The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Small Business Owners

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Small Business Owners

Have you ever wondered why some very smart people don’t do so well in business? And how other people with moderate intelligence succeed beyond their wildest dreams?

A lot of success has nothing to do with standard intelligence but rather with what’s called Emotional Intelligence (EI). Emotional intelligence, according to Merriam Webster, “describes the ability, capacity, skill or, in the case of the trait, to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups.”

Or put in layman’s terms, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and work with your own emotions and the emotions of others. It’s intuition, compassion, empathy and the ability to analyze these emotions successfully that can make or break a small business owner’s success.

For example, negotiation often takes the ability to listen, to understand where a person is coming from, to put yourself in their shoes so to speak, and then to come up with a creative solution that results in a win/win for both parties. This can’t be accomplished with book knowledge alone – it requires emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence also helps you understand, anticipate and navigate the expectations of those around you. This is helpful when dealing with customers, prospects, vendors, business associates and even employees and contractors. If you can help the people around you feel appreciated by anticipating their expectations and managing them before they’ve even realized, then you’re way ahead of the game.

For example, if you’re able to discern that your particular target audience has a longing to belong and expects or hopes that your business may help them feel that way, then you can create strategies to cater to this like starting a membership site.

Emotional intelligence helps you:

  • Deal with conflicts and problem solving
  • Offer better customer service
  • Hire the best people for the job
  • Trust your business instincts and intuition
  • Listen to others, understand them, and make them feel appreciated
  • Control your reactions to challenges, and stay positive when mistakes happen
  • Market to your customer because you’re better able to empathize with them
  • Write better, more emotionally driven, content
  • Connect with potential partners and build business relationships

Can you increase your emotional intelligence?

Many people think that your intelligence level, whether it’s standard IQ or emotional intelligence, is something you’re born with and that cannot be improved.

Just not true!

Improving your emotional intelligence simply takes a desire to do so. Start paying attention to how people behave, how you behave and react and try to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Learning to empathize is perhaps the best way to begin to boost your own emotional intelligence, and it makes a huge difference in how you do business.


  1. I find that taking a step back and “putting yourself in the other person’s shoes” is the best way to advance business relationships. This is a fantastic post b/c once we think about why a person is reacting the way they are or why they may be feeling the way they are, business owners can provide a higher quality of service. Cheers!

  2. The ability to connect with people is so critical. Loved the post. We don’t talk about this enough.

  3. You know what? This is actually pretty good advice. It’s curious how nobody thought of this before.

  4. Enjoyed the post!
    This is one of those aspects of branding that is seldom discussed. Many are too focused on other things like building profiles and producing content, but it is important to somehow connect with others and build relationships.

  5. Latus Insurance – Yes I agree, I think really getting to know the person you are trying to do business with will really help. We are all human beings after all. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Brandon – I think the more you connect the higher your sales.

    Maninga – Wonderful, so glad you liked the post, thanks for posting!

    Jimi – Yes, you can produce the best content in the world but if you’re not connecting with anyone it’s a whole lot tougher.

  6. This is so accurate, I know many incredibly intelligent people who are horrible at interacting with people and being personable. These people don’t do as well in the business world, this is for certain or they have a partner who is really good at that part of the business.

  7. You are so right. Being able to interact with people positively makes all the difference in small business. Thanks for your informative post.. it makes a great deal of sense!

  8. I am part of a small company, and communicating positively really increases motivation levels.