Regardless of whether you’re a new or seasoned entrepreneur, starting a business can be a challenging endeavor. In order to successfully start a business, an entrepreneur will require determination, confidence, and the willingness to pour all they can into their efforts. However, entrepreneurs are not completely unequipped for this task. There are a number of skills and qualities that can prepare those in building a business of their own. One of these skills is emotional intelligence, a necessity in any entrepreneur’s toolkit.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is a concept that has been familiarized by Daniel Goleman, who argued that non-cognitive skills, such as social awareness, play a major role in workplace success and leadership effectiveness. He defined emotional intelligence as the individual’s ability to understand and manage his or her emotions. Those with a higher degree of emotional intelligence would be better able to manage relationships, perceive emotions and so on.
Today, there are a variety of ways in which emotional intelligence has been adapted to aid individuals in every situation. For example, one common interpretation of emotional intelligence is to divide up skills into two main categories – personal and social competence. Personal competence deals strongly with the individual’s ability to manage their emotions and behavior, and is comprised of skills such as self-awareness and self-management. On the other hand, social competence mainly handles how the entrepreneur interacts with those around them, and is made up of skills such as social awareness and relationship management.
How Emotional Intelligence Can Help the Entrepreneur
For individuals who are looking to enhance their emotional intelligence, there are a number of ways to do so. A common tactic is to take an emotional intelligence test, or to use individual exercises to boost this quality. But for those that are still unconvinced, the following are just a few examples of how emotional intelligence can help an individual in his or her efforts in starting a business:
Without a firm grasp of their own emotional state, it is highly unlikely that entrepreneurs will be able to continue successfully in their endeavors. If the individual lacks self-management, then they may fall prey to impulses and uncontrolled bursts of emotion. However, emotional intelligence can help with this quality, as it enhances the individual’s ability to understand his or her emotional state. Not only does it aid them in perceiving feelings as they arise, it also helps in managing those emotions and using them to aid in situations.
Networking is essential for entrepreneurs, as it establishes a network of connections and contacts that can provide value to the business owner. Luckily, emotional intelligence can help individuals with this endeavor, through the ability to connect with others. Emotionally intelligent entrepreneurs are more likely to facilitate interactions and navigate the social networks around them, building successful relationships. In time, they are able to rely upon this network for resources, advice, and business connections.
Entrepreneurs will be hard-pressed to find a business or industry in which communication skills are unessential. These skills are vital for nearly any individual, especially true for anyone who wishes to successfully start a business. Emotional intelligence helps individuals clearly express their goals and desires to their employees, customers, and business contacts. Additionally, it helps entrepreneurs in understanding what it takes to inspire and motivate others. In short, entrepreneurs who are looking to follow through on their business plans will need the emotional intelligence to do so.