The EQ Entrepreneur

Conversation with a therapist | nelly baz

Entrepreneurs are subject to different stresses especially at their start-up phase. You can control your emotions and leverage your personal development skills to create a collaborative positive climate.

Are negative emotions good to business?

There are no negative emotions. Emotions are of ultimate importance in making or breaking your business. If emotions are managed correctly they can manifest beautifully in your business financial statement.  They are your indicators to better understand your state of being, you turn your emotions negative when you escape them.

What about Anger?

Anger as a primary emotion is caused when there is a certain unfairness happening that needs to be fixed. But anger can also be a secondary emotion caused as a consequence to other emotions such as sadness, loneliness, fear, guilt, inadequacy …

If I’m angry how can I fix things?

Anger is like any other emotion, you feel it in order to make sense of what is going on. When you feel the emotion and do nothing about it, you would be repressing that emotion which would be harmful for you on different levels. However, when you understand the source of the emotion keep in mind that you are not your emotion and identify the trigger for you to assess the situation. A couple of questions you should ask yourself: Is this emotion justified? How can I fix the reason behind this emotion? Is there a strategy I can design that would lead to bettering myself in the future.

How can I understand the emotions?

Think of your state of being as a car’s dashboard. When an emotion lights up in your car you need to understand its sign. If you don’t you cannot fix it. The car comes with a catalogue that provides an explanation of the signs if the catalogue is not there you can go to a mechanic who knows what is going on in order to fix the issue. In the case of your wellbeing, when an emotion lights up and you have been very far from your emotions without any understanding of what is going on you shall visit a therapist who can lead you to understand the malfunction. But you can always train yourself to become more understanding of your state of being by separating yourself from the emotion. And there are simple ways of doing so:

First step would be understanding the emotion then naming it:

Is it anger? Is it mixed with another emotion? What level is it on? Is it controllable?

The following step would be understanding the reason this emotion is surfacing, then try and observe patterns, recall every time you felt this emotion:

Is the underlying reason somehow similar? Do you feel attacked on a personal level every time you are feeling this emotion? Now search within yourself, what can you do to turn this emotion into a positive one? A positive emotion is one you can learn from and build on.

Why should I do this?   

What we are discussing here really is developing your emotional intelligence skills. EQ is the foundation of your critical skills as it impacts your behavior and emotions at all times. Having a high EQ has a huge impact on your professional success as well as your personal success.

As John Mayer–a professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire. He and Yale psychology professor Peter Salovey are credited with first defining the concept of emotional intelligence in the early 1990s– defines Emotional Intelligence:

“From a scientific (rather than a popular) standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It doesn’t necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative, and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it.”

How do I create the habit of becoming more emotionally intelligent?

Once you start practising emotional intelligence skills, neurological changes start happening in brain. The term used by neurologists for the brain’s ability to change is plasticity and it is produced by neurons lining the road between the rational and emotional brain hemispheres in the case of emotional intelligence development. Every cell can grow 15,000 connections. This growth is equivalent to a promising change of behavior.

As you repeatedly practice new emotional intelligence behavior, your brain will take care of building the pathways to turn behaviors into habits. It takes 21 days to turn a certain behavior into a habit, which is the time needed for the connection of neurons to become a constant pathway leading old connections that support old destructive behaviors to start disconnecting as you limit your use of them.

How would that help me on a professional level?

In a Harvard Business Review article from 2001, Professor Richard Boyatzis and Annie Mckee, explored how contagious emotions are at work linking the leader’s emotional states and their companies financial success. The article states that: “A cranky and ruthless boss creates a toxic organization filled with negative underachievers who ignore opportunities; an inspirational, inclusive leader spawns acolytes for whom any challenge is surmountable. The final link in the chain is performance: profit or loss.”

It is always about the climate you create in your organization. Positive, developmental climates will always end up flourishing in your P&L sheet. The times of motivation through fear are over, now it is the time of financial growth through your personal growth and that of your employees and partners.


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