Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a person’s capability to effectively recognize their emotions and the emotions of those around them. Also, people with a high EI can make a better distinction between different feelings, manage strong emotions, and use all sorts of emotional cues and other such information to adapt to the situation at hand to achieve their goals.
One ability that’s commonly associated with EI is empathy. A person can experience someone else’s emotions from their frame of reference and in doing so, put themselves in that person’s shoes. Anyway, numerous scientific studies indicate that people with a high EI have better mental health, perform better at their job, and exhibit better leadership skills than those without.
So, why is this important from an entrepreneurial perspective?
Useful Skills for Entrepreneurs
To better understand why emotional intelligence plays such an important role for leaders, let’s take a look at some of the usual traits that many successful leaders have in common.
- The key to any successful and long-lasting relationship is a high EI. From an entrepreneurial point of view, being able to interpret others’ emotions and placing them in the right context helps with hitting sales targets and with building effective teams, among other such benefits.
- Managing one’s emotions is also indicative of high emotional intelligence. When a person can handle their feelings and not let them become overwhelming, it helps with maintaining happy relationships and explore new opportunities for expansion or reaching long-term goals.
- EI also implies keen self-awareness. By having all gut feelings, values, strengths, and weaknesses well managed and understood, leaders will be better at making investments and not let themselves be fooled by various short-term deals that may compromise their mission in the future.
- Also, empathy plays a significant role in an effective decision-making process. By being able to understand others points of view from an emotional standpoint, entrepreneurs with good emotional intelligence can anticipate how their decisions will impact both the customers as well as the team members that are directly affected by the decision.
- Another point to consider here is self-confidence. People that possess a high EI and are in tune with their emotions and beliefs also have a higher sense of self-efficacy. It also allows them to develop the necessary social skills that make it that much easier to maintain a positive self-image, not second-guessing themselves as much, and to form stable relationships. All of these are essential skills for leaders and people in management positions.
These skills presented here are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what EI can have concerning entrepreneurship. One statistic says that “EI accounted for 67% of the abilities deemed necessary for superior performance in leaders, and mattered twice as much as technical expertise or IQ.”
Some people may feel discouraged by everything presented here, probably thinking that emotional intelligence is something that, you have it – or you don’t. Fortunately, however, this is not the case. People can work to develop their EI and become great leaders, in the process.