EI cannot go alone with SI. SI is defined as how well team among each other and with leader, other employees is socially connected. As HR of organisation one need to know various developments/hurdles being faced by employees through regular direct/indirect interaction and its impact on their performance if any and also provide help/solutions.
In reality is it possible to control your emotions all the time when you know you are spending more time at your workplace than your home?
VS It purely depends on individual's attitude towards need for EI and would actually depend upon EQ score. Every individual needs to understand that all are different personality and over a period of time understands emotional swings, reactions of various issues of team-mates and their expectations from Organisation, leader & colleagues. EI & EQ plays key role in team building & team developing, hence knowingly unknowingly one learns how to adjust with the team mates, which is also termed as "Synergy". In order to control emotions one needs to act & expect reactions considering "Attitude towards others" when one acts & expect reaction from others keeping self in others shoe, it ensures reasonable quantum of expectation & void of over expectations. Its only when one has over/unreasonable expectations results into emotional imbalance. There are many ways & means to deal & control emotions at work place. One as leader/team mate need makes conscious effort to identify & accept EI as functional need and work upon it.
In today's work world where multi-generational workforce is working together, what approach would be best suited for emotion management, since all these generations have different expectations and varied thought process?
VS Not only multi-generational but in MNC scenario we also need to deal with multi-national work force. HR need to get familiarised with the cultural, social beliefs and needs of all variants of work-force to understand their emotional needs. Based on emotional needs of the people, HR need to develop/modify HR policies, work place environment and work culture, employee engagement policies etc. When we deliberate upon work place environment, people centric approach is very much necessary it should be able to motivate and make employee comfortable at his/her sitting place loaded with all kinds of support equipments etc. There are types of furniture, colour schemes, equipments etc which are work profile & role specific and also aligned to industry specific.
What is the role of HR in creating an environment for maintaining an emotional balance at the workplace?
VS HR need to play significant role in building emotionally balanced work place environment across organisation as this helps employee's engagement & well being levels. In many cases HR facilitate special flexi timing for a particular group of employees who are affected by a peculiar transportation scenario beyond their control. Similarly, in place like Mumbai during monsoon, most HR departments keep more flexibility in enforcing office timing considering various constraints employees face due to heavy rains. Employees expect HR team to consider them as human being along with professionals and help them maintain Work-Life balance too. HR engage with team leaders through seminars, conferences and internal discussion sessions to iron out any doubts about the importance of EI & EQ and also how to deal with and on the other hand similar process need to be adopted through various well structured training modules which educate them through class room training & role play exercises about the importance of EI & EQ in team building, team tasks and achieving team goals. Such activities and work culture would be able to maintain emotional balance at work place.
How do you see the leadership styles evolve to cater to the emotional needs of the employees? Which leadership style would work best in today's times?
VS Based on EQ Scores we can define 3 types of Leadership style i.e. Transformational, Transitional, and Avoidant. 
These Leaderships are categoried based on following :
  • Idealised Influence.   
  • Inspirational motivation.
  • Intellectual Stimulation. 
  • Individualised Consideration.
  • Contingent Reward. 
  • Management by Exception.
  • Laissez-faire. 
The EQ Scores are mapped on following scales :
1. Interpersonal : assessing social awareness and inter - personal relationship competencies and skills.
2. Interpersonal : assessing self - awareness and self - expression competencies and skills.
3. Adaptability : assessing the ability to cope with environmental demands and pressures.
4. Stress Management : assessing emotional management and regulation.
5. General Mood : an indicator of an individual's ability to enjoy life.
Transformational leadership works the best across industry as it considered best combination of emotionally & socially emotional Leadership.
While emotion is a very human concept, do you think technology does have a role to play in creating effective emotional management practices at workplace?
VS Yes, the emotion is very human concept; hence it also can be manipulated positively/negatively to achieve a particular EQ score which ultimately play key role in individual's success as team leader/team mate. Emotions are evolved majorly by factors e.g. sleep, mood, physical & mental exercise, use of positive/negative, words, actions, reactions, stamina, heart rates, BP, ECG, blood sugar level readings etc. The technology has made it possible to measure, monitor, record and provide trends using auto analytical Apps. Many organisations have introduced compulsory periodic health checks, psychological counseling, to measure, monitor the trends and have modified HR policies to help overcome the negative trends. Some organisations have facilitated gymnasiums in the Office.
Tell us an incident which required you to exercise great control over your emotions while at workplace and your learning from it.
VS I would better narrate a situation which has occurred to me repeatedly being change management & employee engagement expert. Whenever, I initiated these tasks, most of the times legacy work force refuse to even understand the importance of Change which is not only important for them but for organisation as well to remain competitive in the market. They even refuse to take up these upon being incentivised. Such challenges many times cross barrier of temperament of any individual. Hence, what I usually follow are as under : 
1. Compartmentalisation : Never bring home issues to office, never discuss personal matters in office unless effecting output.
2. Apply deep breathing & relaxation techniques to de-stress.
3. The 10-second rule : Take a break from the situation for sometime & return to resume.
4. Clarify the point of view through effective communication to avoid misunderstanding.
5. Blast your anger through physical exercise.
6. Never reply or make a decision when angry. 
7. Know your trigger points & avoid it.
8. Be respectful to everyone as need to begin of dialogue.
9. Apologise for any emotional outburst; Try avoid but if at it has happened apologise at the earliest & never repeat.
10. Never bring your negative emotions from office to home.