Emotional Intelligence and Why it Matters in Business

People’s emotions are rarely put into words, far more often they are expressed through other cues. The key to intuiting another’s feelings is in the ability to read nonverbal channels, tone of voice, gesture, facial expression and the like.

― Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Once, during a high-stress meeting, my colleague noticed that I was becoming overwhelmed. Instead of ignoring it, they discreetly passed me a supportive note, giving me a moment to collect myself. Their empathy in that moment not only helped me regain focus but also strengthened our bond as teammates. It was a small gesture, but it made a big difference. 

It’s something I have often reflected on. This was an example of a colleague who was a strong and empathetic leader, one I would definitely work for again. What I witnessed was an example of emotional intelligence.

According to HelpGuide.org emotional intelligence is defined as “The ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.” Leaders who have high levels of emotional intelligence tend to be the most effective leaders. This is very important especially as small businesses tend to have limited resources.

How can emotional intelligence improve leadership skills? It can help in many ways. Here’s a short list of potential advantages for you to think about:

  • Motivation– With emotional intelligence, it’s easier to motivate and encourage those you work with.
  • Better relationships with colleagues and clients– With an increase in emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills are high, meaning building rapport, resolving conflict, and communicating comes easier.
  • Build adaptability– In today’s fast-paced and rapidly-changing world, being adaptable will give you an advantage. With high emotional intelligence you’re able to quickly adjust to changing circumstances.

In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a tool you need l if you want your business to thrive.

Looking for more reading? Check out our blog post about the importance of your mindset for small business success.