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SYNOPSIS [27th NOVEMBER,2020] Day 41: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1. What do you understand by self-awareness? Why is it important? Discuss.
In the introduction you can start by explaining what is self awareness. In the first half of main body part it is expected here to explain in detail about self awareness. In the next half of main body part it is expected to give significance of self-awareness. Student can explain the significance from two perspectives i.e. from individual perspective and a civil servants perspective. To enrich your answer it is necessary to give examples.
In philosophy of self, self-awareness is the experience of one’s own personality or individuality. Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. It is the prime element of emotional intelligence.
- It is the skill of being aware of and understanding one’s emotions as they occur and as they evolve. For instance, if a person gets angry easily and realises it that she is angry, then she can try to get control on it. Here, self awareness helped her to control the anger.
- A person with self-awareness possess high emotional intelligence which is a prerequisite for success. For instance, as David Goleman defines self-awareness as “knowing one’s internal states, preference, resources, and intuitions”. Which helps a person to make right choices and take wise decisions.
Importance of Self Awareness:
- Controls actions of oneself: Self-awareness helps in taking effective decisions with awareness about good and bad for oneself. For instance, Though watching movies is relaxing, marathon watching is harmful. A self-aware person knows when to stop.
- Regulating own emotions: Self-aware people tend to act consciously. When one is aware of the emotions which make him/her weak , he/she can control the same and act consciously. For instance, a civil servant/ a celebrity not losing temper on provoking questions by media.
- Helps in SWOT analysis: Self-awareness helps an individual in picking up the tasks analyzing one’s capacity to deliver. For instance, a child picking up his talent such as Sachin Tendulkar knew cricket was his strength rather than studies.
- Anticipation of situations and influence: A higher level of self-awareness enables us to better predict how certain future situations will influence our state of mind. For instance, if one is aware that flattery excites him/her, actions out of excitement can be controlled beforehand.
- Better deal with the external factors which can’t be controlled: Self-awareness helps one to embrace the reality and helps in maintaining optimism and keep away negative influences. For instance, a person struck in heavy traffic on which he/she can do nothing about it be at least stay calm instead of being agitated or frustrated which might ruin his/her day.
- Better understanding the emotions of people around: It helps us in grasping the emotions of the persons we know. This also have positive influence on people around us. Thus, the situations are better handled. For instance, anticipating the reaction of public after the repeal of Article 370 and taking appropriate measures.
- Self awareness built the capacity to learn from one’s own mistakes. It enables a person to keep growing.
In our day to day life being self aware benefits us the most in one way or other. A self aware person can do a particular work much better than the person who is not self aware. In the same way, Self-awareness is advantageous for a civil servant to handle media, handle petition-givers, protestors, elected representatives and so on and hence it forms an essential component of emotional intelligence.
2. The ability to manage emotions help attain specific goals. Do you agree? Substantiate.
Approach – It expects students to write about emotions and how it help in attaining specific goal with different examples.
The ability to realise, readily accept, as well as successfully control feelings in oneself and sometimes others is known as the emotion management skill. Very simply, emotion management skills refer to the ability to master your own emotions. It is not always virtuous and can be used as a tool for positive and negative goals.
Ability in managing emotions helps in attaining specific goals as can be seen from the points given below:
- Conflict resolution: Emotional Management skill help people to influence and mentor others and help in resolving conflict effectively. Thus it helps in attaining goal.
- Motivation: Emotionally managed person work consistently toward their goals, and establish extremely high standards for the quality of their work. This drive and motivate other teammates to achieve these standards and goals. For example, when an employee’s cannot do his well in his work, the leader cannot angry with the employees; in contrast the leader should motivate or encourage his worker to make their work more efficiency.
- Targeting Policies better: Bureaucrats need to know emotions, moods and drives of persons at whom public policy is targeted for better acquaintance with the nature of problems in society and their possible solutions. For example Work of former IAS officer Shri O P Chaudhary in establishing an Education City in Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh was made possible only by winning the confidence of the tribals.
- Decision making: Emotional management skill helps in recognising such emotions that are unrelated to any specific problem and not allowing them to be influential to the final result.
- Managing family and work life: A civil servant with balanced family and work life can contribute more to the system due to a relaxed state of mind owing to Emotional management can help achieve specific goals in administration.
- Repose trust in the system: Listening attentively to the problems of people, empathising with their situation and bringing positive change in the work attitude of bureaucracy, it can help in making the system more trustworthy in the eyes of citizens and achieve citizen centric goals. For example giving priority to women, senior citizens, differently-abled in any welfare scheme thereby ensuring administrative justice and good governance.
- Peer relationships: Good networking skills are a staple of job effectiveness for the average worker. Networking has too often been associated with “using” other people, but well managed emotional skill help drive specific goals. For example ISRO is known not only for its technical competence but also as an organisation which is outcome oriented, change oriented and seen as pride of the nation. It is also known for ensuring friendly work environment for female employees during pregnancy.
- Negotiation: Whether you’re dealing with a trading partner, competitor, customer or colleague, being able to empathise and be creative in finding win-win solutions will consistently pay off in attaining goals. For example, when people are allowed to speak, and others listen, without constant interruptions, it’s a good sign. It shows a mutual respect between parties and is more likely to lead to a constructive conclusion in meetings.
- Self-confidence and control: This relates to complete affirmation of one’s worth and abilities. They are usually more confident and are able to make sound decisions despite any uncertainties or pressures.
- Realistic Goal setting: Self-awareness ability allow a person to not only know strengths and weaknesses, but also strength and weaknesses of his team members. This help a leader in setting realistic achievable goals and in managing team through using strengths. This also help in delegation of work based on strengths of team. Emotional management enable a person to work teammate’s weaknesses while using strengths optimally toward achieving a goal.
- Using both logic and emotion: If you only use one or the other, your decisions may either not be very balanced, or not support your emotional needs. Instead, you need to combine your emotional response with more rational consideration to attain specific goals in life. For example IPS Ms. Kiran Bedi as Inspector General of Tihar jail worked to reform the prison into a model jail where prisoners learn new life skills and later merge with the mainstream.
Poor emotional management can destroy a person’s personal and professional life. A person who doesn’t possess a well-kept check on his or her emotions is seldom well-liked or respected. We cannot respect those who cannot control themselves emotionally in life or in profession. If we have poor emotional management skills our egos and pride trump our intelligence and knowledge every time. How we manage ourselves emotionally is of even greater importance in the professional world than our skill or talent.
3. How does lack of emotional intelligence affect one’s ability to perform his/her duties? Illustrate.
It expects students to write about emotions intelligence and how emotional intelligence affect one’s ability to perform duties with different examples.
Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.
Lack of emotional intelligence affecting one’s ability to perform duties:
- Low motivation: The ability to self-motivate, with a focus on achieving internal or self-gratification as opposed to external praise or reward. Individuals who are able to motivate themselves in this way have a tendency to be more committed to perform duties and goal focused.
- Lack of Self-regulation: The ability to manage one’s negative or disruptive emotions, and to adapt to changes in circumstance affect performance. Those who are skilled in self-regulation excel in managing conflict, adapt well to change and are more likely to take responsibility.
- Lack of peer relationship: People with lack of emotional intelligence often make the mistake of only recognising and exercising their own emotional strengths. As a result, they fail to truly connect with their environment and the people around them and it always backfires in performing duties.
- Making assumptions quickly and defend them vehemently: People who lack EQ form an opinion quickly and then succumb to confirmation bias, meaning they gather evidence that supports their opinion and ignore any evidence to the contrary. For example this is especially dangerous for leaders, as their under thought out ideas become the entire team’s strategy.
- Lack of Empathy: The ability to recognise and understand how others are feeling and consider those feelings before responding in social situations. Empathy also allows an individual to understand the dynamics that influence relationships, both personal and in the workplace. With lack of empathy it spoils the work culture and affect performing duties. For example nurse’s love for babies, soldier’s love for country are essential in proper functioning of their duties.
- High stress: To stay focused, stress should be managed and it involves own reactions to stress or the reactions of others to the stress. For example High stress level affect our lifestyle, our working pattern and mental health problems. A civil servant with balanced family and work life can contribute more to the system due to a relaxed state of mind owing to EI.
- Lack of Social skills: Lack of social skill affect the ability to manage the emotions of others through emotional understanding and using this to build rapport and connect with people through skills such as active listening, verbal and nonverbal communication. Thus to perform duties emotional intelligence is required for social skill. For example Gandhi inspired people, rallied them up for freedom struggle, because he knew what people think, how they react, how to handle diversity, what is the endurance level of people in any civic-movement.
- Often feel misunderstood: When you lack emotional intelligence, it’s hard to understand how you come across to others. You feel misunderstood because you don’t deliver your message in a way that people can understand this snap relationship with people and teamwork which is essential for performing duties.
- Lack of Better Communication: An Emotionally Intelligent civil servant will be able to communicate and target policies better. Also, the person will be able to foster a healthy relationship with subordinates with lack of better communication he/she cannot build team to attain the goals and perform duties.
- Inaccurate self-assessment: Self assessment involves being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. One is open to feedbacks, new viewpoints low and lack of self assessment can affect achieving goals in life and narrow down our ability to perform.
Migrant labour crisis due to pandemic exposed the inadequate emotional intelligence of the Indian bureaucracy towards performing the duties and welfare of the migrant labourers.
Recent farmer protest and rallies obstructed by government on state borders highlights the inadequate communication and emotions with farmer this affects the trust towards system and working of bureaucracy.
The value and benefits of emotional intelligence are vast in terms of personal and professional success. It is a core competency in many vocations, can support the advancement towards academic and professional success, improve relationships, and boost communication skills, the list goes on.
4. Leadership is all about emotional intelligence. Management is taught, while leadership is experienced. Comment.
It is straightforward question where it expects students to write about – in first part write about importance of emotional intelligence in leadership – while in second part write how management is taught, while leadership is experienced.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to “Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others In practical terms, this means being aware that emotions can drive our behaviour and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions — both our own and others — especially when we are under pressure.”
Leadership is all about emotional intelligence:
- Emotional Intelligence help leaders to influence and mentor others and help in resolving conflict effectively.
- Emotionally Intelligent leaders work consistently toward their goals, and establish extremely high standards for the quality of their work. This drive and motivate other teammates to achieve these standards and goals.
- Emotionally intelligent leaders are great communicators. They know what to say and when to say. An effective communication in a team help them to develop better strategies and increase their efficiency by synchronising their efforts.
- Leaders should be able to adapt to changing circumstances in their workplaces. E.g if a teammate leaves, an emotionally intelligent leader will try to find a suitable replacement and know how to keep his team motivated. Ability to understand and manage their emotions and of those around them help emotionally intelligent leaders to navigate through difficult circumstances.
- Emotionally Intelligent leader focus on collaboration between team members, which creates synergy and a better experience for employees. They support others and always celebrate the successes of their employees and encourage them to learn more and develop their skills. This lead to confidence building and better team performance.
- Emotionally Intelligent leaders make objective decisions based on accumulated wisdom and understanding with time. A leader who manages his or her emotions will take quick and strong decisions without emotions being involved after proper cost-benefit analysis.
- Emotional Intelligence help leaders to bounce back quickly after a setback. It helps them to manage their and their teammates’ emotions motivating them to the next goal.
Management is taught, while leadership is experienced:
- Management is more of bookish knowledge, it can be taught in school, colleges, academy. – e.g.: In training in NPA Hyderabad they can taught management but not leadership.
- Management only teaches how to effectively manage people as head, but apart from managing a leader needs trust of its employees and play to them with their strengths, which can be learn only from experience.
- Leadership needs management of emotions which is a long term achievement. Leadership is all about practice experiences which can be experienced only after long term observance.
- This experience includes becoming sound listener, having empathy towards people suffering, understanding one’s sorrow, quick decision making depending on situation.
Emotional intelligence in the leadership is critical for team’s effectiveness. It plays an important role in driving team and organisation together towards a goal and help in conflict resolution. It enables a leader to be more empathetic, professional, understanding and goal oriented.
5. What are the main components of emotional intelligence? Explain with the help of suitable examples.
It is straightforward question where it expects students to write about different components of emotional intelligence and substantiate them with examples.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal
Components of emotional intelligence:
- This is the ability to recognize and understand one’s moods, motivations, and abilities. Also understanding the effects, they have on others. Goleman says to achieve a state of complete self-awareness, an individual must be able to monitor their emotional state and identify their emotions. Traits that prove an individual as emotionally mature include: confidence, the ability to laugh at one’s self and their mistakes, and the awareness of how you are perceived by others.
- Example: By reading the reaction of someone else, you know how you are perceived by them.
- This is the ability to control one’s impulses, the ability to think before you speak/react, and the ability to express yourself appropriately. Goleman defines emotional maturity in this component as being able to take responsibility for your actions, being able to adapt to change, and the ability to respond appropriately to other people’s irrational emotions or behaviour.
- Example: If someone is screaming at you, you know that they are not always angry at you. You have the ability to understand they may be angry at a particular situation and feel they need to take it out on someone. You do not take this personally or react angry back.
- This is having an interest in learning and self-improvement. It is having the strength to keep going when there are obstacles in life. It is setting goals and following through with them. Goleman would define an emotional mature individual in this category to have traits such as having initiative and the commitment to complete a task, and having perseverance in the face of adversity.
- Example: One who chooses internal motivation driven goals instead of exterior motivation driven goals. Internal motivation driven goals are things such as earning a college degree or becoming a healthier person; things that show self-improvement. Exterior motivation driven goals are things that flaunt wealth or status. This is setting goals such as having the next newest and nicest car.
- Example: If a student fails a class, they see this as an opportunity to learn and retake the class without self-doubt. They do not let failure get in the way of their goal.
- This is the ability to understand other people’s emotions and reactions. Empathy can only be achieved if self-awareness is achieved. Goleman believes that one must be able to understand themselves before they can understand others. Emotional maturity in this category includes people having traits such as perception of others, being interested in other peoples worries and concerns, the ability to anticipate someone’s emotional response to a problem or situation, and the understanding of societies norms and why people act the way they do.
- Example: Being able to understand cope with someone else’s hardships or sadness. When you fully understand yourself and why you feel the things you feel, you can understand other peoples even if they are different than you.
- This is the ability to pick up on jokes, sarcasm, customer service, maintaining friendships and relationships, and finding common ground with others. Goleman states that emotional maturity in this component defines someone who has good communication skills, good time management, the ability to be a leader or manage a group of people, and the ability to resolve difficult situations or conflicts using negotiation or persuasion.
- Example: Someone in a “boss” position usually has a good grasp on handling all different types of personalities. If two of their employees are having a conflict, they can find common ground and resolve the issue in a civilized and fair manner.
When it comes to happiness and success in life and work, emotional intelligence matters just as much as intellectual ability. Emotional intelligence helps people build stronger relationships, succeed at work, and achieve their career and personal goals, which makes it different from other aspects.