Emotional Intelligence: Your Business’ Secret Sauce

Emotional Intelligence: Your Business’ Secret Sauce

The phrase “emotional intelligence” (EQ, EI, or EIQ) has grown in popularity over the last decade. It is not uncommon to see books or hear of trainings focused on developing EQ in the workplace. After all, a good employee is one with a grounded emotional acumen.  Much of this chatter, however, focuses on developing an individual’s EQ.

But what if businesses as a whole could also be (and thus act) emotionally intelligent?

Being adept in emotional intelligence helps business leaders build trust, encourage communication, and inspire creativity. Studies show that businesses that apply EQ principles in their workflow have more engaged cultures and are more self-aware.

So that leaves us with the obvious questions: WHAT is emotional intelligence and HOW can your business leverage it?


What is EQ?

Though the understanding of EQ has been around for decades, it picked up steam after the 1990s when Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence book became a New York Times bestseller.

Essentially, EQ refers to how an individual understands and manages the relationship(s) with themselves and with others. To better understand this concept, Goleman divided EQ into four elements (which are typically diagramed in a quadrant):

  • Self-awareness: Awareness of your internal stakeholders*
  • Social-awareness: Awareness of your external stakeholders*
  • Self-management: Relationship management with your internal stakeholders
  • Social skills: Relationship management with external stakeholders

*Internal stakeholders: employees, staff, board members, or stockholders

*External stakeholders: business partners, competitors, or customers


How can your business leverage EQ?

Since there are countless articles that discuss the merits of EQ in relation to individuals, we’re changing things up to adopt these principles to the business space.


In order for your business to be self-aware you need to have your vision, mission, and core values present at all times. You also need to make accurate and objective self-assessments about your business’ competencies and feasibilities.

Ask yourself:

  • What is your driving force and how does that influence your decisions?
  • What are your strengths and what are your areas of improvement?



Similar to self-awareness, social-awareness focuses on empathy. It implies that your business understands the driving forces of your external partners, competitors, and/or customers.  Here, you need to have an accurate gauge of your business’ position in your industry and within the market.

Ask yourself:

  • Who are your partners, competitors, and/or customers and why do they make the decisions they do?
  • How do you see others and how do others see you?
  • What is your competitive edge?



After developing a good sense of awareness, your business can be more effectively managed (or regulated). You can better manage your business by strategically focusing your efforts on your overall vision. Productive planning is essential. And in the modern midst of quick and continuous flux, your business NEEDS to be adaptable – which means you need to employ professionals who are comfortable with change and can think and act mindfully and quickly.

Ask yourself:

  • How do the decisions you make align with your vision? Can they be more focused?
  • In case you are struck by unsolicited change, is your business prepared to adapt? How can it better prepared?



This last element refers to the influence you can have with your external partners, competitors, or customers. Having good relationships with these external stakeholders relies on constantly building and developing bonds. Aside from exhibiting leadership, reciprocity is important. A customer is willing to pay for your product/service if you are willing to provide quality and good customer service.


Ask yourself:

  • Do your partners, competitors, and/or customers look at your as a source of inspiration?
  • What is the relationship with your customers? How can it improve?
  • How do you view collaboration and how can you better leverage it?


Need help leveraging the principles of emotional intelligence to help your business thrive? We’re happy to help. Contact us today.