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Emotional Intelligence Saves the Day for Entrepreneurs in Covid

It's been a while since we've heard about "emotional intelligence." I think it originated in the '80s. But a new study is saying that entrepreneurs benefit more from this than IQ, according to

So what is it? Oxford Languages describes it as "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically."

"Running a successful business has its challenges, but the COVID-19 pandemic has required many owners to pivot and look for new ways to operate profitably while keeping employees and consumers safe," newswise reports. Research from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business found that emotional intelligence – the ability to understand, use and manage emotions to relieve stress – may be more vital to a business’ survival than previously thought.

“We found that entrepreneurs benefit much more from emotional competences than other competencies — such as IQ — due to high uncertainty and ambiguity that comes with the world of entrepreneurship and even more applicable in a crisis,” the web site quotes Regan Stevenson, assistant professor ​of entrepreneurship and management and the John and Donna Shoemaker Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship.

“Being an entrepreneur is not a ‘traditional workplace setting.’ If you are an entrepreneur, you know that managing your business can often feel like you are screaming alone on an emotional rollercoaster,” Stevenson adds. “The extreme nature of this setting makes one’s ability to manage emotions and social connections critically more important, especially so during times of major disruption and crisis.”

Who can't relate to that?

“The extreme nature of the pandemic has made one’s ability to manage emotions and social connections critically more important, especially so during these times of major disruption and crisis,” says Ernest O’Boyle, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship and the Dale M. Coleman Chair in Management at

The research, as explained by the web site, found that those with a higher emotional intelligence are better able to be self-motivated and have higher social skills – even under more normal circumstances.

“'Emotional Intelligence' is linked to social skills such as accurately perceiving other’s needs, making good first impressions, and influencing others in interpersonal interactions. These skills are important for developing business networks, which can aid in signaling legitimacy and in acquiring resources,” researchers write. “These skills can enhance creativity and opportunity recognition; aid decision making in emotionally turbulent situations and enable adaptive responses to unpredictable events.”

So instead of blaming your assistant when she sends the exact same email three times to your boss, ask if anything's going on in her life that may be making her more forgetful.

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