Emotions drive people, and people drive performance. What this means is that the actions you are taking (or not taking) are primarily based on your emotions. This is where emotional intelligence (EI) comes into play.
However, having emotional intelligence is not about throwing logic out of the window. Instead, true emotional intelligence is a combination of rational thinking and the wisdom of emotions.
I bet you have read articles and books about emotional intelligence and how important it is in leadership and education. But can an entrepreneur or a small business owner benefit by developing emotional intelligence? You bet ya!!
Here’s a look at four ways emotional intelligence can create tremendous value for an entrepreneur and their small business.
Self Awareness – Know yourself.
Self-awareness, knowing who you are, is much more than recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. Those are important, but if we focus only on them, you are missing so much in between. As a great man (Dr. Phil, a TV personality, author and psychologist) once said “What you don’t acknowledge, you cannot change”.
The reason we want to pay attention to self-awareness and why it is a corner stone of emotional intelligence is that our emotions drive our behavior. So, if you want to act in a different way, pay attention to what you are feeling—without judgement.
Self-Management – Guide yourself.
If you are ever going to be successful in business, as an entrepreneur, self-management is the way to go. Here is what I mean… Let’s say you launched a product or service, but not many people have signed up or are even aware of its existence. Do you consider this experience a failure, or do you see it as an opportunity to adjust, change and grow?
Many people in this situation internalize this experience and label themselves as a failure. As a result, they give up on their dream of being an entrepreneur. Even when people criticize you and dislike what you have created, do you judge yourself based on their comments or do you keep them in consideration and still keep going? How you manage this situation is based on your ability to manage yourself on an emotional level.
Social Awareness – Make the connection.
As an entrepreneur, I bet you have attended more than your fair share of networking events. Social awareness will help you build a new relationship, whether that relationship is with a potential client or a business partner. Here is an example: Have you ever attended an event and the person in front of you is only talking about themselves and their business while shoving their business card into your hand?
As this person leaves he runs to someone else and repeats his “proven networking process”, and you are left with an icky feeling from the encounter. What he lacks is social awareness.
If he would take a step back, he would see the empty glaze in your eyes (and that of most people he is interacting with at this event).
This is a big mistake that most people make when attending networking events. The focus should always be to build relationships, not sell your business.
Relationship Management – Build the relationship.
You have probably heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Your ability to build trust with influencers and potential business partners will either make you struggle in your business longer than necessary or it can propel you forward at super speed.
It is not about focusing on what you can get from these amazing people, but more about what you can give to them. All of the other emotional intelligence abilities come together in building powerful relationships and your awareness will help you connect and discover how you can make a difference in their lives—in a way that only you know how.
There are way too many more practical benefits of emotional intelligence that any entrepreneur can use in their business, but these are four good places to start.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Nina Andrijanic helps purpose driven coaches break free from their emotional barriers and blockages so that they can get more clients, be financially fulfilled and make an impact in the world. She is very passionate about helping people having an empowered relationship with their emotions so that they are not consumed and paralyzed by them (yes that is possible), by achieving this her clients are then able to hit their big income goals and live out the life they dream of. To learn even more how emotional intelligence can help you take your business to the next level, check out this free guide. Connect with @eqnina on Twitter.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.