We discussed Emotional Intelligence (EI) in our Strategic HR Class recently. This bright batch will soon pass-out with their MBA degrees.

Adieus friends! Harsh, Akash, Ekatrina. Sahajo, Aditya, Poornima & the rest

One of the PPT slides highlighted the research findings of Byron Stock and Associates – building Emotional Intelligence creates new levels of peak performance for individuals, teams and the entire organization.

• Increase personal productivity • Improve communication

• Make faster, better decisions

• Influence others

• Resolve conflict constructively

• Reduce stress & worry

• Improve work/life balance

Organizations have pockets of negative emotions

The research suggested further that many organizations are breeding grounds for negative emotions that keep people from thinking clearly, hampers effective communication, limits creativity and drives up the cost of health care. All the class participants agreed that an organization with a joyful culture will reflect a high level of EI. Organizations collective EI can impact on the ‘bottom-line’ or revenue. How does this happen?

Care, joy and appreciation

When we experience emotion (like care, joy, appreciation) the brain releases cortical facilitation that acts like a lubricant on the communication between the emotional brain and the thinking brain, which allows us to access quickly and easily what we know and what we know how to do. In this state the mind is calm and creative leading to innovativeness.

Hummingbird a Messenger of Joy

I had put the symbol of a hummingbird on one of my EI PPT slides. My young friend Akash Verma was quick to pop the question ‘Sir, why the hummingbird’? I admit I was unable to give a comprehensive answer on the spot 🙂 and so this post. Here are some Hummingbird quotes in praise:

• The Hummingbird may be small, but it so full of joy that when it comes to you joy will take over.

• The Hummingbird is a symbol of good health. The Hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards. This is a reminder that the past can’t be changed but the past can teach lessons.

• The Hummingbird comes when it seems that what needs to be done is impossible. It teaches how to find joy in any circumstance.

• Hummingbirds remind us to hum. Humming creates an internal massage, restoring health and balance. Find joy in what you do and sing it out.

Power of Om

When we chant Om the sound is generated in navel and taken up very slowly to the opening on the top of the head with the closing sound M (humming sound). The vibration set up by this word is very powerful. The chanting drives away all worldly thoughts and removes distractions.

Please do share your views on how Emotional Intelligence levels can be raised in organizations?

About Dilip

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are music and growing culinary herbs. Love to play golf and do yoga regularly. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

12 responses

  1. Agam dubey says:

    Emotional intelligence can never happen overnight, this act takes some time before it’s fully incorporated in an individual thought setup. So what I have personally observed from the given article and as well as from valuable comments that it is important to have good information about behavior that you may wish to affect.And finally the brain exercise on getting information relevant to emotional intelligence can be efficiently flourished.
    Because if we consider the mind alteration, It is important to note that the mind learns and adapts forming thought setups which are beneficial in an individual personality; mind alterations are important in inducting prearranged messages in order to affect relevant thought setups.

    Respected Sir though I know that I am giving my views very late but seeking your valuable reponse very soon.
    Your Sincerely,

    Agam Dubey,

    ASOM, Pune


    • Dilip says:

      Hi Agam,

      Good to see you dropping by again. I agree emotional intelligence build-up takes years of practice and involves change in attitudes. It is only then we start seeing things more clearly. The mind then gets conditioned to remain calm under every situation.

      Thank you for you comments.


  2. Geetha says:

    This is interesting:


    Mindful Leadership: When East Meets West
    How Eastern teaching can inform Western thinking about leadership and vice versa?
    by Sean Silverthorne | Sep 24, 2010


    Thanks and regards,


    Read more: http://www.business.in.com/article/harvard/mindful-leaderhip-when-east-meets-west/17542/1#ixzz10QdBOMeF


  3. Dilip says:


    Good to see you here. Remember it was your question in class that inspired this post and brought forth valuable discussions from our learned viewers.

    Thanks and wish you all the best!


  4. akash says:

    Respected Sir,
    Good Morning ………..

    Happy Ganpati Festival …………

    It was great pleasure to be your students ………….

    hope your blessings will be with us all the time…………..

    Best Regards,


  5. Y.Dattatreya says:

    Thank you Dilip for asking me to further the subject here.

    I train Corporate Leaders in Emotional Intelligence.

    First and foremost question before anyone begins learning EI is to ask….what is that one wants in life?

    Obvious answers are – Peace, happiness (joy – at a different degree, Bliss at the top of the family), satisfaction, Passion and Purpose.

    Thousands of Techniques tells one “How Tos” which are easily forgotten or given up soon because “WHYs” are not clear.

    That big gap is filled by EI which tells us “WHAT” and “WHY” and allows one to choose the techniques of their choice.

    Three of the areas deal with Self – requiring to examine, clarify, regulate where necessary and enegise oneself. Two of the areas concern us in relation to Others – understanding and dealing with others.

    The individual beliefs and values often are not consciously developed or lived. They are coloured by the family, Corporate and National cultures which we often are not aware of. Some of the inappropratelydefined values and limiting beliefs that these contexts introduce toxicity in the climates we live in and create misery for us.

    Purpose of practicing EI is to detoxify ourselves and become natural selves – full of joy, authenticity, free and living healthy relationships.

    Begin the journey…..you may find many like me at each milestone to tell you something that may add meaning and passion to your lives.



    • Dilip says:

      Hi Dattatreya,

      It is gracious of you to visit and participate in our EI discussion. I really appreciate the statement –
      “Purpose of practicing EI is to detoxify ourselves and become natural selves – full of joy, authenticity, free and living healthy relationships”.

      I have observed that organizational EI initiatives do not attempt to reach deeper levels of individuals where ‘detoxification’ can happen. The programs at best do make people aware of the potential of EI which also is good first-step. A few do get seriously interested and start finding their own ways to develop their inner-selves. And people like you will surely help guide them further in the right direction.

      Thank you sir for your valuable contribution. Best regards.


  6. Sriram says:

    dear sir,

    one striking quality of the humming bird – its a perfect example of ‘action’ in
    ‘inaction’ and ‘inaction’ in ‘action’ – Sri Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita talks about this as one of the lakshanas (hallmarks) of a Karma Yogi – in chapter 4.

    The humming bird does not ‘move’ (inaction) when it is drawing nectar from the flowers (action) though it is flapping its wings very quickly (action) creating the humming sound though it is stationary (inaction).

    This important concept is important for us to understand the heart of EI as well.

    For me EI refers to that quality of an individual who is able to be steady in thought word and deed even in an emotional upheaval so that he is able to ‘see’ things as ‘they’ are and take the ‘right’ action in the given circumstance.

    So if we are to act ‘rightly’ (action) then we must be ‘inactive’ – not allow us to get carried away by the ‘heat of the moment’. Thus action rooted in inaction is what EI helps us to achieve.

    The best example of this would be the concept of ‘flow’ as described by the great psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. Flow is when we are at our best in terms of action, but we are so lost to the moment or lost in the moment that internally we are inactive (or hyperactive like the humming bird’s wings)!!

    Extending the humming bird analogy – just as the flapping wings do not ‘move’ the bird and instead help it to ‘draw’ nectar (most productive moment-flow); so also the zillion thought-wings of ours must be ‘frozen’ for us to achieve ‘flow’. But the poor humming bird gets to do it as instinct only when there is the urge to feed itself… But we humans can ‘get ourselves’ to be in a flow without an ‘external’ driver or ‘instinct’.

    Thats what it means to have a high EQ. to be able to switch on / switch off as required by the moment at the moment so as to maximise the moment!!

    How does one go about developing this?

    Awareness – being aware of our emotions & always taking a ‘witness’ perspective of actions

    Living in the present – being focused on the NOW rather than the future or past – the future sets us off on an expectation-agitation path and the past sets off on a regret-agitation path – both lead to emotional turbulence leading to ‘active’ action – recipe for disaster. focus on the here and now – as Swami Chinmayananda always used to say – ‘are you where your hands are?’ – helps us to be ‘inactive’ and active – helping us to ‘act’.

    As in 3 idiots – hum ko kal ki phikr sataati, woh to aaj ka jashan manaata, har pal khulke masti mein jeeta tha woh!

    Goleman’s ‘discovery’ of EI is another example of the West saluting Eastern wisdom, but without acknowledging the source!! However it does help in understanding Eternal truth and creates a wider audience for further exploration and Discovery.

    The Entire Gita is a journey of Arjuna – moving from being emotionally ‘dumb’ to becoming emotionally ‘intelligent’ from being a person overwhelmed by the situation to a person who is looking to do his best in the situation.

    The Gita uses a nice word for the emotionally dumb – person who is in Moha or ‘delusion’ – only delusion makes us see what is not and confuses us, befuddles us into a make believe world of our own which comes crashing later when ‘Truth’ or ‘Wisdom’ dawns. However by then the situation gets so vitiated that there is but little we can do to undo the damage.

    It took 18 chapters & some 700 verses to kill Arjuna’s delusion & the Lord himself as Mentor / Coach … so obviously its a tough ask – this transformation process ….

    So let’s begin….




  7. Dilip says:

    Dear Geetha,

    Rich rich and rich is what your comments made me feel. I have read your comprehensive narration of EI with interest. And it so happens that EI is close to my heart too. Daniel Goleman deserves singular honor for introducing this powerful medium to the corporate fraternity. But in our part of the world the philosophy underlying EI is far far more deep rooted.

    It’s good that there is increasing awareness of raising EI collectively in organizations. Yet I firmly believe that it is very much a personal thing. And there is positive evidence that now the younger generation is getting more and more interested in the development of their inner-self.

    Thanks & regards!


  8. Geetha says:

    Dear Sir,

    EI is a subject which is very close to my heart and thanks a zillion for this wonderful post!

    I have read somewhere that Emotional Intelligence has four basic elements:

    1. The ability to identify one’s feelings and behaviors (self-awareness).
    2. The ability to manage one’s internal state (self-control)
    3. The ability to recognize and understand others’ emotional states (empathy)
    4. The ability to manage skillfully one’s relationships with others (rapport).

    I guess this is where Howard Gardner’s Intrapersonal and Interpersonal intelligences also come into play?

    And I think this very powerful quote by Sun Tzu in ‘The Art of War’ says it all:

    “Knowing others and knowing oneself, in one hundred battles no danger. Not knowing the other and knowing oneself, one victory for one loss. Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself, in every battle certain defeat.”

    And when it comes to EI, this is also interesting: (about ‘A Whole New Mind’ by Daniel H. Pink)

    Click to access A%20Whole%20New%20Mind.pdf

    “…we are entering a new age. It is an age animated by a different form of thinking and a new approach to life — one that prizes “high concept” and “high touch” aptitudes. High concept involves the capacity to detect patterns and opportunities, to create artistic and emotional
    beauty, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new. High touch involves the ability to empathize with others, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning.

    Two Hemispheres

    There’s something that encapsulates the change — and it’s right inside your head. Our brains are divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is sequential, logical and analytical. The right hemisphere is nonlinear, intuitive and holistic. We enlist both halves of our brains for even the simplest tasks. But the well-established differences between the two hemispheres of the brain yield a powerful metaphor for interpreting our present and guiding our future. Today, the defining skills of the previous era — the “left brain” capabilities that powered the Information Age — are necessary
    but no longer sufficient. And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous — the “right brain” qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness and meaning — increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders. For individuals, families and organizations, professional success
    and personal fulfillment now require a whole new mind. ”

    And here are a few of my favourite quotes on EI:

    “Companies can continue to give top priority to financial performance — but many now also realize that technical and intellectual skills are only part of the equation for success. A growing number of organizations are now convinced that people’s ability to understand and to manage their emotions improves their performance, their collaboration with colleagues, and their interaction with customers. After decades of businesses seeing “hard stuff” and “soft stuff” as separate domains, emotional competence may now be a way to close that breach and to produce a unified view of workplace performance.” –FastCompany

    When one considers EI [emotional intelligence] in light of these domains, it becomes obvious that the field represents a set of comprehensive, interpersonal abilities rather than hardwired native skills; as such, it can be learned. EI [emotional intelligence] could well be called “affective effectiveness.” The affective domain consists of mind, will, and emotions (“heart knowledge”); it contrasts with linguistic, logical, mathematical, and spatial intelligences- the cognitive domain of “head” knowledge. –Lt Gen Bradley Hosmer

    Thanks and regards,



  9. Aditya says:

    It was great pleasure to be your students sir.

    we enjoyed all sessions you had with for SM & SHRM.

    Will definately gona miss you sir……..

    hope your blessings will be with us all the time


    • Dilip says:

      Hey there Aditya,

      Thanks for your kind words. You have plenty of potential. Wish you all the best for your exams and for your future too!