Emotional intelligence was introduced to the world of business when it became apparent that entrepreneurs with an average IQ outperform those with a high IQ. Emotional intelligence really flipped the script on business people who relied heavily on their degrees to land them the success they dreamt of. Not to say you can’t be book smart, but to get where you want to be– it turns out, being able to read a room is more likely to get you there.
At the heart of every business is the need for longevity. A vision and brand message that is evergreen, reaching masses far and wide for a long period of time. This can only be achieved by exercising the right amount of emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is an Asset
Applying your emotional intelligence in the world of business looks something like
- recognizing how you feel and how you make others feel
- reflecting on how different people, places, and situations affect you
- making a conscious effort to control your reactions
- and learning how to express yourself effectively
As you can see, it’s a lot of work. Becoming emotionally intelligent doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process of separating yourself from your emotions. To feel something is not to be it. Distinguishing the feeling of anger between being mad makes all the difference. When you recognize you’re feelings, in this example anger, you’re able to place it appropriately to what caused it.
Walking out of a meeting that went south can leave you feeling frustrated. But, allowing that single emotion to sabotage your entire workday can come at the cost of losing leads, clients, and money. Not being emotionally intelligent is more expensive than you think! Recognize how you feel, reflect on why, choose to react effectively, and place your expression appropriately. This way, your feelings aren’t running your business, you are.
Effective Decision Making
A lot of businesses are fueled by passion. Therefore, there is plenty of emotion that goes into a lot of the decisions made. But, what happens when everything feels like too much, all of the time? Your natural instinct as an entrepreneur may be to keep truckin’, get through these meetings, cut this deal, then try to manage whatever is on your mind.
I challenge you to embrace the idea of a pause. How differently could things go if you took 10 minutes to yourself to just breathe? The empowerment that comes with honoring your emotions is exactly what will give you the strength to make it through the rest of the day. Skip “pushing through” important decisions and give yourself and your business the chance to make clear and intentional choices.
Capitalize on Negative Feedback
As entrepreneurs and business owners, criticism is always going to be a part of our lives and careers. Whether it’s in-laws judging you for working “too hard” or a colleague tearing down your recent re-branding launch, someone always has something to say that isn’t easy to hear.
In the midst of listening to someone use their opinions to break down what you’ve worked so hard to build up, recognize in this negative feedback:
- you don’t have to take it personally (he who angers you controls you!)
- there is something to be learned about the person or their advice
- accept that more than just this person will feel this way
- and address what you are or aren’t willing to change or improve
How far you let negative feedback impact your business is entirely up to you. If you’re not strong in your ideas, you may be quite reactionary. But, an emotionally intelligent business move is to capitalize on the negative feedback by addressing it head-on with the person providing such feedback or with yourself. Again, the exchange of energy should be between what caused the emotion and the emotion itself. Displaced feelings are what turn a situation into a mess.
Similar to personal relationships, meaningful business partnerships and networks can bring your biggest insecurities to the surface. Developing your EQ helps you put your best foot forward every time. There’s a lot on the line–your next big break, the deal of a lifetime, landing you dream gig…these milestones are monumental! To truly make the most of every business connection you want to be your best self.
Who are the people you look up to in your industry? What is it you admire about them most? If you catch yourself gawking at their time management, elegant speaking habits, money-making tools, and talent– rest assured, there is a level of EQ behind all of that success. Without it, our superheroes would crash and burn.
Sometimes we think we want it all. But, without using emotional intelligence to our advantage, it’d be impossible to manage. Live up to your aspirations by accepting that business responsibility will require emotional responsibility.
A budding entrepreneur, business owner, life coach, mom, superwoman–whoever you are and wherever you are in your journey, developing your emotional intelligence will only land you where you need to be.