The Power of Emotional Intelligence
Rithika Punj, or Ritz as most people call her, is a female entrepreneur born and raised in the UK by Indian parents, but now living in Italy. She owns two English schools in Genoa and is a founding member of the Emotions Games project.
“I think when people hear the word emotions they instantly think of it as a weakness, as if showing emotions automatically makes you open to being taken advantage of. This is because we’ve never been taught about emotions, where they come from, and how they help us in our everyday life.
The EmotionsGames project aims to combat this and explore the real power of unlocking our emotions through games. Our emotional intelligence, if we train it well, can help us communicate with ourselves and the world around us much more effectively, which in turn leads to better negotiations at work or in our everyday life and healthier relationships
Unlocking the power of emotions. Ritz Punj and Emotions Games
The Makings of a female entrepreneur
Male or female, it takes a very special character to take on the challenge of leading your own business, let alone three, but Ritz seems very much in her element:
“I’m inquisitive and the type of person who soaks up all experiences that come my way. If it feels right and fits in with my values I jump in feet first. My endeavours keep me very busy and add to my personal and professional growth. My businesses give people life skills they can use to connect with others around the world and, no less important, do so in an authentic manner. I find both businesses very rewarding.”
Still, the challenges are many
“Many of the business situations I have been in have been male dominated. I’ve come across meetings where just because I’m female it’s assumed that I’m taking the notes. I’m in business with my husband and many times I’ve been called Mario’s wife rather than Ritz, a person and co-owner in my own right. Other times, questions have been aimed at him because, of course, as a man he has all the answers. Right now I have the pleasure of working in a network of franchisees with a high number of women owners. This is still rare in business and a welcomed change to the norm for me”.
Ritz describes her biggest challenge as visibility. “In general women are seen less and I’m a petite woman so I don’t really take up a lot of space at the table. Sometimes I feel that it makes it even harder to be noticed. I’m lucky to have two male business partners who recognise my credibility and skills, but it isn’t always easy.”
Balancing Empathy with assertiveness
“Something that personally helps me in these situations is empathy. Being able to feel what the other person is feeling can really help. I have an assertive nature and I am determined, and these two characteristics hold me in good stead. It means I know what I want and I’m aware of what I can be flexible about. Another thing I think helps me when trying to get a point across, not only in my teaching but also in business, is my ability to use visual tools which stems from my creative personality”.
For more on the importance of emotional intelligence, follow EmotionsGames on Facebook and Instagram. There are a number of live shows on Facebook where you can get a sneak peek at the EmotionsGames cards and various games you can play with friends and family or at work as team building exercises.
See you next post!
Founder of Negotiatress