In order to run a business in the service industry, you’ll need a wide skill set to attract and satisfy customers. Courage, determination, persistence, strategic thinking – there are many characteristics that determine the success of leaders and entrepreneurs. However, one quality stands out among others; a quality that is common among most successful business leaders: Emotional Intelligence.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a concept familiarized by Daniel Goleman, an internationally known psychologist, which is defined as one’s ability to understand and manage his or her emotions as they happen in themselves and others, while using this awareness to manage relationships effectively.

Emotional intelligence is a collection of four major skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Each of the skills falls into two categories: personal competence and social competence.

Personal Competence is made up of self-awareness and self-management skills, which focus on the internal aspects of a person, especially their own emotions and behavioral tendencies.

Social competence is made up of social awareness and relationship management skills, which focuses on the individual’s behavior in relation to those around them.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a key success factor not only for small businesses but for large organizations too and individuals who want to boost their career in management. Although I don’t think emotional intelligence is a new field in organizational behavior it might be new for small business owners and new graduates.

The following are important reasons why your service business should keep emotional intelligence in mind:

Self Awareness

Emotional intelligence is divided into four major domains, with self-awareness as the first and foremost trait. Self-awareness determines your ability to perceive your emotions and understand how they affect the situation. This is a vital skill not just for service professionals but for any individual in a business. Self-awareness allows you to better address problems and handle complications as they arise, transferring these benefits to your business as well.

Self Management

Without the ability to control your own emotions, self-awareness isn’t very valuable. Therefore, self management is another vital skill of emotional intelligence, which allows you to keep your impulses and emotions under control. This is especially important for service professionals – if you let your emotions get the best of you, you may risk your connection with customers. With the ability to adapt to changing situations and keep your emotions in check, you can maintain their trusted position with current and potential clients or customers.

Social Awareness

Social awareness allows the individual to perceive the emotions of others, giving them the ability to better empathize and connect with others. This skill is critical in the service industry, where the satisfaction of the customer is everything. Professionals with high emotional intelligence are able to navigate social networks and understand other people’s moods and behaviors. Whether through reading the currents of a conversation or sympathizing with a customer’s needs, professionals are able to use this awareness to suit their business accordingly.

Relationship Management

This quality is one of the most important factors for any business that relies heavily on customer satisfaction. A service business is different from one selling a product – it often relies on months or years of nurturing a relationship with the customer. In addition, a service business may rely heavily on referrals and recommendations, which depends on the strength of the bond between the client and provider. Relationship management is a key component of emotional intelligence, aiding the individual in their interactions with others. Whether through improved conflict management or the ability to build bonds, relationship management can help service professionals maintain connections with clients.


If you feel as though you or your team lacks emotional intelligence, there is no need to worry – unlike IQ or personality, emotional intelligence is a quality that can be acquired and developed. With enough practice, your service-based business can quickly take advantage of the various benefits offered by enhancing your emotional intelligence.

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