Develop Your EI
Teri Holland: [00:00:00] There's a lot of talk right now about emotional intelligence, and today we're going to talk about what it is. We're going to talk about why you as an entrepreneur need to develop your emotional intelligence, and then I want to share with you five strategies to help you begin to develop your emotional intelligence.
All of this in this episode of Success in Mind, you are listening to success in Mind with Teri Holland, the show for high performing entrepreneurs, leaders, and change makers ready to take your life. And your business to the next level. If you're ready for whole life success, keep listening. As an entrepreneur, I don't think there's any worse feeling than getting negative feedback from an unhappy client.
Have you been there before? Because I sure have. I remember years ago, back when I was still in personal training, getting an email from an unhappy client and feeling absolutely gutted by it. [00:01:00] Reading that email, I felt sick to my stomach. I got clammy, lightheaded. I was nauseous. I wanted to just delete it and not deal with it.
I wanted to run away, put my head in the sand and not have to deal with it. Now, recently one of my clients, we're gonna call her Sarah. She had a similar experience receiving a negative email from a client. Her client was frustrated. There was a lack of progress on a project that Sarah was working on with the client, and she also wanted to delete the email, run away from it, bury her head in the sand and never look at it again.
I. But thankfully as her coach, she reached out to me instead. So together we crafted an appropriate response, an empathetic response to the client's complaint, and Sarah took responsibility for not clearly communicating expectations to the client. She offered to schedule a call with the client to discuss how they could get back on [00:02:00] track.
The client responded positively and really appreciated Sarah taking accountability and making steps to course correct. So the two of them had a phone call. They got back on track to completing the project with a very positive and successful outcome. So what we're talking about here is emotional intelligence.
Now, first of all, I think we should define what emotional intelligence is because a lot of people are talking about it now. But not a lot of people are defining it clearly, so let's define what it is. Emotional intelligence, ORI is the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions as well as recognizing and responding to the emotions of others.
It's a critical skill in all aspects of life, but a. Especially important for entrepreneurs. Running a business can be challenging and it can be stressful. And you need to learn how to manage your emotions to navigate the emotions of others, and this can make all the difference in the success of your business.[00:03:00]
Emotional intelligence can help entrepreneurs build better relationships with your clients to lead more effectively, to make better decisions and more. Now here are five reasons I'm gonna share with you five reasons why you need to develop your emotional intelligence, and then five ways why that you can do it.
So one is resilience. Starting and running a business can be stressful and it's challenging and having a really strong emotional intelligence can help you manage stress and to bounce back from setbacks, which is essential for success. My entrepreneurs who are listening, you know how challenging running a business can be and how much stress comes with it, especially when you're in the startup phase and you don't know where your money's coming from and you don't know if things are gonna work.
It is stressful. And then as you grow, the growth phase brings new challenges and stress, [00:04:00] and then you're building a team and running a team brings new challenges and new stresses. It's. Like, let's just face it, it's hard. Being an entrepreneur is hard, so it helps you to develop resilience. Number two is creativity.
Emotional intelligence can enhance creativity by enabling you to tap into your emotions and use them as a source for inspiration and innovation. You know, this isn't about shutting down all of our feelings. It's about using our emotions constructively, and one way to do that is to channel them creatively.
Three, having emotional intelligence creates better customer service. Entrepreneurs with a high EI are better able to understand and respond to the needs and emotions of their customers or their clients, which leads to better customer service and satisfaction. Just like in the case of Sarah, this led to her being able to solve [00:05:00] the client's problem in a way that led to a positive outcome.
She was able to turn the situation around. Four, increased self-awareness. AI helps entrepreneurs to become more self-aware and understand their own emotions, strengths, weaknesses. This helps you make better decisions and lead your business more effectively. I mean, think about it, the one of the worst ways to make a decision is based on emotions.
We need to be able to understand our emotions, that they're not the driving force behind all of our decisions. And then five is creating a better work-life integration. Entrepreneurs who have a high AI are better able to manage their emotions and maintain a healthier work-life integration. Now, some people would say work-life balance.
I don't believe in work-life balance. I don't think it exists. It is work-life integration. It's absolutely essential for long-term success [00:06:00] and wellbeing in your business because there are gonna be times where you need to make your health a priority over your business, or you need to make your family a priority over your business, or you need to make a business the priority over everything else.
Having a better and a healthy work-life integration means that you put your attention, your focus, and your energy on where it needs to be at any given time. Now, that's only five reasons why you need to develop your emotional intelligence as an entrepreneur. Only five reasons. It is not an exhaustive list.
There are many other reasons, but I think this gives you a pretty good idea of why this might be important to you in your business. Okay, so how do we improve it? So we know now that it is important to develop it, but how do we get better at it? Because emotional intelligence can be developed just like any other skill.
So here are five ways to develop your emotional intelligence. One, practice open communication, [00:07:00] communicate openly and honestly with your team, with your clients, with your business partners, and encourage them to do the same. Listen to their feedback. Manage your client expectations with clear communication.
One of the biggest reasons why a client relationship will break down is unmet expectations, usually because the expectations haven't been communicated clearly. So you need to manage your client's expectations. That is a hundred percent on. You, it is your responsibility to do that. So if your client gets the impression that you're gonna build a, an amazing website for them in 24 hours, because you haven't clearly communicated what the timeline is going to be and what a realistic timeline looks like, then.
That is a hundred percent on you cuz that client is gonna think that you can move mountains and do all these extraordinary things and they're not going to have any concept of what else you have on your client load, where [00:08:00] they fall in your priority list, uh, what your workflow looks like. They don't know that.
So you need to clearly communicate those expectations. And I would say always for anything that's time-based, right? So if it's a project that's going to take time, Always quote on the longer side, in my opinion, so that when you deliver it earlier, they are more impressed. And I mean, don't go like, don't say it's gonna take six months and you can deliver it in two, but if you think you can do it in two months, if that's what you're projecting, then maybe tell 'em it's gonna be like 10 weeks.
Give yourself a buffer. 10 to 12 weeks maybe. If you, if you think you can do it in eight, because you never know what could go wrong, maybe your computer crashes or blows up on you and you have to get a whole new system. Maybe you have to start from scratch. For some reason you don't know what could happen.
So give yourself a bit of a buffer because it's so much easier. To go to the client and say, you know what? We finished [00:09:00] early. Here's your finished product. Then it is to say, we need more time. We're not gonna come in on time. And I have seen, I have seen the opposite, where it's gone incredibly wrong, where the business owner has promised something in a very short timeframe, and knowing that that was gonna be really tight to get it done, but they wanted the client so badly.
And they thought the reason or the way they could sell to this client and land this contract was to say that they could do this job in six months, and it took over a year. Imagine how happy that client was. And at that point, the client couldn't back out because they were so financially invested in the project.
They couldn't back out of it. They couldn't afford to go somewhere else. They had to see it through, but they were very unhappy. That's a client who's not gonna do more business with you. They're not gonna send you referrals. And if you want to build a business on relationships with your clients, if you want those referrals, if you want repeat clients, [00:10:00] Manage their expectations.
Set clear parameters up front. Give yourself a buffer on any time-based projects so that you know, ideally you come in under and you finish earlier, but you, you don't wanna have to go to the client and say, we need more time. Where I think that is acceptable to do is if the client adds to the project. So if partway through, they go, you know what?
We really wanna add this. But then again, you manage their expectations. You say, okay, we can do that. It is going to add more time. We won't be able to finish by our deadline. So we'll need to extend that deadline, but we can absolutely add that into the project. So manage their expectations and keep managing their expectations throughout the entire duration of working with them with clear communication.
The second thing you can do to develop and improve your emotional intelligence is to develop yourself awareness. Be aware of your own emotions and your own biases and how they might affect your decision making. Our [00:11:00] emotions are not facts. So many people think, oh, I, I'm upset about this, so therefore, like, that is a fact.
Well, the only thing that's true is that you feel upset about it, but what's not necessarily true is why you're upset about it or that it's a bad thing to be upset. You know, I've seen so many people make decisions based on how they feel about something. But what if that feeling is fear, for example? So I've seen business owners say, well, I'm not going to do whatever.
I'm not gonna take that opportunity because I don't have a good feeling about it. But what if what they're feeling underneath that is that they're just afraid to do it because it's something that's gonna stretch them, put them outta their comfort zone. But it could still be an amazing opportunity.
Maybe it's exactly the right thing they need to do. And the reason they don't feel good about it is because what they're actually feeling is fear or doubt or uncertainty. So our emotions are not facts. Just because you're afraid to do something doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do. [00:12:00] Practice being objective when it comes to decision making.
Imagine yourself in the bird's eye view looking down on the situation. And this helps to temporarily bypass your emotions and to remove your yourself from the situation so you can view it objectively. This is something I practice quite a bit. So in N L P we call this position three, and it's where you float up above the event in your mind's eye.
You're not physically gonna float. Spoiler alert, you're not gonna fly above it. But in your mind's eye, you're going to imagine that you can float above the situation and look down on it, and how can you view it differently. And so when you remove yourself from the situation, you take the emotions outta the equation, you'll be able to see it a lot differently.
You get different information, a different perspective of it. Number three, use mindfulness techniques, practice mindfulness, meditation, self-hypnosis is [00:13:00] great. Other techniques to improve your focus and clarity when it comes to important decisions. A really great app for this is Aura, and I'll put it in the show notes, but I can give you a free 30 day guest pass to try out Aura.
Um, full disclosure. I get a referral fee from it. So I do make a little bit of money if you sign up. Uh, but that aside, I love Aura because it is full of amazing content creators creating meditation recordings, hypnosis recordings, doing lives, and I have all of my hypnosis recordings on it. So, um, if you wanna check those out, you're, you're definitely welcome to.
So if you wanna, if you wanna try that and you can practice himself hypnosis and some meditation. And you can do it free for 30 days. Three, practice emotional self-expression. So many of us have shut down our ways of expressing ourselves. I. You wanna [00:14:00] use your emotions as a source of inspiration and creativity, and some great ways to express them in a healthy and constructive way is through art, writing any other creative outlets.
This is a much healthier way to process our emotions instead of unleashing them in the next client email, the next time somebody confronts you on something and letting them all come out. Let them out in a positive and resourceful way. You know, I like to make wreaths for my front door. It might sound silly, I know it's a very specific form of expression, but there's something about taking a blank wreath and I like to get those ones that are like the, I think it's grape vines.
I think it's what they're made out of the, like the ones that have, are made out of like sticks, spiny sticks, and they're. Yeah, I think, you know what I mean. Anyway, I like those ones and I love to like weave flowers through them for the different seasons That'll make them very seasonal and [00:15:00] it's, it's very therapeutic for me.
I love to do it. I also love to glue them together. Um, something about a hot glue gun and some flowers and a wreath just, I don't know, makes, makes everything feel better. So that's one outlet that I like to use, but find what works for you. Maybe it's watercolor paintings or coloring in a coloring book.
Maybe you like to doodle. That's another one that I, I used to do a lot of that, but I. I got away from it, but I got some really good pens and a little notebook and I would just doodle patterns. They weren't, I wasn't trying to draw anything lifelike. I was just doodling patterns and filling them in and they were all just black and white and it was again, a really great creative outlet.
Writing is great. I. Journaling's a great way to express yourself, get yourself a really nice journal. The way I, I like to journal is I have a special journaling pen that I only use for journaling, and I have a special journal that is only for my [00:16:00] thoughts, so I don't put any other notes or anything else in it.
And it becomes a signal to my unconscious mind that when I open up that book to that page and I bring out that special pen, that it is time to let my thoughts and ideas free flow. So practice emotional self-expression, that you're not holding on to these things, and then they end up coming out in a way that is destructive instead of constructive.
And lastly, set boundaries. Set clear boundaries between your work and your 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. Do not mix them. I see this as a huge problem with many entrepreneurs is they start to mix their work, their life, their play, their rest, and it all becomes intermingled.
And then before you know it, they're working at 11 o'clock at night and they are, um, you know, and they [00:17:00] should be working. They're watching movies and Netflix and, and there's no boundaries on their time. And if, if you don't set boundaries on your time, you will not have any time. For yourself, and I hear this a lot from entrepreneurs who are, have online businesses, like mine's an online based business.
I could technically work from anywhere. I could take my laptop on vacation and I could work, except that's not the point of a vacation. The point and purpose of a vacation. Is to rest, recharge, fill yourself up to see new things, have new experiences. The purpose of vacation is not to sit on the beach with your laptop working, and by the way, it doesn't work.
Have you ever tried to take your laptop onto the beach? You get sand on it. The sun glares off of it. You can't really see it pro it doesn't work. I don't know who came up with this idea of the. The beach laptop lifestyle and traveling around the world working. Um, [00:18:00] when I'm traveling, I wanna experience where I am.
I don't wanna be head down answering emails and working all day on calls. I don't wanna do that. I wanna enjoy my experience. Now, if you wanna have a nomadic lifestyle and constantly be traveling, and that's, and you're gonna be working because. Travel will just be a constant in your life. I think that's different, but even then, still carve out your time.
When are you working? When are you resting? When are you playing? What is family time? What is time with your partner? You know when it's time to go on a date with your partner, put your phone away. No one needs to get you that urgently that you can't just sit down and enjoy a meal with your spouse or your partner without looking at your phone.
Nothing is that important unless you are a brain surgeon or heart surgeon or, or something, some kind of doctor. Nothing is that urgent. I guarantee it's not life and death. If you are always at the whim of your clients, [00:19:00] you will not have a sustainable business and you will burn out. When I was in personal training, I did this all wrong.
This is how I can talk about these things now, is because I had to learn these lessons the hard way. I did it all wrong. My clients would text me at 11 o'clock at night and say, oh, I wish, you know, I really wanna have a piece of chocolate cake. Okay, we'll have it. I. Have it, don't have it. It's your body.
Make a decision. It's for you. Uh, you don't want people to have that much access to you. So set really clear boundaries on your time. Your time is the most precious thing that you have as a business owner, and you need to be in charge of your calendar and how you spend your time. So where is your attention going at any given moment?
And set boundaries on communication. This is another way that you need to manage client expectations. So, What can a client expect from you? How quickly do you get back to them? Do you answer an email in 24 hours? Is it 48 hours? Will you answer emails on [00:20:00] weekends or not? Um, how many times a day are you planning to check your email?
I check once in the morning. I check once again later in the day. That is it, and I clear out my inbox at the end of the day. That's it. So everything at the end of the day is either dealt with, it's archived. To save it for later or it is deleted, right inbox is empty at the end of every day. That is a new thing.
As you may recall from a previous episode, I had to learn how to organize my emails, but now my practice is at the end of the day, inbox is empty and with my clients, they know that it could take up to 48 hours to respond to an email. Or if it is over a weekend, or if there's a holiday weekend, a long weekend, then I will respond to the next business day.
And here's a tip, and I learned this one again. The hard way is separate your personal emails from your professional emails. You know, over last Christmas, my plan was to not check my emails and have everything on auto delete. [00:21:00] And thank goodness before the auto delete started, I checked my email one more time and there was a really important email that I needed to get, and it was from my bank and it was, it was important.
If the auto delete had started, I would've missed that. And that's when I realized, mm, I need to split my personal emails and my professional emails. So now I have a separate inbox for things like, like that, so that I, I can have things on auto delete if I go on vacation for business, but I'm not gonna miss an important, some important information from the bank.
So, Separate the two. If you haven't already, you might be listening and being like, oh, Terry, of course, obviously, obviously I have a personal email and a professional email. But if you are like me and you had them all in one place, you need to split them. So you need to set boundaries on your emails, on your communication.
And how do clients communicate with you? This is important as well. Can they communicate with you through messenger, through [00:22:00] text, through email only through phone. What is it? How do you like to. Be communicated with. I'm pretty flexible on how they communicate. The one thing I do ask is if it's really important relating to the work we're doing to send it by email.
Because that I can, if I can't respond in the moment, I can set myself a reminder really easily and it'll come back around to my inbox at a time when I. Set it too so that I'm not gonna lose track of it or miss it later. Whereas if it's through a Messenger app, it might get buried in messages and I may forget to respond.
I never want to forget to respond to a client. But if it's a casual communication, if they're sending me something that, um, you know, inspired them or that they really liked, or something that was funny to them, that reminded them of something you were working on or whatever, something that was just funny, uh, then send it to me wherever.
But if it's something that's really important, I prefer it by email so that it doesn't get lost. And then once you set boundaries, it's up to [00:23:00] you to maintain the boundaries. It's on you. You can't set boundaries and expect other people to just follow them. You need to set boundaries, and you need to make sure that you are the one enforcing the boundaries.
Because if you step over your own boundaries, how is anyone else gonna respect them? If you start answering those emails on a Saturday night, then they're gonna expect that next time they email you on the weekend, you're going to reply. If you start answering texts at two o'clock in the morning, they're gonna expect that they can message anytime and you're gonna answer.
So, you know, once you set your boundaries, you need to make sure that you are the one maintaining them. Don't expect others to maintain your boundaries for you. Now my client, Sarah, was able to save her relationship with the client, uh, and save herself a lot of money through taking an emotional intelligence approach to a difficult situation.
Now, as for that email that I received many, many years ago, I didn't have the [00:24:00] greatest EI or coach at the time to guide me through a healthy response and what that would look like. So when I responded to the email, It was based on my emotions, and I burned that bridge and then dropped that bridge 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 do better too. Emotional intelligence is a skill for entrepreneurs to be successful in business, and by understanding and managing your own emotions as well as the emotions of others around you, you can build stronger relationships, you can make better decisions and create a positive work environment for you and for your team.
If you're an entrepreneur and you're looking to improve your emotional intelligence, there are many courses you can take. There's books you can read on it. Working with a coach or a [00:25:00] mentor also helps to develop the skill. And a great, great place to start is at the Breakthrough to success. So the one I'm currently running has already started, but you know, get on my email list, get on the list, and join us for the next one because you'll really get a.
Good, clear understanding of your emotions. You'll develop your self-awareness and you'll learn how to take personal responsibility and also harness your own personal power. So it's like a bootcamp in emotional intelligence. Best way again, to get on that list is, um, just in the show notes, opt in on the show notes.
So I hope this was helpful today, and if you liked it, then please leave me a five star review and share it with one of your friends. And if you have any comments or any questions about this episode, feel free to reach out to me. The best place is always Instagram. That's where I spend the most time. Find me on Instagram at the Teri Holland and [00:26:00] then send me a message there.
Thanks so much for listening to the show this week. I really appreciate you and I hope you have a fantastic day. Bye for now.