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These Are the 4 Emotional Intelligence Characteristics All Business Leaders Need Having emotional intelligence when running a business is indeed as important as showcasing impeccable organizational and leadership skills.

By Ivan Popov Edited by Kara McIntyre

Key Takeaways

  • Being aware both of yourself and your surroundings is key.
  • Empathy is way more important than you might think.
  • Judging others is not the best way to go.
  • Being flexible and open to change teaches everyone a thing or two about success.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Owning a business is many people's dream when it comes to establishing career goals. Once aspiring entrepreneurs acknowledge and get rid of entrepreneurship's numerous misconceptions, they start witnessing the entire picture and focusing on what needs to be done in terms of personal development and career growth so that they reach their goals.

At the very beginning, we direct our efforts at management, leadership and implementing impeccable organizational skills. Essentially, we do our best to improve those entrepreneurial aspects only to soon realize that there is an enormous piece of the puzzle missing. Once we start our businesses, we begin witnessing setbacks in the relationships department — both with our employees and customers. So we then wonder what could have been going wrong this entire time.

And then suddenly it hits us — while it's of great importance to keep the highest standard possible when it comes to management and leadership, showcasing emotional intelligence in business proves to be as significant and fundamental.

Here's why establishing emotional intelligence skills is absolutely crucial for a business's long-term success.

Related: The Importance of Emotional Intelligence at Work

What is emotional intelligence and where does it stand in the business department of career development?

If we go by definition, we'd say that being emotionally intelligent showcases one's ability to understand their own and other's emotions, as well as being able to distinguish them and figure out useful ways to deal with each emotion's consequences.

Many entrepreneurs, especially at the very beginning of their career path, may wonder what this has to do with owning and running a business. But the thing is this — in business, one inevitably communicates with people on a daily basis. Essentially, it's how we communicate with others that drastically increases or decreases everyone's time spent doing the job which ultimately affects the business as a whole.

It would be rather naive to think that emotions don't play a role in business, even though many business people try their best to distinguish themselves from them. But in reality, it's all about how we manage to handle emotions and emotional situations at the workplace that shape one's ability and competence, above other things such as team and project management and leadership.

The next time a business owner witnesses an employee going through a breakdown, a client expressing discontent with a service or a team experiencing hardships in delegating tasks, it's the CEO's emotional intelligence that needs to step up and deal with this plethora of dynamic situations.

As we can see, emotional intelligence plays a significant role in owning and running a business mainly because there are people involved and where there are people, there are emotions as well.

Without any further ado, let's observe and discuss some emotional intelligence characteristics that promise to help any business owner in the long run.

Communicating with people in a business environment requires a certain level of emotional intelligence — if the business owner isn't quite aware of their own emotions as well as how emotions portray in others, there's a high chance the overall communication will suffer. The consequences? Misinterpretation, misunderstandings and burnout subtly creep in.

In order to avoid all those shortcomings and unfortunate situations, I advise business owners to nurture the following emotional intelligence characteristics when it comes to personal development.

Related: What is Emotional Intelligence and Why Does it Matter?

1. Being aware both of yourself and your surroundings is key

The ultimate path toward emotional intelligence goes by first being aware of yourself in terms of your emotions, what causes them, what triggers you to react in a certain way and how you process them. The same goes with your surroundings — paying close attention to what happens around you and how people react in certain situations gives you plenty of useful information. In business, this ultimately navigates you in how you communicate with others — now you know how to address issues and important matters without triggering negative reactions. If by chance those happen, you will know how to handle them in a productive and caring way.

2. Empathy is way more important than you might think

Cognitive empathy is being able to understand why a person feels a certain way, while emotional empathy is the ability to almost feel what other people are feeling. This channeling of emotions works wonders in business since it allows you to better understand your team's predispositions and triggers. Empathy also helps people to bond, which is incredibly important in building team spirit. Having this emotional intelligence characteristic helps team members establish a sense of trust and mutual respect, both of which are crucial for business success.

3. Judging others is not the best way to go

Being emotionally intelligent goes hand in hand with seeing beyond the surface and acknowledging that there is a reason behind every reaction or type of behavior. In business, we often witness employees making mistakes or mishaps — but if we are quick to judge, we might never be able to go to the bottom of things. Discussing matters and engaging in honest conversation is always the best policy before coming up with certain decisions. This also elevates the team spirit and strengthens the bond. We all know that a strong team brings success to any business.

Related: 4 Ways Emotional Intelligence Makes You a Better Entrepreneur

4. Being flexible and open to change teaches everyone a thing or two about success

A rigid mind is oftentimes trapped in fears and uncertainty — in business, this manifests as obstacles being seen as failures instead of as important lessons. The emotionally intelligent leader is always willing to learn and adopt new approaches when it comes to business; they also teach their team the same lesson and thus everyone steadily becomes resilient to getting stuck and stopping development from happening.

I hope this quick review of emotional intelligence characteristics has given you a great perspective on why it's so important in the context of successful businesses. Nurturing those traits is a proven way for any business leader to elevate their management and leadership skills, as well as to enhance their overall relationships with peers, employees and customers.
Ivan Popov

CEO and Tech Lead of Vipe Studio

Ivan Popov serves as the CEO of Vipe Studio, which establishes and maintains WordPress-based websites for enterprises and SMEs. He is always curious about technology, web and software development, WordPress, sports, journalism, leadership, entrepreneurship and all things mental health.

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