Have you ever wondered why some very smart people don’t do so well in business? And how other people with moderate intelligence succeed beyond their wildest dreams? A lot of success has nothing to do with standard intelligence but rather with what’s called Emotional Intelligence (EI). Emotional intelligence, according to Merriam Webster, “describes the ability, capacity, skill or, in the case of the trait, to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups.”
Or put in layman’s terms, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and work with your own emotions and the emotions of others. It’s intuition, compassion, empathy and the ability to analyze these emotions successfully that can make or break a small business owner’s success.
For example, negotiation often takes the ability to listen, to understand where a person is coming from, to put yourself in their shoes so to speak, and then to come up with a creative solution that results in a win/win for both parties. This can’t be accomplished with book knowledge alone – it requires emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence also helps you understand, anticipate and navigate the expectations of those around you. This is helpful when dealing with customers, prospects, vendors, business associates and even employees and contractors. If you can help the people around you feel appreciated by anticipating their expectations and managing them before they’ve even realized, then you’re way ahead of the game.
For example, if you’re able to discern that your particular target audience has a longing to belong and expects or hopes that your business may help them feel that way, then you can create strategies to cater to this like starting a membership site.
Emotional intelligence helps you:
* Deal with conflicts and problem solving
* Offer better customer service
* Hire the best people for the job
* Trust your business instincts and intuition
* Listen to others, understand them, and make them feel appreciated
* Control your reactions to challenges, and stay positive when mistakes happen
* Market to your customer because you’re better able to empathize with them
* Write better, more emotionally driven, content
* Connect with potential partners and build business relationships
Can you increase your emotional intelligence?
Many people think that your intelligence level, whether it’s standard IQ or emotional intelligence, is something you’re born with and that cannot be improved. Hogwash! Improving your emotional intelligence simply takes a desire to do so. Start paying attention to how people behave, how you behave and react and try to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Learning to empathize is perhaps the best way to begin to boost your own emotional intelligence, and it makes a huge difference in how you do business.