How important are “soft skills” like emotional intelligence when running a business, dealing with clients, or even managing your personal relationships?

According to psychologist Daniel Goleman...very.

Emotional intelligence refers to the way you monitor emotions, both your own and others, and how you use emotional information to guide your thinking and behavior in social situations.

According to Goleman, this trait is crucial for both potent leadership skills and more productive relationships.

Recent research also shows that high emotional intelligence is also linked to better decision-making abilities -- people with this trait are able to distinguish what emotions are relevant to their decisions and which are not.


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So how does one become more emotionally intelligent, you ask?

In a recent New York Times piece, Goleman cited a number of crucial “competencies” including:

-- Self-awareness, which includes the ability to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses, and knowing when to rely on someone else for help.

-- Emotional insight, or being aware of what makes you angry, frustrated or flustered, so you can help manage these emotions when they arise.

-- Compelling communication is also crucial, according to Goleman, or putting your points in “persuasive, clear ways so that people are motivated and clear about expectations.”

Interested in reading more tips? See the full article here.

What do you think freelancers? Is having high emotional intelligence critical in dealing with clients or running your freelance business? Or, have you dealt with a terrible boss or client in your past that sorely lacked these skills? We want to hear your story in the comments below!