Entrepreneurs can really benefit from being emotionally nimble. Building reputable brands, communicating theirÂ expertise, negotiating, collaborating, and networking are all part of theÂ daily grind and form theÂ critical building blocks for long-term success.Â But, here’s the thing. Without emotional intelligence, executing these activities canÂ be difficultÂ at best.Â At worse, futile.
Emotional blind spots impair perception, especially during interpersonal interactions.Â Cultivating a better understanding of emotions,Â as well as learning how to influence them, is therefore essential to improving every high-potential encounter.
Psychologist andÂ Emotional IntelligenceÂ author Daniel Goleman has identifiedÂ the core components of emotional intelligence as including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Taken together, these skills can help entrepreneurs navigate the path toward creating and maintaining solid business relationships that thrive, and take success to higher levels.
If you’ve never considered the connection between emotional intelligence and entrepreneurship, here are five reasons why you should:
1. Â Strong social skillsÂ increaseÂ the likelihood of success.Â Let’s face it: No man (or woman) isÂ an island entire of itself;Â though the ego may try to persuade youÂ otherwise.Â As an entrepreneur, yourÂ ability to successfully connect with others andÂ cultivateÂ solid relationships is critical. Possessing these skillsÂ will determineÂ how well peopleÂ respond to youÂ and naturally influences their decision to work with you now andÂ in the future. The bottom line:Â It’s difficult for entrepreneurs to succeed without supportÂ from others. You can shift theÂ odds in your favor by beefing up your social skills. But even ifÂ your social skills aren’t where they need to be, don’t beÂ discouraged.Â You can work to cultivateÂ them byÂ increasing your emotional intelligenceÂ andÂ makingÂ improvementÂ a daily priority.
2. Grit and self-controlÂ helpÂ entrepreneurs get through tough times.Â University of Pennsylvania PsychologistÂ Angela DuckworthÂ is a national expertÂ on grit, “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long term goals” and self-control, “the voluntary regulation of behavioral, emotional, and attentional impulses in the presence of momentarily gratifying temptations or diversions.” Duckworth’s research revealsÂ that emotional intelligence is essentialÂ to developing grit and self-control, since accessing and understanding emotions are core components of regulating emotional and behavioral impulses, as well as developing the fortitude to sustain interest and effort over long periods of time.Â These are fundamental skillsÂ that can easily make the difference between success and failure for an entrepreneur: TheyÂ are crucial toÂ confrontingÂ the all-too-familiar challenges ofÂ doubt,Â distractions, and fatigue.
3. Professional development enhances credibility.Â ExpertiseÂ isÂ often relevant in determiningÂ yourÂ ability toÂ deliver value.Â However,Â even when armed with significantÂ skills and experience, maintaining competenceÂ requiresÂ a life-long investment inÂ learning: professional development. And, entrepreneurs mustÂ prioritize itÂ just like any other important goal. How do you prioritizeÂ professional development?Â EmotionalÂ intelligence leads the way. It’s a majorÂ catalyst forÂ releasingÂ ego, recognizingÂ blind spots, and embracingÂ self-improvement. Essentially, it escalates professional development, which in turn,Â escalatesÂ expert credibility.Â This key shift deeply affects motivation and canÂ catapultÂ you towards even greater success.
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