5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Need Emotional Intelligence and How To Get It (even if you don't know what it is)

business communication emotional intelligence leadership Apr 18, 2023
Emotional Intelligence

As an entrepreneur, there is no feeling worse than receiving a negative email from an unhappy client.

Have you been there before? I sure have.

I remember years ago when I was still in personal training, getting an email from an unhappy client and feeling absolutely gutted by it. Reading it, I felt sick to my stomach, I felt clammy, lightheaded and nauseous. I wanted to delete the email and not deal with it at all.

[Before we go any further, if you'd prefer to listen to the podcast, you can grab it here.]

Recently, one of my clients, we’ll call her “Sarah” had a similar experience receiving a negative email from a client. Her client was frustrated from the lack of progress on a project that Sarah was working on with the client. Sarah also wanted to delete the email and run away from it. Thankfully, she reached out to me for support instead.

Together, we crafted an appropriate, and empathetic response to the clients complaint. Sarah took responsibility for not clearly communicating expectations to the client and offered to schedule a call with the client to discuss how they could get back on track.

The client responded positively and appreciated Sarah taking accountability and making steps to course correct. The two had a phone call and got back on track to completing the project with a positive outcome.

What we’re talking about here is Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional intelligence, or EI, is the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and respond to the emotions of others. It's a critical skill in all aspects of life, but it's especially important for entrepreneurs. Running a business can be challenging and stressful, and the ability to manage your emotions and navigate the emotions of others can make all the difference in your success. EI can help entrepreneurs build better relationships with clients, lead more effectively, make better decisions, and more.

Top 5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Need Emotional Intelligence:

  1.  Resilience: Starting and running a business can be stressful and challenging. EI can help you manage stress and bounce back from setbacks, which is essential for success.
  2.  Creativity: EI can enhance creativity by enabling you to tap into your emotions and use them as a source of inspiration and innovation.
  3.  Better customer service: Entrepreneurs with high EI are better able to understand and respond to the needs and emotions of their customers, which can lead to improved customer service and satisfaction.
  4.  Increased self-awareness: EI helps entrepreneurs to be more self-aware and understand their own emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. This can help you make better decisions and lead your business more effectively.
  5.  Better work-life balance: Entrepreneurs with high EI are better able to manage their emotions and maintain a healthy work-life balance, which is essential for long-term success and well-being.

Now, this is only 5 reasons, and certainly not an exhaustive list, but I’m sure it gives your an idea of how important Emotional Intelligence is to running your business effectively and efficiently.

How to improve your Emotional Intelligence to achieve greater success in your business:

  • Practice open communication: Communicate openly and honestly with your team, clients and business partners. Encourage them to do the same, and listen to their feedback. Manage client expectations with clear, communication.
  • Develop self-awareness: Be aware of your own emotions and biases, and how they might be affecting your decision-making. Remember, our emotions are not facts. Practice being objective in decision making by imagining yourself in the “birds eye view”, looking down on the situation. This helps to temporarily bypass emotions to view the situation objectively.
  • Use mindfulness techniques: Practice mindfulness meditation, self hypnosis or other techniques to improve focus and clarity when making important decisions. A great app to use for this is Aura. Here is a free 30 day guest pass to try it out: 
  • Practice emotional self-expression: Use your emotions as a source of inspiration and creativity by expressing them through art, writing, or other creative outlets. This is much healthier way to process our emotions instead of unleashing them in the next client email ;)
  • Set boundaries: Set clear boundaries between work and personal life to avoid burnout. When it’s time to work, work. When it’s time to rest, rest. When it’s time to play, play and do not mix them.

Sarah was able to save her relationship with her client (and a lot of money) through taking an EI approach to a difficult situation.

As for that email I received many years ago… I didn’t have the EI or a coach at the time to guide me through a healthy response. When I responded to the email, it based on my emotions and I burned that bridge… and then dropped it into the deepest part of the ocean… and then caused an underwater Earthquake to swallow it up. You get the picture. 

But when we know better, we do better. And now I help clients like Sarah to better too.

Emotional intelligence is a key skill for entrepreneurs to succeed in business. By understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, you can build stronger relationships, make better decisions, and create a positive work environment.

If you're an entrepreneur looking to improve your EI, consider taking courses, reading books, or working with a coach or mentor to develop this important skill.

The next Breakthrough To Success is a great place to learn to manage your emotions. You can learn more about that here: Breakthrough To Success

To Your Success,


PS: EI is going to be the #1 business skill in the near future. If you're not comfortable with it yet, it's time to get comfortable with it. 



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