Emotional Intelligence and Empathy – UPSC Ethics

Examine the relationship between empathy and emotional intelligence. Explain with examples why a public servant should have both these qualities. (200 Words)

Empathy means imagining yourself in the situation of other to understands his state of mind. This results in longing to do something for other. Emotional Intelligence means understanding the emotions of other, differentiate between different emotion and manage self-emotion not to be carried away by emotions.
A public servants deals with people from all strata of society from poor to rich, exploiter to exploited, businessmen to beggars etc. Many times people are distressed and on not receiving service on demand accuse public servants of corruption, verbally abuse public servants etc. in such scenario a public servant instead of becoming angry should try to understand other’s emotion and not do anything out of anger and feeling of retribution. Emotion Intelligence helps in dealing with such scenario.
In many cases public servants has to take decision like demolition of hutments, providing compensation of losses etc. An administrator who can empathize with victim would do everything in his capability to provide relief but along with empathy EI is important so that administrator does not take steps which are against the rule to provide relief like giving benefit of schemes to non-eligible person. So, Empathy and EI both are equally important in balanced way.



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