5 Proven Strategies for Leaders and Entrepreneurs to Increase Emotional Intelligence and Boost Their Business Success


Emotional intelligence (EI) plays a critical role in the success of your personal and professional development. Simply defined, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

EI is usually considered to be a “soft skill” consisting of self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation; and it is what distinguishes great leaders from mediocre leaders.

By improving your emotional intelligence, you can improve your relationships with others, increase your personal and professional success, and lead happier and more fulfilled lives.

Following are 5 proven strategies for increasing your Emotional Intelligence

  1. Self-Awareness: Self-awareness is at the very heart of emotional intelligence. It refers to an individual’s ability to understand their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, as well as their impact on others. Developing self-awareness allows individuals to identify their emotional triggers, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and make conscious choices about their emotional responses, so you can be responsive – as opposed to reactive.

    Steps for improving self-awareness include setting aside time for self-reflection, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and seeking feedback from trusted sources – especially negative feedback that may be difficult to hear.

  1. Self-Regulation: Self-regulation is an important aspect of emotional intelligence that requires one to be able to manage one’s own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Self-regulation allows individuals to manage their emotions, especially in difficult or stressful situations, and to make conscious choices about how they respond (as opposed to react) to these stressors. A very effective way to increase your self-regulation is to increase your self-awareness (referenced above). Deep breathing and other stress management techniques such as exercise and mindfulness are also very helpful, along with setting and maintaining clear boundaries.

  1. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand (or at least try to understand) and share the feelings of others, regardless of whether you would experience a similar feeling or emotion in a similar situation. Empathy is a critical aspect of emotional intelligence because it is a pre-requisite for connecting, without which you cannot sustain a healthy relationship. Empathy allows you to see situations from the other person’s perspective (acting as the linchpin for building stronger relationships). Active listening, i.e., the ability to listen while being fully present and engaged, is a key tool for increasing one’s empathy.

  2. Social Skills: Social skills (or “soft skills”) such as effective communication and interpersonal relationships, are key aspects of emotional intelligence. The ability to effectively communicate determines the overall quality of your life because it helps you develop and sustain strong relationships – which promote better understanding and connections with others. Social skills can be increased through active listening, and increased self-awareness.

  3. Motivation. You may not usually see motivation listed as a key tool for increasing your Emotional Intelligence however, motivation to achieve your business goals and improve your personal relationships will create an inner drive to seek out ways to improve all the relationships in your life, therefore increasing your EI.

Emotional Intelligence is increased when we make a conscious effort to improve our relationships, in both our personal and professional life. Utilizing the 5 proven strategies described above: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation, will enhance your emotional intelligence and improve the overall qualities of all your relationships. So why not give it a try?


Dr. Patty Ann

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