Manage Your BusinessLeadership7 ways small business leaders can boost their emotional intelligence

7 ways small business leaders can boost their emotional intelligence

One of the many intangible qualities employees look for in their employers is their level of emotional intelligence. While each individual might have a list of reasons why they value emotional intelligence, one reason is universal – EQ affects business productivity and the bottom line. If you want to attract and retain high-quality employees, you need to develop your emotional intelligence and show it off. Here are seven ways you can do that:

Choose a Calculated Response Instead of Just Reacting

Stress is common in the workplace, no matter what industry you are in. That means you need to know how to handle it whenever stress comes your way. Unfortunately, many business owners simply react to problems coming down the pipe, instead of choosing a solid response. The difference between the two concepts is that a reaction is instinctive and inherently without thought – which is almost certain to lead to a mistake. A response is chosen. Resist the urge to react. Respond to problems instead.

Find a Way to be Self-Motivated


If you want to develop your emotional intelligence, you will want to find a way to become self-motivated. When your motivation and energy come from within, you will become naturally resilient to outside factors. Whatever happens, you can always to yourself to keep your engine going.

Put Conscious Effort Towards Being Positive

Being able to stay positive in the face of adversity is a well-known trait that indicates emotional intelligence, but what is not as well-known is that positivity is a skill. Keeping your eye on the horizon isn’t an instinct – it is a habit, one that can be developed through practice. Often it is a matter of putting yourself in a positive headspace. Some people do it by listening to a song that gets their engines roaring, others through calm meditation that allows them to reset their emotions. Find the methods that work for you and practice using them when times are tough.

Be More Assertive

While there are times when being passive is the right course of action, your default mode should be to assert your needs and wants to your employees. Learning to do so is a matter of practice. Do not worry if you overstep your bounds occasionally. Everyone has different boundaries – it is up to you to recognize your mistakes and to adjust your behavior until you can be assertive while remaining respectful.

Get Used to Critique and Feedback

Critique and feedback are unavoidable aspects of work and self-improvement. If you cannot take constructive criticism and direction, you will not only have trouble becoming a better leader, you will have trouble staying in business. When someone gives you advice on how you can improve your work or productivity, focus on the advice. Try not to take it personally, and if you do, learn to keep those feelings to yourself and process them at a later date.

Learn to Actively Listen

Emotionally intelligent individuals know how to properly engage in conversation with their employees. They are not merely waiting to speak – they want to listen to what the other side has to say and to respond with a well-considered answer. The emotionally intelligent do not just listen to words, they pay attention to body language and other non-verbal indicators of tone and meaning. The more information they glean, the better their response will be.

Be More Aware of Yourself

If you want to develop your emotional intelligence, you will need to be self-aware. You cannot manage what you do not know or understand. Pay attention to what you are feeling, as well as why you are experiencing those emotions. The more you do that, the more you will be able to present your points in the way you intend, minimizing misunderstanding, and increasing efficiency.

While these are far from the only ways you can develop your emotional intelligence, they can get you off to a good start. Do not fret if you find it difficult to develop the skill. Everyone can develop it, some more easily than others. What is important is you do not give up.

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