Entrepreneurship requires several factors to ensure growth and success. If you carry out a survey, asking people what makes a successful entrepreneur, there will be different answers. While many of the answers, though different may be correct, there is no doubt some will be general, such as perseverance, adaptation, courage, strong-willed, among many others.
Above all these important traits, there exist yet another that has proven to be effective, powerful, and necessary—emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is starting to make waves in recent times. True, emotional intelligence sounds quite a big term, some even call it vague, however, that is not so.
Emotional intelligence is simply the ability to recognize one’s emotions and manage them. In fact, it transcends one’s feelings to include discerning that of others and knowing practical ways to help such individuals.
Before we delve into how emotional intelligence helps in entrepreneurship, it’s imperative to further breakdown this incredible trait. Let’s look at the four characteristics of emotionally intelligent people.
Emotionally intelligent people know precisely how they feel at every point in time. While most people will categorize their emotions under “good, fine, not fine, bad”, they always have an exact word to describe how they are feeling. They know when they are, happy, overwhelmed, anxious, scared, and many more.
They are empathetic, and such, can discern people’s feelings, and put themselves in their situations. Naturally, they are concerned about the people around them.
They also adapt quickly to changing situations. They are flexible and never afraid of changing circumstances around them.
Being decisive means they know when to say yes, or no. They know their limitations, and won’t be pressured into making decisions.
Seeing the identifying traits of emotionally intelligent people, you no doubt would agree that these are important and useful in entrepreneurship. Now let’s examine areas where emotional intelligence can help entrepreneurs.
How Emotional Intelligence Benefits Entrepreneurs
Over time, from research and experience, emotional intelligence is proving more valuable than smartness( high IQ). Of course, this is not to say smartness and brilliance are not needed. Rather, emotional intelligence is much needed when running a business. Being smart on paper doesn’t guarantee business success, rather some other skills are much needed to run a business. For example;
- The entrepreneur should be able to empathize with colleagues and clients.
- The entrepreneur should be able to separate and control their emotions.
The ability to do the above is associated with being emotionally intelligent.
Additionally, emotional intelligence can help an entrepreneur improve the quality of products and services. It will assist in decerning what exactly needs to be improved to better suit the need of consumers. More to that, keeping in mind the importance of unity and understanding among co-workers, emotional intelligence helps to cultivate good relationships among workers.
Moreso, when an entrepreneur remembers that in some rare situations, the need to deal with some clients will require extra effort—such as when a client gets overly angry and speaks harshly. In this regard, an entrepreneur will know how best to react and settle the problem without speaking rudely in return but work hard to keep such an individual.
Three advantages of emotional intelligence for entrepreneurs
Now, let’s look at three ways to become better and successful entrepreneurs through emotional intelligence.
Comprehending the emotions of colleagues and clients
Its common knowledge that comprehending the emotions of your clients can aid in providing a better product or service. However, this goes beyond that. It’s also applicable when interacting with clients and co-workers. In some situations, some clients can be frustrating. Even when they are clearly in the wrong, being emotionally intelligent helps you see things from their perspective—step in their shoes, and discern why they might have made a late payment, spoken harshly, or any other situation. Remember that there is always a reason for every action. So, try to discern the reason for their action. This will improve the quality of your interaction and prevent problems.
In terms of interaction which colleagues, emotional intelligence is also necessary. Let’s face it, many things can be annoying at the workplace. Sometimes it may be little things like someone messing up the kitchen or restroom. A repeated occurrence can spark disagreement. Instead of lashing out, and emotionally intelligent individual will look for subtle and respectful means to suggest ways to improve—thereby achieving two things—correcting the act, and avoiding a potential dispute.
Keep Emotions In Check
Ever heard of someone who was annoyed on the way to work, and on getting to work starts to take the anger out on co-workers? Or perhaps someone who speaks abusively or curses when angry? All of these are not suitable in a business setting—when interacting with co-workers and clients. An emotionally intelligent person will keep emotions under control, not that such ones do not get angry at all, but they do not vent their anger on others around them.
In some cases where an entrepreneur suffers disappointments, although such an individual( an emotionally intelligent one) will feel down, such one will channel that feeling—use it as a motivation to get back on track.
Manage A Business Better
Leadership skills are important in managing a business better. Since managing a business includes being a leader(leading people at your workplace or department), emotional intelligence is very much essential. It helps you to lead without people around knowing it because it won’t be a tyrannical type. Rather it will feel more like ” working with” and less of ” working for”. You’ll deal with people with empathy and not instilling fear.
Learn To Be Emotionally Intelligent
Emotional intelligence comes naturally to some people, while some have to learn it. If you have to learn it, don’t feel overwhelmed. Take it a step at a time. You can begin with trying to identify your feelings at each moment—don’t just describe it as “good, fine or not fine”. Learn to be descriptive and name precisely the emotion you feel. For further knowledge, follow the helpful tips here.