Why bother with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) if you're an SME?

Date Posted:Thu, 17th May 2018

Why bother with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) if you're an SME?

As a business owner or leader, you are likely to face multiple pressures on a daily basis, both professional and personal. But if you're sometimes not in the best mood because of those pressures, have you considered how this impacts on others within your organisation and, ultimately, the bottom lin


Emotions as data

Although we are used to evaluating and acting upon data throughout organisations, it surprises many people to realise, on reflection, that emotions are an important source of data about the environment around us.

The consequences of emotions can be significant. For example, if Jonathan from sales senses that his superior is in a bad mood and not receptive to interruptions today, he may not feel confident to share the new product idea he has just had. With the moment gone, he forgets the idea, and six months later discovers it is now being offered by a competitor. It's an opportunity missed, and one that could have been vital to the success of the business.

Emotions are also highly contagious, and easily spread throughout an organisation. For instance, if Jonathan's state of mind has been influenced by his boss's mood, this may then impact on his interactions with clients.  

Consistency equals trust

The cornerstone in any organisation is trust. We buy from people we trust, and we continue to go back to the same business time and again, even if they are more expensive than their competitors.

So the big question is “why do we trust them?”

Trust occurs when our experiences of an organisation are consistent. It follows, therefore, that if a leader displays fluctuating emotions, those around them are no longer experiencing the consistency they require to function optimally, so performance, productivity and profitability all suffer as a result.

The benefits of EQ to you and your organisation

Everyone has some level of emotional intelligence, and like any skill, EQ can be learned, developed and improved upon throughout our lifetime.

In fact, EQ has been shown to be twice as important as IQ in predicting performance, and is a better predictor than employee skill, knowledge, or expertise.

As a leader, enhancing your EQ will enable you to:

  • identify and understand your emotions,
  • recognise recurring patterns of reactions and behaviour,
  • weigh up the costs and benefits of the way you respond to your emotions,
  • harness your emotions as a strategic resource,
  • maintain optimal personal energy, and avoid being overwhelmed by forces around you,
  • sustain an optimistic outlook and embrace new possibilities,
  • recognise the emotions of others and respond appropriately,
  • align your daily choices with your vision and values,
  • understand your Noble Goals, and be able to motivate others to discover theirs.

As a result, your organisation will benefit from:

  • a climate that promotes performance, productivity and productivity,
  • stronger working relationships and a powerful sense of purpose,
  • increased loyalty and staff retention, with reduced absenteeism,
  • improved customer service, and a reduction in associated costs,
  • an increased ability to withstand the stresses experienced during challenging times and periods of change,
  • happier, more motivated employees, who are far more likely to perform above and beyond the duties stated in their contract.