Emotional Intelligence in Bureaucrats – UPSC Ethics

With examples, examine the importance of emotional intelligence for a bureaucrat. (200 Words)

Emotional Intelligence is capacity of understanding our feelings/emotions as well as of others’ and use them to better manage our relations.
Unlike past when public administration was impersonal and dehumanizing, role of behavior and nature of a bureaucrat has gained enormous importance. Role of emotional intelligence in present situation has varied importance both in intrapersonal as well as interpersonal realms.
  1. Self-awareness– Bureaucrats need to know emotions, moods and drives of their peers and persons at whom public policy is targeted for better acquaintance with the nature of problems in society and their possible solutions.
  2. Self-regulation– An aware bureaucrat can guide his emotions and perform accordingly for betterment of society.
  3. Motivation– knowledge about his emotion, passion and sentiment as well as that of his peers can help motivate them and persist in adverse situations. This will also maximize organizational benefits together with timely achievement of targets.
  4. Empathy– understanding of others’ problems helps in their quick and effective resolution.
  5. Social skills- proper management of societal relations also helps in lessening work-family conflict, enhances physical and mental health and provides job satisfaction.
Governance in modern times is becoming increasing complex with affective components of behavior having a major role to play. Intelligence quotient alone can’t solve majority of problems an administrator faces, use of emotional intelligence is a must for better public service delivery as well as Redressal.


Max Weber lauded “impersonality” and “dehumanization” as the special virtues of bureaucracy. But, this has resulted in bureaucracy becoming byword for red tape, lack of initiative and innovation and poor public service delivery. Suggest how improved emotional intelligence can help fight these deficiencies? (150 Words)
Impersonalization and Dehumanization are the key principles of Weber’s bureaucracy. Authorities must not involve in making personal decisions, or bringing personal interests in between professional aspects. According to Weber, everything must be according to the Rule of Law and from which authorities should draw their power.
But today the term ‘bureaucracy’ has become known for derogatory all across the word due to the practices of nepotism, favouritism, Red-Tapism etc. It is the concentration of power and its arbitrary use, lack of accountability, responsibility, failure of strict law enforcement which are creating problems in Bureaucracy.
Dehumanization is lack of human values in dealing with the problems of society. It is compassion, empathy, ethics that are required for authorities to understand the problems of the poor and deprived. Mere implementation of laws without human factor is like a body without soul. Creating a sense of belonging among the downtrodden is required. Weber itself admitted that human factor is missing in the most ideal type of legal-rational bureaucracy which he has proposed.
It is for the Bureaucratic authorities to shed the existing notion and work towards people friendly relations and seeing laws and regulations through the human prism that can do greater benefit to the social structure.
What is impersonality? What is dehumanization? Their negative impacts.
Emotional intelligence –> value system serves as a filter while taking decisions. Helps in making “Right” decision. Ex.



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