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EI: Like your shadow, always with you

You may believe that you can deploy your emotional intelligence whenever you want, but that may not be the case. Women professionals participating in the project share their experiences:

Rishika Dasgupta, Head – Customer Experience (Cards & Payments Business) at Axis Bank: EI has helped me frequently to handle good as well tough times. And let me tell you being emotionally intelligent can be detrimental too sometimes. I have often been construed as someone who tries to avoid confrontations and hence being nice to people. I have also felt taken for granted as people perceive me as someone ‘who will understand and be okay’ with it.

Shikha Bagai, Country Managing Director – India at VISTRA Group: As Indian women play both traditional and modern roles, they have to find a balance between professional pursuits and taking care of their family responsibilities. In a world where we are fighting for equality, I have always stood up for traditional roles for women as much as I have stood for modern roles. For me, it has always been a pleasure to keep a family together and raise a daughter all rounded and be there for family. When you try to balance both, EI comes in handy.

Also, you should balance your expressions and keep up with things like your hobbies. To optimize your expression and enhance it, you need emotional intelligence all the time.

Loveena Khatwani, Head – Client Experience at Edelweiss Wealth Management: EI helps me continuously, as practicing it itself makes my people connect with me in a better manner. I have a team of 178 people all over the country. And EI has helped me connect with my entire team to a great extent. For the team also, a leader who understands flaws and deals with them constructively makes them open up to a huge extent.

Sunita Handa. Chief General Manager, (IT Channels & Ops), Global IT Centre at State Bank of India: I see EQ playing a crucial role in health and well-being of a person. Despite the pulls and pressures of Global IT Centre assignment, if I am able to maintain the normal BP and sugar levels, the credit should then go either to my genes or my EQ. When I make EI my second nature, physical and emotional health is the first gain. Becoming more emotionally conscious allows me to grow and gain a deeper understanding of who I am.

Emotional intelligence also helps me identify and manage my own emotions and react to the emotions of others. It helps me communicate better, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others, and effectively handle life’s situations. It is interesting to understand how those emotions shape your thoughts and actions so you can have greater control over your behavior and develop the skills to manage yourself more effectively.

Purvi Bhavsar, Managing Director at Pahal Financial Services: EI obviously increases steadily as we gain more experience. It is something that one learns or acquires over a period time. Unlike knowledge, EQ gets acquired subconsciously. In the early years, I did not even realize that I was acquiring EQ as a skill. Early on for me, it was more of a survival. Later, I realized how powerful it was! So, having acquired it, it helps me continually, not just occasionally.”

Ritu Nazir, Chief Marketing Officer at Raheja QBE General Insurance: EI is part of one’s identity. It is not something that one can switch on and off. It is an integral part of life that is practiced day in and day out. Whether it is traffic or house help or rains, every hour is a test on your emotional intelligence. How you deal with a situation is something that your emotional intelligence decides. It plays a role throughout life, and not just during happy times or sad times.

Being an ambitious woman and at the same time being a mother and getting the guilt pangs, a woman has to be emotionally very strong to make the right choices at every turn, for which you need emotional intelligence.

Rajashree Nambiar, Former MD & CEO at Fullerton India Credit Company: EI is a part of my DNA. It’s how I behave every day – when I get up in the morning and get to work and back. It is not something that you pick and choose and pull out only when you need it. It’s either with you or it’s not with you. I think it’s there with you all the while. Clearly, EI is a deeply ingrained part of you that is inseparable from you. Perhaps, EI is what you are!

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