7 Ways To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence to Become A Better Small Business Owner


Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your emotions and those of your staff. As a small business owner, you should be aware of your own emotional queues and those of the staff. The ability to maintain some symbolism of emotional intelligence will allow you to solve problems better, alleviate tension and build rapport quickly. In addition, understanding the importance of emotional intelligence is essential to maintain effective leadership skills.

When dealing with emotional intelligence as a business owner, you should be aware of how your actions affect your staff. This means recognizing the essentials of emotional intelligence to keep everyone accountable through effective management, being more self-aware, proactive, empathetic and passionate. Below is an outline of seven ways small business owners can increase their emotional intelligence to enhance their overall leadership qualities.

Understanding Relationship Management

The ability to communicate positively with others is essential to knowing how to manage relationships properly. Understanding how to interact with others, while having structure will also help you maintain productive relationships and increase your emotional intelligence aptitude as a leader. It is also essential for business owners to communicate effectively so as to manage relationships and instruct their staff to move forward.

Maintaining Accountability

Business owners who hold themselves just as accountable as their employees are often seen as more trusted. This is because employees appreciate their jobs more when they know their employers are held equally accountable. Employees are even more acceptable of employers that appear to be an integral part of the team, instead of distant and unavailable.

Transparency in leadership is extremely valuable, meaning you should be able to admit when you’re wrong. Employees will feel more connected, which ensures them you can be trusted. In addition, leaders that are more open foster employees who are supportive and even be more willing to work with them to achieve the same business goals. 

Proactive Instead Of Reactive

When you lead from a proactive standpoint, you can anticipate how others will react and thus respond accordingly. For instance, if your business plans to relocate, merge or lay off employees, business owners can tap into their emotional skills and be proactive to help the staff through these tough situations. Because things within the workplace change quickly, being emotionally responsive helps to keep work-related stress at a minimum. In addition, anticipating the emotional reactions of others through their body language and responding accordingly can also help divert a potentially explosive situation.

More Socially Aware

Communication is essential for maintaining a healthy work environment. Leaders who are more socially aware and tuned to the emotions of others are able to empathize more on a personal level. Understanding what your employees are going through will allow you to provide them with helpful and constructive criticism.

When you are leading a team, you want them to understand what is expected from them. This is why it’s essential to communicate and be socially aware of your employees. This gives you the credibility to maintain an open dialogue of communication. Leaders with high emotional intelligence can use this ability to work within the group, instead of dismissing the ideas and suggestions of other team members.

Leading Others With Passion

Instead of managing from an analytical standpoint, leaders can instruct through compassion. Passionate leaders are able to show their emotional vulnerability in order to connect with others. However, they can still maintain a leadership presence by showing others how to engage and collaborate as a team. This means being able to address employees from a place of warmth, instead of a detached dictatorship.

Emotional Management Through Feedback

As a small business owner, you are tasked with providing your employees with feedback on their daily work habits. However, the way you deliver the information can affect how they view their job. When feedback is provided sensitively, using constructive criticism, it builds trust among the staff. They begin to feel connected and believe you are not just thinking about the business, but them as well. When you use emotional intelligence to create a system for providing feedback, it enables you to be more objective and efficient. You can understand your employees and provide them with the tools to make them more productive.

Connecting Empathy With Compassion

When you connect empathetically, you are letting your employees know you understand how they feel. Empathy can also invoke compassion, which can lead to a desire for employees to want to work harder as a response. This enables you to turn an emotionally charged situation into something positive. For instance, if an employee is upset after dealing with an irate customer, your ability to empathize compassionately, can turn into something constructive, such as finding ways to minimize similar situations from happening again.

Emotional intelligence is essential for small business owners because it opens up the lines of communication. This prevents misunderstandings, confusion and frustration from occurring between employees and their management teams. Effective communication also fosters positive workplace relationships. Providing employees with the details about the vision of the company and how valuable their role is to see it through, gives them a sense of value. Continued open communication on an emotionally intelligent level will also make employees feel accomplished and want to achieve the same goals as the business.

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