Developing Emotional Intelligence Through Volunteering: A Path to Stronger LeadershipGuru Prasad | March 25, 2023
In today's fast-paced world, the difficulties in making the ends meet in day to day life often makes us forget about the struggles and hardship of others. We often hear about the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ), but how do we actually develop these qualities? Like the saying goes; “Easier said than done”, we want to make a difference but how do we do it?
One powerful way to increase EQ is through volunteering!
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth” as rightly quoted by Muhammed Ali can be remembered here!
Volunteering can take many forms, from working at a soup kitchen to teaching children the basics of ABCD…. The act of volunteering in itself is as important as the intention behind it. When we volunteer, we are actively choosing to give our time and energy to help others, without expecting anything in return. This act of selfless giving represents one’s true wealth. Volunteering can help us develop greater empathy and understanding of others.
In addition to developing empathy, volunteering can also help us develop other important aspects of EQ, such as self-awareness, social skills, and the ability to manage our emotions. By putting ourselves in situations where we are working closely with others, we can become more aware of our own strengths and weaknesses, as well as our emotions and how they affect others. This can lead to greater self-awareness and a better understanding of our own behavior and how it impacts those around us.
Perhaps most importantly, volunteering can help us develop the ability to manage our emotions, a crucial skill in leadership. Emotionally intelligent leaders are better equipped to manage themselves and others, build strong relationships, and achieve goals. When we work with people who are experiencing difficult situations, we may be exposed to their emotions, which can be overwhelming at times. By learning to manage our own emotions and respond to others with empathy and understanding, we can become more emotionally intelligent and better equipped to handle challenging situations.
So how can we increase EQ through volunteering? The key is to approach volunteering with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Here are some tips:
- Choose a cause that resonates with you: Passion drives us all. Make sure to choose something that you are passionate about. Choose a cause that is meaningful to you and aligns with your values.
- Start small: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Volunteering can be overwhelming at first, especially if you're not used to working with people in difficult situations. Start small! Volunteer for a few hours a week, and then gradually increase your time commitment as you become more comfortable.
- Listen and observe: When working with others, it's important to listen and observe without judgment. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their perspective.
- Reflect on your experiences: After volunteering, take some time to reflect on your experiences. What did you learn about yourself and others? How did it impact your emotions? Reflecting on these experiences can help you develop greater self-awareness and empathy. Treasure these moments, learn from them. After all Life is the best teacher, we can learn from.
- Share your experiences with others: Sharing your experiences with others can help you process your emotions and gain new insights. It can also inspire others to get involved and make a difference.
To sum up, volunteering can be a powerful way to increase EQ and develop important life skills, particularly in the context of leadership. By approaching volunteering with an open mind and a willingness to learn, we can become more empathetic, self-aware, and emotionally intelligent. All in all, a better Human Being! Leaders who are emotionally intelligent are better equipped to manage themselves and others, build strong relationships, and achieve goals.
At Vardaan, we believe in the power of volunteering to drive positive social impact and personal growth. We encourage our clients to get involved in volunteering initiatives as part of their CSR programs, and we offer guidance and support to help them make the most of these opportunities.
Together, we can make a difference in the world and in ourselves. Together, lets make this world a happy, peaceful and a better place to live in. Before concluding, would like to leave you guys something to ponder upon:
When would you be the happiest? When you get more?
or when you know you have the ability to give more?