09 Feb Covid and Emotional Intelligence for Workspace Environments
Currently, the whole world is busy fighting an extremely dangerous pandemic. Among the famous theories about how this pandemic started, there is this not-so-old but one-of-a-kind theory that on a regular fine day when a person in Wuhan craved some seafood so he did what any of us would do when craving for something. He went to the market, bought that animal he was craving for, cooked it, and ate it. Boom, he fulfilled his cravings. But little did he know what was coming after.
The animal he bought, cooked, and ate respectively was carrying a unique yet deadly virus in it and after that person ate that animal, it transferred to that person’s body. Yes, you got us right. We are talking about the very person who is presumed to have caused the outset of Covid-19. He was the person who ate that infected animal, known as pangolin, and is the only existing scaly mammal in the world, after buying it from a market in Wuhan, China, and the rest is history.
Even if there are tons of theories about the eruption of this pandemic, these are just theories yet, since no scientist is certain enough of what exactly caused the outburst of COVID. Scientists believe that this virus needs an intermediary animal in order to transfer to humans just like the outbreak of its predecessor, known as Sars 2002, which transferred from horseshoe bats to cat-like civets before it infected humans back then.
Among numerous other theories for the exact cause of the inception of the pandemic, this is one of the famous ones. Nonetheless, It doesn’t quite matter now what caused it. The main concern is to find its cure, for which the scientists are burning the midnight oil so we can get our lives back.
Ramifications of Covid-19
On personal lives:
As the deadliest virus known-so-far, Covid-19, started spreading, it affected almost every sphere of life for every single person existing on planet Earth. The economies of the world suffered, the politics encountered a very unlikely situation and people were clueless about how to tackle it. The personal lives of the people became miserable, and even technology had to work harder than ever to grapple with the unexpected situation.
The social lives of the people were badly affected due to the strict SOPs enforced by governments. Traveling opportunities were adjourned so people won’t gather around and become a potential carrier of the virus. Governments asked people to beat the retreat when it comes to having even small get-togethers or dinners. All of the ceremonies were halted and the ones who did not correspond were fined heavily or even punished.
This situation made people frustrated, sour, and discouraged. Due to being stuck at home for so long, people got hopeless and the only driving force for keeping spirits up and people going was nowhere to be found. All those New Year resolutions went down the drains. All those goals people wrote, in those journal books of them, at the start of 2020 started to fizzle out due to the complete lockdown in the whole world.
In such an apocalyptic time, companies had to stop working so the people could stay home in order to be safe. To address this situation, the tech world introduced a term called “Work from Home”. In this work mode, a person works remotely and the company doesn’t have to shut down. This mode helped people in keeping their jobs in the midst of the chaos when many of them lost their jobs.
Due to this pandemic, businesses got affected drastically. Many of the companies started downsizing or started cutting the salaries of their employees because of the economical crisis they’ve been facing. World economies got affected in the worst possible way and the unemployment rate increased. As per the estimates of the IMF, the global economy shrank by 4.4% in 2020 which is the worst decline since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Here is the graph showing the comparison of unemployment rate change of both 2019 and 2020.
The solution to all this chaos
Since the businesses went to remote mode, a crucial point was to create policies such that the employees won’t get too pressurized and businesses can also run smoothly. It was a win-win situation if we were going to imagine it happening. But, the main issue was, how to create such policies? What are the factors which were to be kept in mind while making any policy? How to know what is going in the minds of people in such a state of crisis?
There were so many questions but there was only one answer to all those questions, which was “Emotional Intelligence”.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence seems to be an entirely new term to many of us but Covid determined the importance of it in our lives, be it our personal life or workplace. But the question that arises now is what exactly emotional intelligence is?
Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to understand and manage their emotions in a positive manner so they can communicate better to build stronger relationships, show empathy when meeting and interacting with others, avoid conflicts in each sphere of life, and wipe the floor when faced with challenges in both personal and professional life. Emotional Intelligence is basically the combination of self-management, self-awareness, social awareness and, relationship management.
In times of crisis, emotions become more important than intelligence. Intelligence can get the work done but where there are humans, there are emotions. In such a case, a person with a better emotional quotient is the one who can step up and save the day.
How Emotional Intelligence helps manage the chaos in workplaces?
When it comes to creating policies for people in times of crisis, no one can be a better one for the job than an emotionally intelligent person. Let’s understand it by taking the example of a leader who has to face this situation as well as manage his staff.
Worst case scenario is that the leader starts panicking in this situation and starts shouting at his employees who are facing the same situation and might be panicking already. In such a case, it’ll become difficult or nearly impossible for the employee to survive the situation and they’ll give up which will affect both, the employee and the business.
The other case is a best-case scenario which is being emotionally intelligent that comes with few basic characteristics. In this case, the leader will be self-aware of how he is feeling and how his emotions and feelings can affect people around him and his employees. So, he will behave with humility and regulate himself. With self-regulation, he won’t make rushed or emotional decisions by compromising his values. Rather, he will choose to stay in control and self-motivated so he can keep moving towards his goals.
In order to understand the circumstances of his employees, being empathetic is the only choice he has. He will try to put himself in the place of his employees to help them in the time of crisis. And last but not the least, he will be open to any kind of news, be it bad or good. He’ll be there for the team and try to manage the change as well as resolve the issue diplomatically. With this little change in attitude, employees feel contentful and businesses flourish in even the worst situations.
An emotionally intelligent person is the one who is able to connect with their own feelings as well as the feelings of others, who can make decisions about what matters most to the public-at-large, who is empathetic enough to understand the needs of others, and who is able enough to develop and maintain better relationships as well as inspire others.
In times of crisis when the whole world is busy fighting with the chaos around them, employers must understand how emotions and actions can affect the people and environment around them. The more the companies will understand their employees, the happier the employees will be and they’ll work to their fullest which will create more business. Emotional Intelligence helps build a trust relationship between employee and the employer, resulting in the improved combined performance of the company.