Article (November-2018)


Organisations must nurture emotionally intelligent environment

Dr. Rabindra Kumar Pradhan

Designation : -   Associate Professor, O.B. & HRD

Organization : -  Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur


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How do you describe the concept of workplace emotions and how far it affects your professional and career growth?
RK Workplace emotions are people's feeling about their work, people and environment. It includes various emotional states of people : likes-dislikes, happy-sad, stress-distress, and tension-relaxed etc. These feelings often rules over us unless managed properly. They directly influence our career choices, job performance, job satisfaction and organizational commitments, etc.
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?
RK It is possible to control emotions at all time if we are cautious, careful and alert. However, some emotions are spontaneous in nature and we instantly express them irrespective of situations. Still it can be controlled if we regulate them in right direction in right time at right person with certain reason, logic and perspective.
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.
RK With enough exposure on training and teaching emotional intelligence in corporate and educational world I can say that emotional intelligence is nothing but the ability of a person that helps him to perceive, understand, regulate, and manage emotion. In other words, emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to separate healthy feelings from unhealthy one and to establish the interrelationship between feeling, thinking and action that help us to develop emotional and intellectual growth. Emotional intelligence is often measured in terms of emotional quotient (EQ) as intelligence is measured in terms of intelligence quotient (IQ). But the difference between the two is that EQ can be developed at any stage of human life while IQ does not grow beyond a certain stage. Organizations should nurture the EQ competencies of the multi-generational workforce such as resilience, interpersonal connections, authenticity, trust radius, and constructive discontent, positive outlook, compassion and personal integrity. These competencies can be developed through training for developing positive attitude towards life, understanding behavioral norms, developing realistic expectations, and understanding others perspectives. People must develop a good sense of managing feelings and impulses at work by developing capacity for expressing, indentifying and labeling feelings accurately. I would like to also recommend that organizations must conduct diversity training programmes to culturally sensitize its people for understanding and adopting cross-cultural values, ethic, and beliefs that plays important role in the perception and management of human emotions and actions at work.
What is the role of HR in creating an environment for maintaining an emotional balance at the workplace?
RK Organizations must develop a culture that could cater to the emotional and motivational needs of its employees. As an expert in the field of emotional intelligence or emotion management at work, I would like to recommend that today's organizations must nurture an emotionally intelligent environment that bring positive vibration at work, friendly and flexible work culture, positive outlook among its people and enhancing the overall satisfaction, happiness, health and wellbeing of the entire workforce.
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?
RK We have seen that a specific style of leadership is effective in a particular situation. No single leadership style is appropriate across situations and organizations. Hence, keeping in view of the emotional needs of the organizations I would like to recommend transformational and charismatic leadership styles for today's time as they exercise empathy and concern for others and sensitivity to members needs. However, if we want to make our organizations more sustainable and effective in face of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) then we must look forward to nurture and practice a new form of leadership that has recently evolved out of academic researches and leadership practices in global organizations is known as "Positive Leadership". Positive leadership is characterized by empathy, compassion, hope, optimism, resilience, self-efficacy, authenticity, and integrity, etc. This will drive the organizations to greater heights of success in the face of change and adversity.
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?
RK This is a true fact that change is the only constant. Technology has brought a sea of changes in human life. Starting from good morning to good night, technology plays a vital role in everybody's life. Communications of positive messages to employees in terms of rewards, recognitions, and appreciations will definitely create tons of satisfaction and happiness in the minds of people in organizations. This will further generate extra motivation for employees to go extra miles and engage themselves in extra role behavior such as organizational citizenship behavior. Hence, I strongly feel that technology has an edge in creating effective emotional management practices at workplace.
Tell us an incident which required you to exercise great control over your emotions while at workplace and your learning from it. 
RK Suppose, in a situation "When a person whom you respect (e.g. your supervisor), humiliates you in front of others for a mistake that you have made", how would you behave……?
Under this situation, you need to control a great deal over your emotions at workplace. If you react instantly, that may cost you the job or you will end up with a very bad annual performance report that may ruin your career in that organization.
I would recommend that the person who is humiliated should take it lightly and tell his supervisor or the senior that how you felt about it. This kind of approach will gradually make us very proactive, positive and strong to face criticism and adversity. Hence, it's a great socio-emotional learning that gradually makes the people emotionally strong and socially very poised.