General Studies Paper 4 (Ethics): Emotional Intelligence

emotional intelligence

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Syllabus: General Studies Paper 4 (Ethics)


Case Study: Emotional Intelligence

Mukul was a hard working policeman. He had a beautiful wife.

Mukul’s boss, Sub-Inspector Sandeep was an arrogant and flirtatious officer. He had an eye on Mukul’s wife. Unlike other superior officers, Sandeep often invited Mukul to visit his home with his wife for dinner and to other get together parties. Mukul had noticed that Sandeep was trying to get closer to his wife by making jokes and giving unsolicited advises.

Sandeep always denied Mukul any holidays. Sandeep wanted Mukul and his wife to stay at the quarters all the time. Once Mukul wanted leaves for his only sister’s wedding in his native place. But as expected Sandeep kept refusing him any leave. Upon repeated requests by Mukul, Sandeep said that he would grant him leave provided he went alone to the marriage leaving behind his wife in the quarters.

Mukul, agitated, took his loaded rifle and shot the inspector dead. He then surrendered to the police.

What various possible behaviours can you think of, had the above characters possessed high Emotional Intelligence? (10 Marks)



Emotional intelligence is must for police officers to work in a stressful and provocative environment. Police Officers in India are overworked and they work under a very stressful environment, in such conditions an officer enjoys high discretion on his junior while sometimes himself being bullied by his senior. Therefore they whole system suffers from callous attitude. There should be provision for counselling of stressed and disturbed policemen.


Sandeep’s Low Emotional Intelligence:

Sandeep clearly lacked in self-assessment and self-control. He could not correctly assess the impacts of his emotions on his behaviour and his relationship with his subordinates. He failed to develop the trustworthiness among his subordinates. Poor self-control has created his image of a flirtiest officer in mind of his subordinates. Even in case, he wanted Mukul to stay back for some genuine reasons, he failed to recognize the Mukul feelings & situation due to the cancellation of leaves. His insensitive remark further incited Mukul to take such an unfortunate step.

If Sandeep had possessed high Emotional Intelligence

  • Sandeep should have understood basic humanity and empathy entwined with leadership. He being leader should have undertaken all the steps to set good examples behaviour and character and create conducive environment for his team to function rather than behaving inappropriately himself.
  • Sandeep should have strived to maintain professionalism in his conduct and displayed concern and empathy for his juniors.
  • He would not have interfered in Mukul’s personal life and maintain the dignity of the post he holds.
  • Even If he felt very strongly about Mukul’s wife, it could have faded down had he managed his infatuation well. At the minimum he should have avoided inviting Mukul’s for lunch/dinner. He should have discussed with his own wife creating a virtual self imposed monitor. He could have distracted himself, what better than granting the requested leaves.
  • He would have been more sensible in rejecting Mukul leave application and avoided insensitive remarks that hurt his self-esteem.
  • He should immediately grant the leave asked by Mukul instead of harassing him.
  • In some cases meditation helps to control our mind. Police department keeps doing life skill training, he could have attended them.


Mukul’s Low Emotional Intelligence:

This conflict could have been resolved in a much simpler manner provided Mukul would have been acted with emotional intelligence and the disastrous result could be avoided. Mukul lacked in self-control. While it was natural for him to get angry on being verbally abused by the Sandeep, he definitely had better options to react to such abuses. If he had high self-control under higher Emotional intelligence, he would have not let his anger built up to that level that he had to kill Sandeep on provocation.

If Mukul had possessed High Emotional Intelligence:

  • It appears that Mukesh also lacked in self-confidence, despite noticing Sandeep’s advances towards his wife, he did not take any proactive measures to avoid this
  • He should have discussed his concerns with his wife and together reached out on a consensus to avoid all social contacts with Sandeep, outside office. For example if the couple laughs at Sandeep’s joke he may feel more into Mukul’s wife, on the other hand, absolute & visible avoidance discourages such obsession.
  • Mukul or/and his wife should have informed the situation to Sandeep’s wife.
  • Mukul should have shown presence of mind and should have sent his wife to his native in advance to help the family in preparations.
  • Mukul should have directly talked to Sandeep and forwarded his concerns strongly. Many times its misunderstanding and an objective conversation can help a person to understand that he is crossing the limit.
  • Mukul should demand a written reason for rejecting his leave and then forward the same to higher authorities, and request them to grant him leave.
  • Mukul should have escalated the issue pertaining to the leaves to higher authorities.
  • He shouldn’t have delayed to complain as there was a perceived threat to his wife and prevention is better than cure. 
  • Mukul should have taken a pragmatic attitude to solve his problem instead of letting his problems escalate day by day.
  • Even at the provocating statement he should have kept calm and complained to disciplinary department/Senior. Such behaviour is never tolerated and there were all chances that the problem could have been solved once in for all by the disciplinary bodies.


Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in an effective and positive way. A high EQ helps individuals to communicate better, reduce their anxiety and stress, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathize with others, and effectively overcome life’s challenges. Many of us move through life making important decisions based on our current circumstances. We may perceive them as being beyond our ability to change, thus limiting our options and solutions. Taking time to reflect and examining why we decide to do what we do enables us to lead lives determined by our conscious intentions rather than circumstances alone.

Developing EQ can greatly influence our success. Our personal situations and intelligence are factors , however, EQ can profoundly affect our choices by creating options we may not have otherwise imagined or considered to be possible.


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