Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Self awareness

The world of work internship programme is proving to be more exciting and engaging than I thought. Today we had a very good presentation on emotional intelligence by Shameen Naidu from the Careers Counseling and Development Unit of our university. To be honest I wasn’t familiar with the concept. Yes I had heard the words here and there but never enough to actually be reflective about what it really means. It was mentioned that women are emotional beings compared to men highlighted by our ability to “nag” I like to see it as our ability to communicate and express how we really feel. Men generally tend to bottle up their feelings.

Anyway, today I found out about my emotional intelligence score which showed me the necessarily areas that I need to grow in. After all emotional intelligence is a lifetime growing experience. Basically it was about how I will be able to emotionally respond to a given set of situations. There was also a questionnaire on self acceptance, I got an excellent score for this one. My self ideal self score is average. After the presentation I realized that emotional intelligence is important in the corporate world just as much as it is in our personal relationships.

Our emotional intelligence determines how aware we are of other people, how we deal with our own emotions and the way it will drive our motivation to perform different tasks and adaptability to a given environment. These aspects are important in that they are the ones that conclude whether one gets the job or not. I have resolved to write and keep a diary for the next two months as suggested by Shameen. I will enter into the diary what I feel without editing or reading it only waiting until two months have passed. I will then read it and find out more about myself. This is because for my emotional intelligence to be at work I need to be in touch with me after all emotional intelligence is based on this premise. I will have to be able to take care of my own emotional intelligence before I can be able to help other people. I want to be able to influence, to send clear and effective messages to the people I will be working with in the next few months and indeed in my life time. I want to bring about change, be able to manage conflict or to challenge the status quo if need be and to build working relationships that are mutual and beneficial in the organization as well as outside of it.

The costs of emotional illiteracy I realised are negative. For one they lead to poor decision making, low morale, absenteeism, crime and various emotional disorders like depression which can lead to substance or food abuse. Thus it is imperative that we are aware of our emotional intelligence at all times. It has never been more important especially at this age of new information technologies, cultural change and globalization. James Thurber famous for brainy quotations notes that, “let us not look back in anger or forward in fear but around in awareness.”


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