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The Business Forum Journal

 

The Business of Emotional Intelligence
 

 By Timothy P Washington

 

In my work as a business consultant I pride myself on my ability to connect in an authentic and genuine way with people. This allows me to gain real access to their true values, passions, drivers’ and overall what makes them tick. This insight proves useful and goes a long way to building a rapport and most often affords me the opportunity to anticipate my clients’ needs, based upon a better understanding of who they are and their business aspirations. I guess I would term this approach to gaining or utilizing "emotional intelligence".

This emotionally intelligent entrepreneurial approach is in stark contrast to the old school business idea that was all about silver tongued, well dressed, cigar wielding, power brokering, deal-making tycoons. Those robber barons and captains of industry were not afraid to berate subordinates and use inflammatory language to make their point. We all know the stereotype: A huge desk with a chair that sat much higher than the visitor’s chairs on the other side and a whiskey decanter in plain view to readily dull the senses and bring on the selective retention required to press on another day. Typically they have drowned their sorrows by mid-afternoon having mortally wounded their opponents at the negotiating table that morning. They won huge success, fighting bitterly against all the odds. “It was always hard, never fun and once they “arrived” at success they promptly rode the gravy train all the way to the last stop:  Divorce, Diabetes and eventually…  Death.” (P. Shalard)

These types are a dying breed and as they fade into legend, a new paradigm of entrepreneurship is emerging. The major difference between the old guard and the new is Emotional Intelligence. The modern entrepreneur realizes that his (or her) emotional state often dictates the success that he or she creates or attains. This mindful understanding of emotional psychology can elevate the modern entrepreneur to the pinnacle of the next level of brilliant business success and impact much faster and with less carnage than the old guard achieved.

However, the new breed of entrepreneur must make certain that his clientele shares the same value alignment and can appreciate an emotionally intelligent outlook. There are still those who perceive emotional intelligence as a weakness and will readily exploit it.  Case in point: A recent client of mine was a well-known figure of great repute in several communities of which we both are a part.  I viewed this person as an icon in our community and gave them more benefit of the doubt than I would any other client in terms of measures taken to protect my own interest. In short, I began the business and performing on my promised deliverables prior to the final contract execution based on a time sensitive opportunity that myself and this notable client wanted to capitalize on. I turned my attention away from contract finalization in an effort to seize this potentially lucrative opportunity for my client and myself. I was successful at positioning my client just in time to take advantage of a time sensitive opportunity. Once the money started to flow to my client, from my direct efforts, the client decided that my remuneration should come from the strategic partner that I arranged for my client and not from my client.  Even though we had already passed three iterations of the unexecuted contract that in my mind the execution of which was imminent the client decided not to honor their end of the fiduciary commitment.

So you ask, what is the great lesson here? Well, I have an answer: The new breed of emotionally intelligent entrepreneurs (of which I truly hope that I am one) must still maintain sound business practice by crossing T’s and dotting I’s so as not to have their meekness taken for weakness.

Having Emotional Intelligence without handling your business upfront is simply hustling backwards!

 


Timothy P. Washington is a Fellow of The Business Forum Institute and is the founder of REACCT Corporation (www.reacctnow.com). He is currently the President of PCI – Prolific Consulting, Inc. (www.prolificconsults.com); and was previously the Chief Executive Officer for Intelligent Broadband Solutions, LLC; and Vice President of Business Development for Citadel Capital Management Group. Timothy is skilled and experienced in all phases of venture life-cycle management from start-up to exit strategy. He also has extensive international experience in the field of Technology Commercialization; Global Business Development and Information Technology Operations Management. Timothy studied Business Management, International Business at Morehouse College, Atlanta and is currently a Board Member for Verbosity Online LLC and founding advisory board member of Quantum Digital Solutions Corp. (www.qdsc.us).
 


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