The Power of Emotional Intelligence in Business

Any business, much less any entrepreneur, needs emotional intelligence to survive today’s incredibly competitive and complex business environment. Emotional Intelligence defines itself as the ability to manage one’s own emotions, while at the same time managing the emotions of other people.

Reality reveals that everyone is prone to feeling complex and often confusing emotions, and how we deal with those is critical to the success of our business. Emotional Intelligence, referred to as “EQ”, is a crucial skill that many industry leaders look for today. Someone with high emotional intelligence is able to control their emotions while maintaining their own problem solving and critical thinking skills.

A more in-depth look at this phenomenon brings us to the ideas of Self-Awareness and Self-Management. Self-Awareness involves being aware of your own feelings and being able to identify how your emotions can (and often are) affecting coworkers and the people in your charge.  Often strong emotions can cloud our decision-making process, and the decisions we make in this state can affect everything that happens next, and sometimes can set a bad precedent. Emotionally Intelligent people identify these problems, and use Self-Management to be able to control them and react in ways that do not set the business back. For example, a high EQ individual, when faced with a serious setback, will look for ways to bounce back, even though they may be emotionally distraught and frustrated, rather than act get flustered in their anger and make a poor decision.

An important not to make about this is that Emotional Intelligence does not involve suppressing emotions, in fact it mostly means the opposite. For any high EQ individual, it is crucial to have a variety of emotions, and to be able to identify those emotions but not let them cloud your judgment. However, do not be afraid to show emotion and to allow your most human qualities to be put on display. Emotionally intelligent leaders always show and express their feelings, and this is most important when interacting with coworkers.

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of emotional intelligence involves social awareness and relationship building. Any business conversation, no matter how casual, is important to business development, and as such each should be approached with emotional intelligence. Being honest with people and displaying your own emotions while understanding and empathizing with the emotions of others is a powerful tool in creating and maintaining relationships. This kind of communication can come in handy in even the most basic of conversations, for example, admitting you do not know the answer to something is, in itself, a display of emotional intelligence. Rather than speculating, gossiping, or guessing, just admitting you were either wrong or that you do not know is a step in the correct direction.

In terms of saving or making money, emotional intelligence has demonstrable effects on business. For example, a study by Initiative One Leadership confirmed that employees are 400% less likely to leave a job if they have a manager with high EQ. Moreover, EQ has been shown to help retain more than employees but also clients and customers. Obtaining new clients and hiring new employees can be costly, so emotional intelligence is also incredibly helpful in saving money.

In the competitive small business world, companies with high EQ stand out among the rest as they are pinnacles of achievement. This is no accident as emotional intelligence is useful in advancing your own business practices. Moreover, the more companies and businesses that adapt to this model, the more revenue each makes, thus increasing profits for everyone.