Emotional Intelligence Of Commanders And Staff Education Essay

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1. The unit level military commanders in today's Army have a difficult task in hand - that of handling effectively the emotions of the men they command. Hailing from materialistic world and with better educational background, these men can no longer be commanded with the twirl of moustache as in the past. In the present environment professional competence alone is not the criteria for selection to shoulder higher organizational responsibilities and therefore it is about time we apprise the environment of Emotional Intelligence - the phenomenal concept so very relevant to people oriented organizations like the Army. The age old statement by Clausewitz, 'a strong mind capable of keeping equilibrium even when there is storm in the breast will better all odds in combat' is more pertinent today than the day it was made.1

2. Emotional Intelligence. The term Emotional Intelligence was first introduced in 1990 by Dr. John Mayer and Dr. Peter Salovey. They used this term to describe a person's ability to understand his/her own emotions and the emotions of others. It included the ability to act appropriately based on this understanding. Daniel Goleman (1995), who popularized this concept, identified five social and emotional competencies that make up emotional intelligence. They are Self-awareness (being alert to your feelings), Self-management (managing your feelings), Self-motivation (using your feelings help achieve your goals), Empathy (understanding how others feel) and Social skills (handling feelings in interaction with others).


3. Commanders with higher Emotional Intelligence will be able to bring about greater Organisational effectiveness in the Armed Forces.


4. The aim of this paper is to carry out a research on EI and analyse how it can be used as a facilitator in Commanders and Staff to enhance and improve the Organisational Climate. The paper also will carry out recommendations on the mentioned aspect.


5. The scope of the study is :-

(a) To carry out a detailed study on EI and analyse its impact to facilitate Organisational Climate.

(b) Make recommendations as to how better man management and leadership can improve Organisational Climate.


6. The research work is primarily based on following factors :-

Books and Articles on EI.

(b) Internet.

(c) Personal experience of the author in counter insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

(d) Old CDM dissertations.

(e) Questionnaire to various officers attending Staff Course and the Directing Staff.


7. The paper will be covered in following chapters :-

(a) Chapter 1 - What is EI and its importance.

(b) Chapter 2 - Relation between EI and Leadership.

(c) Chapter 3 - Relation between EI and Man Management.

(d) Chapter 4 - Relevance of EI in Armed Forces and how it improves the Organisational Climate.

(e) Chapter 5 - Recommendations.

(f) Chapter 6 - Conclusion.



8. Before we proceed further, let us see what is the meaning of Emotional Intelligence?

9. Emotion. As per Oxford English Dictionary, the word Emotion means "any agitation or disturbance of mind and feeling, passion, any vehement or excited mental state". According to Professor CA Smith and Lazarus emotion can be defined as "an organized response system that coordinates physiological, perceptual, experimental, cognitive and other changes into coherent experiences of moods and feelings"

10. Intelligence. As per Longman Basic English Dictionary, Intelligence means the "ability to learn and understand things". Thus it may be defined as a set of cognitive abilities which allow us to acquire knowledge, to learn and solve problems.

11. Emotional Intelligence (EI) . It describes the ability, capacity, skill or, in the case of the trait EI model, a self-perceived ability to identify, assess and control the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups. Daniel Goleman is considered as the father and the man behind the phrase "Emotional Intelligence". An author of many books on the subject he defined it as "The ability to monitor one's own and other's emotions, to guide one's thinking and actions." As per him, EI can be categorized into five domains:-

(a) Self Awareness. It implies to observe oneself and recognizing a feeling as it happens.

(b) Self Management. It means to manage your feelings. It implies handling feelings so that they are appropriate, realising what is behind a feeling; finding ways to handle fear and anxieties, anger and sadness. This helps in achieving one's goal.

Self Motivation. Channelising emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self-control. It gives perseverance to get over setbacks and prompts us to take initiative and strive for improvement.

(d) Empathy. It is the sensitivity towards the feelings of others and thinking from their point of view. It is appreciating the differences in how people think about things.

(e) Handling Relationships. Managing emotions in others; social competence and skills. It is an asset for leadership and conflict management.

12. David R Curuso and Peter Salovey Ph. D are two renowned physiologists and have been deeply associated with the research work on Emotional Intelligence. They define it as " The ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotionsso as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intelligence growth"

13. In their book they describe four types of emotional skills around which is built the emotionally intelligent manager. They are listed as follows :-

(a) Identifying Emotions (Ability to Read People). The ability to recognize how you and those around you are feeling.

(b) Using Emotions to Facilitate Thought (To Get in the Mood). The ability to generate an emotion and then reason with that emotion or in other words using emotion in reasoning and problem solving (also called emotional facilitation of thought or assimilating emotions).

(c) Understanding Emotions (Predicting the Emotional Future). The ability to understand complex emotions and emotional "chains", how emotions transition from one stage to another or knowing which emotions are similar, or opposites and what relations they convey.

(d) Managing Emotions (Do it with Feelings). The ability which allows one to manage emotions in himself and in others. It is understanding the implications of social acts on emotions and the regulation of emotion in self and others.

Head and Heart Combined

14. Emotional Intelligence should not be considered as opposite of intelligence, it is not the the triumph of head over heart; infact it is the unique intersection of both. Socio-biologists say that preeminence of heart over head at crucial moments when they conjecture about why evolution has given emotion such a central role in human psyche. A man's emotions guides him in facing predicaments and tasks too important to leave to intellect alone viz danger, pain, persisting towards a goal despite frustrations, bonding with mate, building a family. Each emotion offers a distinct readiness to act, each points us in a direction that has worked well to handle the recurring challenges of human life. We all are aware from the fact that, when it comes to shaping our decisions and actions, feelings do count, infact more that what we think. So for better or worse, intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway.

15. Research has shown that IQ contributes about 20% to the factors that determine success in life, leaving 80% to other forces. Emotional Intelligence almost accounts for this 80%; abilities such as to motivate the self in the face of frustration, control impulses, delay gratification; regulate the moods and prevent emotions from clouding the rational thinking process. As per Goleman, at times it is more powerful than IQ. To that extent it is new concept. The ideas by themselves are not new, what's new is the data supported by brain research. "We now have 25 years' worth of empirical studies that tell us with previously unknown precision just how it matters for success" says Goleman. IQ + EQ determine effectiveness.

16. Emotions or feelings play key role in an individual's work performance. Drawing on the analogy of military organisations through their functional areas of leadership, doctrines and training, operational support and intelligence, we can say, the dimensions of our body, mind, emotions, neurosensory system and consciousness - are the functional areas of the self. Developing special awareness and expertise of the functional area of emotion is what emotional intelligence is all about!


"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do".

Dwight Eisenhower

17. We studied in the previous chapter about Emotional Intelligence. In this chapter we will try and see how Organisational Climate is affected by the same. From our experiences it is suggested that emotionally intelligent leadership creates a working climate that nurtures subordinates and encourages them to give their best. The performance of a unit is mediated by the climate the leader creates with his relationship with Emotional Intelligence.

18. The armed forces require quick decision abilities by the commanders. Our everyday routine is quagmire with situations where in we take instant decisions involving lives of men; that too in fogged environments similar to war. Mind weighs emotional bottom line from previous experiences and delivers the answer to us in a hunch, a gut feeling. Thought and feelings are inextricably woven together. Such fleeting feelings are typically subtle, but important. Not only that gut feeling overweighs the facts, but it should be weighed along with the facts.

19. A Hay/McBer analysis of data on 3,781 executives, correlated with climate surveys filled by their employees suggested that 50 to 70 % their perception of working climate is linked to the emotional intelligence characteristics of the leader (Goleman, 2000b). Further research on the same data brought in forth the role of emotional intelligence competencies in leadership effectiveness, identifying how six distinct styles of emotional intelligence based leadership affect climate. The four styles- the visionary, the affiliative, the democratic and the coaching - generally drive climate in positive direction. The other two styles - the coercive and the pacesetter - tend to drive climate downward, particularly when leaders overuse them.

20. Given below are two tables showing the different types of leadership and their impact on the working climate.


Leadership style


Example phrase

When the style works best

Also labelled


Emphasising immediate compliance from employees

Do it the way I tell you

I believe that people should do what I tell them

In a crisis, to kick start a turnaround or with problem employees





Emphasising the provision of long term vision and leadership

I enjoy mobilising people towards a bigger picture

I believe I am firm but fair, giving employees clear direction, motivating by persuasion and giving feedback on task performance

When changes require a new vision, or when a clear direction is needed

Big picture



Emphasising the creation of harmony

I believe in people before tasks - emotional bonding

To build buy-in or consensus or to get input from valuable employees



Emphasising group consensus and generating new ideas

I believe in building support and commitment

To build buy-in or consensus or to get input from valuable employees



Emphasising the accomplishment of tasks to high standards

I expect self-direction and excellence

To get quick results from a highly motivated and competent team


Emphasising the professional growth of employees

I develop others for the future

To help an employee improve performance or to develop long term strengths









Impact on Climate

Strongly Negative

Most Strongly Positive

Highly Positive

Highly Positive

Highly Negative

Highly Positive

Emotional Intelligence Competencies

Drive to achieve; initiative, emotional self control

Self confidence; empathy; change catalyst

Empathy, building bonds; conflict management

Collaboration team leadership; communication

Conscientiousness; drive to achieve; initiative

Developing others; empathy; emotional self-awareness

21. Leaders with vision are empathic, self confident and they act as agents of change. Affiliative leaders, too, possess the quality of empathy, building relationships and managing conflicts. The democratic leader encourages teamwork, collaboration and has effective communication skills, particularly is an excellent listener. The coaching leader is emotionally self-aware, empathic and also builds and identifies potential of others.

22. The coercive leader lacks empathy and relies only on the power of his position, therby ordering people to execute his wishes. The pacesetter sets high standards and exemplifies them, exhibits initiative and has a very high drive to achieve his goals, but those who fail to meet laid down standards he criticizes rather than to improve. The most effective leader integrates four or more of the six styles regularly, using the most appropriate, depending on the leadership situation.

23. According to Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey Emotional Intelligence is "the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth". In leadership language it is the ability to intentionally access, use understand and manage one's own emotions and the emotions of people one leads to achieve the desired results.

24. Any success in life, be it professional or personal has been always accomplished with the power of emotions behind them. Emotions can be amplified as a leader's greatest source of energy, connection and influence. A leader requires energy to create vision and execute brilliant strategy, connection to build sustainable relations and influence to inspire those around him.

25. Emotional Intelligence has become an integral part of leadership with changing demands of the "new environment" and is an important part of creating positive and lasting relationship with colleagues and subordinates. Leaders having high emotional intelligence have many positive attributes and outcomes viz:-

(a) Giving initiative and motivation to subordinates.

(b) Help in having lasting relationships with peers, seniors and subordinates.

(c) Deal with any conflict in a constructive way.

(d) Make the best of own and the strengths of the peers.

(e) Take responsibility of managing their emotions and follow the path of authentic and honest communication.

(f) Listen to others and are open to changes/options.

(g) They are effective in a team plan.

26. While, on the other hand leaders who lack emotional intelligence create a negative organizational atmosphere and they often:-

(a) Discourage any kind of initiative or creativity.

(b) Are not open to suggestions and thus make decisions on limited information.

(c) Create an atmosphere of repellence amongst the employees, managers and customers.

(d) Make problems and conflicts out of incidents.

(e) Jeopardize inter personnel trust and communication.

27. The egos of such persons get in the way of their actions and inappropriately affect the end results. Their lives are run with conscious and unconscious without them coming to know of it.

28. Feelings of a person are important to help him in shaping leadership results. One should pay attention to his feelings. What do they tell a person? How to decide to manage them? Does one feel them fully? Does one uses them actively to check on the choices which feel the best in making decisions? If one does that, them he will rate at the top of the leadership scale and if one does not then he is not using emotional intelligence. IQ is not enough anymore in present day circumstances. Learning and leadership are inseparable, while emotional intelligence can be tapped and emotional skills learned.


29. As per Daniel Goleman emotional competence is "a learned capability based on emotional intelligence that results in outstanding performance at work". To be an adept at an emotional competence like conflict management, it requires and underlying ability in emotional intelligence fundamentals, specifically social awareness and relationship management.

30. Emotional competency is a capability which is learned and based on emotional intelligence, resulting in outstanding performance at work. Our potential for learning practical skills is determined by our emotional intelligence based on its above mentioned dimensions. Based on a common underlying emotional intelligence capability emotional competencies cluster into groups. Emotional Competence can be categorised broadly as follows:-

(a) Personal competence, which determines how one should manage himself.

(b) Social competence, which determines how one should handle his relationships with people around.

31. Given below is a table which gives us the latest version of Daniel Goleman emotional intelligence framework. 20 competencies are entered in four clusters of emotional intelligence abilities. It is illustrated in the framework, for example, that one cannot demonstrate the competencies of conscientiousness and trustworthiness without being the master of the fundamental ability of self management or the competencies of communication, influence, conflict management and so forth without managing relationships.


Personal Competence


Social Competence


Self Awareness

Emotional Self Awareness

Accurate Self Assessment

Self Confidence

Social Awareness


Service Orientation

Organisational Awareness


Self Management

Self Control




Achievement Drive


Relationship Management

Developing Others



Conflict Management


Change Catalyst

Building Bonds

Teamwork &Collaboration

Table : A Framework of Emotional Competencies

The Self Awareness Cluster : Correct Self Assessment And Understanding Feelings

32. Atonement of feelings gives us crucial information for navigation through our life. One's inner voice bespeaks the capacity to send messages from our internal stores of emotional memory, our reservoir of wisdom and judgement. This ability is located at the core of self awareness. It has three competencies as given below:-

(a) Emotional Self Awareness Competence. It is knowing oneself, your feelings, strengths, weaknesses and how they affect one's performance. One needs to carry out introspection which is difficult in this fast moving pace of the world. The mental pressures clouds the inner voice, thus leading emotions to go in background. Values transform in emotional power. The task which we do, if the same has congruence with one's value, one feels happy and energizing, less which you feel guilt, fear or shame. All those who don't understand their feelings are at disadvantage, because they are not able to relate the work they do with their values.

(b) Accurate Self Assessment Competence. All those who possess this competence know their abilities and limitations, they take feedback and learn from their mistakes, they know where lies the scope of self improvement and they do change themselves for their further personality enhancement.

An average performer always overestimates his strengths while the one who does accurate self assessment competence comes out with flying colours.

(c) Self Confidence Competence. In our day to day activities we experience and see that self confidence is the key to success for leaders, managers and executives at all levels. The same has been proven in many studies done worldwide. In a study done by Holahan and Sears in 1995, which was a 60 year old study on more than one 1000 high-IQ men and women seen from early childhood to their age of retirement, those who had self confidence in their formative years were more successful in their careers.

The Self Management Cluster : To Manage Impulses and Internal States

33. We will always find people in life who form a cause of stress. When we have good resilience, we recover fast less which the stress lasts longer. There are six competencies in the self management cluster:-

(a) Emotional Self Control Competence. It means when there is no disruptive feeling or there is no distress i.e. a person remains unfazed even in conditions filled with stress or when he deals with a hostile person. He remains calm and does not lash out in return. Such persons do not get angry or depressed and infact have a strong sense of control on themselves but also the events in their lives. One should practice yoga and/or meditation to enhance such control.

(b) Trustworthiness Competence.