INTRODUCTION

Emotional
Intelligence (EI) became a focal subject of many            studies in the literature and centre of attraction for
business organizations in recent era. Limited research in this promising field drew
the attention of academicians and its positive impact on business outputs
attracted the high level managers. Both parties proposed EI as an attainable
skill and a critical ability for a successful leadership. Therefore, literature
definitions, models and research on EI primarily involved the business world
and results are utilized for business trainings and seminars for personnel
development. However, armed forces, as an institution closely tied to
leadership skills, paid limited attention to this important subject.

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Compared
to other fields, leadership gained great importance for military through time;
such that World War-I and II set off the origins for primary serious studies.
Turkish military literature also hosts studies on leadership, as many of the
victories are named after commanders (Battle of Inonu, Turkish War of
Independence… etc.) and leadership is placed amongst four main components of
the battle.

Military
leadership is not just a privilege of command over subordinates. Instead, it is
an ability based on influencing through creating respect, trust and morality.
Leader, in the eyes of subordinates, accomplishes the mission and protects
them.

In
today’s fluid battlefield, characterized by extensive causalities, the
relevance of Emotional Quotient has increased manifold especially for Pakistan
Army. It is involved in a complex and prolonged war.  A soldier deals with immense stressors
ranging from social to those of armed conflicts, impacting his daily personal
and professional life. These stressors are resulting in form of disintegrated
marital life, domestic conflicts, increased rates of anxiety and depression
amounting to suicides in extreme cases. The officer cadre being at the
leadership cradle has prime responsibility in the field to look after the
soldiers and protect them from these stressors. To counter these effects,
measures are being taken at army level wherein EI offers a new perspective and
a solution by effective employment of officers and enhancing their capabilities
acquiring long term benefits.

 

AIM

To
offer an insight in EQ being an attainable skill and present it as a
complementary measure in long term to counter psychological stressors for army
with a view to proffer an outline mechanism of its implementation at officers
level.

 

DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN EQ AND IQ

Emotional
Quotient (EQ) deals with quantitative element of EI. The EQ is a way to measure
how a person recognizes emotions in himself or herself and others, and manages
these emotional states to work better as a group or team. It is an individual’s
ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions. People with high
EQ usually make great leaders and team players because of their ability to
understand, empathize and connect with the people around them.

Intelligence
Quotient (IQ) is a value that indicates a person’s ability to learn,
understand, and apply information and skills in a meaningful way. In short, the
major difference between EQ and IQ is what part of a person’s mental abilities
they measure: understanding emotion (EQ) or understanding information (IQ).

 

COMPONENTS
OF EQ

EQ
is the social equivalent of IQ. There are five broad components of EQ. The
first three components of EQ are all about managing oneself. The last two are
about managing relationships with others.

· Self-Awareness – the ability to recognize
and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effects on
others. To achieve this state, you must be able to monitor your own emotional
state and identify your emotions. Emotional Maturity in this trait shows:-

o Confidence

o Sense of humour (can laugh at
self)

o Aware of your impression on
others (can read the reactions of others to 
know how you are perceived)

· Self-Regulation – The ability to control or
redirect disruptive impulses and moods. Emotional Maturity in this trait
shows:-

o Conscientious and take
personal responsibility for your own work/deeds.

o Adaptable (and favourable) to
change

o When someone is complaining
or is rude to you, you do not respond in kind. You respond in a manner which
would not escalate the situation. (At this point, you will also realize that
when others express anger at you, they’re not always angry at you; they’re
often just angry and want to take it out on someone).

· Motivation – A passion to work for
reasons that go beyond money or status. Emotional Maturity in this trait
shows:-

o Initiative and the commitment
to complete a task.

o Perseverance in the face of adversity.

· Empathy – The ability to understand
the emotional make-up of other people. Emotional Maturity in this trait
shows:

o Perceptive of other’s emotions and
taking an active interest in their concerns.

o Proactive — Able to anticipate
someone’s needs and the appropriate reaction.

o Social Situations such as
office politics do not phase one who has a firm grasp of empathy.

· Social Skill – The proficiency in being
persuasive and managing relationships and building networks.

o Communication: Listening and responding
appropriately.

o Influence and Leadership: The ability to guide and
inspire others.

o Conflict Management: The ability to diffuse
difficult situations using persuasion and negotiation.

 

EI IN
MILITARY TERMS

As
per Daniel Goldman, most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they
all have a high degree of EI. It’s not that IQ is irrelevant, it does matter
but as entry level requirement. There has been a great deal of research
suggesting that in the long run, EI is a more accurate determinant of
successful communications, relationships and leadership than is IQ. The EI has
set of five skills that enable the best leaders to maximize their own and their
followers’ performance. This brief dwells into the components of EI drawn out
by Goleman, as it could be applicable to military leadership, especially as the
leaders grow in seniority and acquire crucial command assignments starting with
sub-unit command. The components of EI in military terms are as under:-

· Self-Awareness. This first component
of EI amounts to having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, strengths and
weaknesses. Leaders with strong self-awareness are neither overtly critical nor
unrealistically hopeful. For them, values and goals are clear and the pack is
led accordingly, without any predicament. In order to achieve a short term and
superficial gain for the unit, a mode that does not align with the envisioned
line will never be tempting. On the contrary, a leader with poor self-awareness
will fall for dubious ways to achieve a short term gain for his team and in
doing so, he loses his ‘role model’ image as the actions of the unit often have
far reaching adverse implications especially in present volatile setting, of
say a counter-insurgency milieu. An analysis of Strength, Weakness,
Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) is a key tool in military to gauge and improve
efficiency. Leaders high on self-awareness utilize this tool to the optimum as
they are comfortable talking about their limitations and strengths, with
unbiased attention for constructive criticism. On the other hand, leaders low
on self-awareness take criticism as a threat or a sign of failure as they
suffer from insecurity, breeding from their low self-esteem. They exhibit inclinations
for unethical means in the name of efficiency and the team members indulge in
sycophancy; distancing the team from its leader.

· Self-Regulation. Emotions, although can’t be
done away with, can certainly be managed. A leader with high quotient of self-regulation
finds ways to control his emotional impulses and bad moods. Imagine a unit
commander who watches one of his teams performs miserably in a formation
competition. In the perceived let down and gloom that follows, the leader could
find it tempting to come down heavily on the team in terms of criticism. But,
if the leader has high quotient of self-regulation, he would take a different
approach. He would pick his words carefully, acknowledging the poor performance
without jumping on to hasty conclusions and decisions. He would then step back
to consider reasons behind the setback. Are they due to lack of efforts or
resources? Are there any mitigating factors? What was his role in the debacle?
After considering the questions, he would call the team together and offer his
views. He, in consultations with the stake holders, would then present his
analysis of the problem and propose a well-considered solution. Self-regulation
matters so much for military leaders for several reasons. Firstly, leaders who are
in control of their impulses (i.e. who are reasonable) are able to create an
environment of trust and fairness. Team members in such an environment flock
together to strive for the team (organizational) goals. All the team members
look up to leaders as ‘role models’. Secondly, self-regulation is crucial in
the present times of dynamism in terms of societal transformations and
operational fluidity. In face of sudden changes, the leaders do not panic;
instead give a well thought through decision suited for the changed setting. As
the new set of initiatives move forward, these leaders are able to move with it
so as to monitor and exercise course correction without diluting the directive
essence of their leadership that continuously trains and empowers the subordinate
leaders. Signs of self-regulation are – an inclination for reflection,
intellect and thoughtfulness, tolerance for ambiguity and integrity. Many of
the undesirables that surface in units are a function of impulsive behaviour on
part of the leadership, manifesting into cascades of cover-ups. Factors like
superficially thought and planned decisions, lack of seriousness to improve the
unit health and abuse of power for selfish motives seep into the work culture.
In the given scenario, an opportunity for leaders with weak ‘impulse control’
presents itself, encouraging ‘yes-man ship’, where in the team members speak
what the leaders want to hear. Attentiveness and Responsibility are
the two most crucial qualities in a leader to achieve high indices of self-regulation.
As leaders, we need to have a complete grasp of the situation, which in turn
warrants complete attention to command.

By genuinely listening to the
point of view of a subordinate, the leader makes the subordinate feel
important, adding to his self-esteem and making him a willing collaborator
towards the team goal. Attentiveness extends the leader’s understanding beyond
the obvious and accelerates the OODA loop. Towards the aspect of
responsibility, leaders must voluntarily fulfil their duties and obligations to
the best of their abilities. It becomes a question of self-discipline, with
leaders taking additional responsibilities and assuming informal
accountability, even in ambiguous situations.

· Motivation. This is the most important
trait for a leader. The leaders with high levels of motivation are driven to
achieve beyond expectations. Motivation for a leader high on Emotional Quotient
(EQ) comes from internal factors rather than from external ones which are
invariably ‘transactional’ in nature. The first sign for such levels of
motivation is a passion and pride for the profession. Such leaders display
extraordinary zeal to do things better and are ‘anti-status quo’. Teams lead by
leaders with high motivation remain optimistic even during tough conditions.
Self-regulation combined with motivation overcome frustration and depression
that follow a setback. For example, a unit suffering a setback in an
operational area shall look for an opportunity to prove that it has the
capability to bounce back.

   Lessons are learnt and worked upon, by teams to eventually emerge
victorious. Motivation to achieve translates into strong leadership and vice
versa, creating a working environment of optimism and organizational
commitment. In such an overall atmosphere of positivity, the (soldiers) team
mates look forward to the task.

· Empathy. This is the most easily
recognizable trait of EI. However when it comes to military, leaders with
empathy are rarely encouraged or praised. The very word seems un-military amidst
the tough realities of military realm. For a leader, empathy should not mean
becoming a populist by adopting others’ emotions. Rather, it implies thoughtful
consideration of team members’ point of view, while making sensible decisions.
For example, in operational areas, proliferation of cellular phones has become
a huge distraction for the troops. Owing to their ease of carriage and utility,
troops indulge in its abuse, thus jeopardizing the operational commitments. For
the unit commander, enforcing a ban on usage of cellular phones poses a
formidable challenge. Troops are likely to find ways and means to defy orders
and thereby setting a wrong precedence. Instead, if the troops are educated on
the aspects of concern, supervised by the junior leadership – a viable break
through that is participatory in nature, could be achieved. In a unit, with
myriad of team members, working towards the goal of team effectiveness;
mind-sets and opinions are bound to vary and more often than not are likely to
be at cross purpose. A leader must be able to sense and understand the
viewpoints of all and then with his experience and position be able to steer
the charge of members in a synchronized manner. In a scenario of conflicting
opinions and views, an empathetic leader makes the difference by having a
series of one-on-one sessions to listen to everyone in the team. The team is
then directed accordingly after cobwebs of communication gaps and perceptions
are cleared.

   Sustaining motivation in a team can only be achieved if leader
empathizes with the led and prepares them. Given the high demands of the
profession, the subordinates need to be groomed for a longer haul, where in
their thought process is shaped in a manner that it empowers them to adjust to
the dynamics in a desirable manner. Leaders require empathy to develop team
members in face of higher stakes. The good old concept of ‘mentoring’ sadly has
receded from the present day landscape of military unit life. Mentoring can
work best in conditions of sound inter personal relationship. Also, high
quotient of empathy in the leader enables him to vary his approach of dealing
with each of the mind he or the designated mentor addresses. Benevolence,
Humility, Justice and Tolerance are some of the attributes that
constitute overall empathy. Benevolence is giving to the team mates without
having any return as motive. Humility is a modest or ‘low’ view of one’s
importance, but is not low self-esteem. It amounts to sharing credit with the
team and taking responsibility in face of failures. Justice is the concept of
moral right based on ethics, rationality, law and equity along with the reward
of punishment upon breach of ethics. For a leader, being fair and appearing to
be fair are equally important. Tolerance has three perspectives; firstly, it is
the mind-set that willingly accepts beliefs of others; secondly, it is about
realizing that people possess varying levels of characters and are at varying
levels of personality development; and thirdly, it is about being open to ambiguity
i.e. ability to perceive gaps in information and to continue to plan and
execute in the absence of orders, fearlessly.

· Social Skills. The culmination of rest of
the components of EI manifest in sound social skills. After all, the leader’s
task is to get work done through other people and social skills make that
possible. The leader puts EI to work through social skills by converting his
leadership style into a conceivable form. Since it is the outcome of the other
dimensions of EI, social skill is recognizable on the job in many ways.
Socially skilled leaders are good at leading their team due to attributes of
empathy in them. Similarly, they are expert persuaders – a manifestation of
self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy combined. Attitude and Enthusiasm
are the harbingers to cultivate sound social skills. A leader’s poor
attitude has the potential to become team’s greatest liability. Enthusiasm has
to be initiated and nurtured by a leader through regular interaction with the
team mates. The leader ought to be more focused on having a conversation than
on announcing or positioning himself. With good social skills comes in the
quality of building healthy rapport with other team members. When the sub
components like empathy and motivation become publicly visible, the leader’s
passion for work spreads within unit, leading to enhanced team effectiveness.
In nut shell, social skills are nothing but communication skills manifesting
into – selling ideas, talking the talk and walking the talk, influencing and
persuasion.

                                                                        

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