Emotional Intelligence: What’s The Role In Indian B School Curriculum

There are five components of EI (Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Internal Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills) at work and they have great significance to any MBA graduate.

The curriculum of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program must enable the students to be ready for the corporate world and also lead them to new horizons of success. Aspects such as - working effectively in teams, building cooperative relationships with key stakeholders, effective influence, handling difficult conversations, creating energy and enthusiasm to foster meaningful change, are important aspects which are becoming extremely vital for a manager to be successful in the corporate world. Emotional Intelligence (EI) as a subject can adequately cover these aspects and prepare MBA students to deal with scenarios and also prepare them to mitigate corporate dilemmas effectively. 

Some Indian B Schools have included EI as an elective subject, and some others offer this subject as a value-added course in the curriculum. The MBA curriculum must consist of theoretical aspects from the theories of emotional intelligence like the Goleman’s EI performance model, Bar-On’s EI competencies model and Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso’s EI ability model and must also prepare the students to have a specific set of skills which can help in distinguishing themselves as a leader. A subject on EI for MBA students could be delivered using compelling stories that are illustrative of typical challenges faced by leaders of the corporate world. Alternatively, a case based approach could be taken where illustration and case discussion can are included, which can throw light on the different perspectives faced by corporate managers. 

Daniel Goleman, a science journalist, has authored a number of books on Emotional Quotient(EQ). According to Daniel Goleman, there are five components of EI at work, and they have great significance to any MBA graduate. The five elements are Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Internal Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills. 

Self-awareness – Self-awareness depends on one's ability to monitor one's emotional state and also the ability to identify and name one's emotion. The MBA curriculum can include experiential learning components to help build self- awareness among students. Also making the students prepare on specific topics and present the same to a class, helps in improving their self-confidence, which is an integral part of self-awareness. 

Self-regulation - Self-regulation is the ability to build trustworthiness and integrity. It is also the comfort that one has in dealing with ambiguity. Being open to change and having an attitude to accept change is also self-regulation. Educating MBA students to be open to change and training them to adapt themselves to change is essential. MBA curriculum must provide the opportunity to build trustworthiness and integrity. This can be done by giving them the responsibility to design and execute the college fest on campus and have proper accountability for the same. 

Internal motivation - Internal motivation is having a strong drive to achieve, having optimism even in the face of failure, and also having significant organizational commitment. This can be imparted in the MBA curriculum both in theory and practise. The MBA curriculum must have the provision for lectures series which help in imparting aspects related to self-motivation to the students. 

Empathy – Having the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and treating people according to their emotional reactions is ‘Empathy’. This is one of the most important aspects to be ingrained in MBA students. Building cross-cultural sensitivity by having foreign exchange programmes in the MBA curriculum can help in experientially building empathy. Making an MBA a residential programme can aid in building empathy, as it can help in developing a concern for other's emotions. 

Social skills – Social skills are about proficiency in managing relationships and building networks. It is also the ability of an individual to find common ground and build rapport. The MBA curriculum must provide opportunities for teamwork by having team projects and team presentations. Developing social skills is also an essential aspect of being successful in the corporate world. 

To conclude, an MBA curriculum can be designed to incorporate EI skills in the students and if done, it can add immense value to the students.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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