Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for entrepreneurs

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for entrepreneurs

When setting up a start-up, it is natural to focus on honing technical skills and gaining a solid understanding of the business world. As technology develops at a rapid pace, it is changing how we work and communicate with others. In addition, it is essential to learn to manage being outside of our comfort zone as we navigate in a very competitive and dynamic market.

However, developing a business strategy and producing a quality product are not the only factors that contribute to success. Building a strong team is an essential element in creating sustainable growth, as well as having the capacity to develop innovative solutions to manage challenges.

It can be the foundation for individuals to thrive as they develop their knowledge and skills, and derive a sense of achievement from contributing to a business that makes a difference.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity we all have that enables us to identify our values and what matters most. It helps us identify our priorities and guides our decisions, which we can manage more effectively when we can manage our emotions. Emotional intelligence enables us to behave and act with integrity.

Having a better understanding of ourselves allows us to empathise with others and consider their perspective, being mindful of the impact of decisions. Listening to team members and trusted others, entrepreneurs can create a supportive environment and establish collaborative ways of working to complete projects.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Entrepreneurs who want to succeed need strong interpersonal skills to manage communications effectively. It is essential to listen and empathise with team members, investors, and customers.

Being genuine helps to foster trust and collaboration with others. As Helen Keller said: “Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”

Another benefit of developing our emotional intelligence skills is that it allows us to deal with pressure while maintaining energy level.

It is essential to know how to take care of ourselves, to manage challenges, identify priorities and be able to make effective decisions that support our goals.

What are the steps we can take to develop emotional intelligence? We develop it through self-awareness, honesty, and a strong desire to learn.

We can develop self-awareness by reflecting and exploring what motivates us, what we value, and in doing so, we learn about our reactions and behaviours to manage them so we can relate to ourselves and others in a supportive manner. Through reflective practice, we can identify when we are not being congruent with our values, so we can make adjustments.

Reflection enables us to review progress and reconnect with our goals. It enables us to identify priorities and prepare for obstacles and setbacks. It helps us to keep track of our values and what matters most. Being self-aware allows us to understand other people, learn what motivates them and what causes stress to identify ways of managing the pressure and prevent burnout.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Whenever living through a change, whether it is creating a start-up, starting a degree, an apprenticeship, or starting a job, we face uncertainty and can experience a sense of vulnerability as we embark on a new venture.

Emotional intelligence enhances our ability to make hard decisions and deal with setbacks. It is what sustains us during challenging times, and it enables us to boost our confidence in our capacity while maintaining hope that with our efforts, we can do well.

By focusing on learning from our experiences, we can apply the insights in our work and relationships and create a nurturing environment where all can thrive.

Gifted leadership occurs when heart and head – feeling and thought – meet. These are the two winds that allow a leader to soar.” (Daniel Goleman)


Bandura, A. (1997) Self-Efficacy. The exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company..

David, S. (2016) Emotional agility. Get unstuck, embrace change and thrive in work and life. London: Penguin Books.

Dweck, C. (2017) Mindset. Changing the way you think to fulfil your potential. Updated edition. New York: Ballantine Books.

Goleman, D. (1996) Why it can matter more than IQ. London: Bloomsbury.
Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P, & Caruso, D.R. Emotional intelligence. New ability or eclectic traits? American Psychologist, September 2008, Vol 63, No 6, pp503-517.

Molinsky, A. (2017) Reach. How to build confidence and step outside your comfort zone. London: Penguin

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