Understanding what you need and being able to give it to yourself is so important when it comes to finding your centre, feeling balanced, and having the fuel to go the distance in entrepreneurship.

When I see women develop an understanding of their emotional intelligence and learn how they can harness it in a way that empowers them, I see that their businesses naturally follow suit and become more centred, strategic and in-flow. 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills: 

  1. The ability to identify and name one’s own emotions (emotional awareness)
  2. The ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving
  3. The ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.

Your emotional intelligence is one of the most important aspects of your life, as feeling and emotions are the basis of every life action and event. 

Why is Emotional Intelligence Heightened in Women?

Emotional intelligence is a female strong suit. Forbes magazine published an article finding that women “outperform men in nearly all emotional intelligence measures.” While this is an interesting fact, it’s not breaking news. Women have long been known as the best identifiers of feelings amongst their peers. This is women’s natural ability to detect emotion and sense the reactions of those around them; emotional empathy. 

Societal norms over the course of history have allowed women a very intense connection with internal emotions and of the feelings of those around them. Being put in a caretaker role for centuries has allowed women to quickly sense the emotions around them, without the need for the person in question to explain.

Feeling what someone else feels is what makes women perfect candidates for business leadership roles. For example, they are able to identify with the feelings of their clients, developing strong customer relationships and loyalty, and they are able to read the emotions of their employees, making them effective and proactive leaders. Emotional intelligence is a newly-sought out trait in the business world, as it allows for apt communication skills and powerful interpersonal strengths, giving women the upper hand. 

Why Should You Be Using Emotional Intelligence in Your Business? 

Emotional intelligence has become increasingly valued in the business world. Harvard Business Review identified emotional intelligence as the key to success in the business world. Describing what they called ‘emotional agility’, the renowned business source explained, “In our complex, fast-changing knowledge economy, this ability to manage one’s thoughts and feelings is essential to business success.”

For the purpose of your own self-care, emotional intelligence should be at the forefront of your skill set.  As an entrepreneur, you need energy to keep going, no matter what you are faced with. When our innate emotional intelligence is acknowledged, we can let it help us to identify how we feel and what we need to be in optimal balanced states.

The flip side of using your emotional intelligence to help internally is using it to identify emotions in others, to advance affairs externally. ‘People skills’ are your ability to communicate effectively and operate well alongside others. Interpersonal skills are a direct reflection of your emotional intelligence. Every entrepreneur, regardless of field, will have to interact with others at some point, whether it be for the business internally or selling it to the public. If you are easily able to identify the energies and emotions of those around you, making choices, communicating ideas, and ultimately achieving your agenda becomes much more effective. 

How Do You Activate Your Emotional Intelligence?

While the use of emotional intelligence is available to everyone, some are much more in tune with it. In turn, this allows them to have more clarity and success in their lives and business. Below is an exercise to help you activate your emotional intelligence. 

Activating Your Emotional Intelligence

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Take a few long, slow deep breaths
  3. Relax your body 
  4. Think of a negative emotion you have been having lately
  5. With your intention release that emotion (maybe you see it dissolve, fade or simply imagine yourself shaking it off), and mentally say, “I release what no longer serves me”
  6. Then take a moment to think of an emotion you need, and mentally say, “I now give myself what I truly need’
  7. Feel the new emotional state fully and allow a shift to occur

 

Caroline Watters


Sources:

Victor Lipman, “New Study Shows Women Consistently Outperform Men in Emotional Intelligence,” Forbes Magazine, March 11, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2016/03/11/new-study-shows-women-consistently-outperform-men-in-emotional-intelligence/#6f38e70c335d

Susan David and Christina Congleton, “Emotional Agility,” Harvard Business Review, November, 2013, https://hbr.org/2013/11/emotional-agility