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The concept of “Emotional Intelligence” (EI) was first introduced by Daniel Goleman in the 1990s, so no one better explains emotional intelligence than this author and thinker.

Check out the video below for a brief introduction: Daniel Goleman Introduces Emotional Intelligence | Big Think

In any case, we can summarise EI as the personal ability to identify, understand, manage and use one’s own emotions and feelings for one’s own benefit, as well as the ability to identify, deal with and manage the emotions and feelings of others with whom we relate.

4 key perspectives have to be observed for the full development of emotional intelligence, such as:


Source: Leadership Series – Emotional Intelligence – AccessEAP

Thus, emotional intelligence, like empathy and communication skills, plays an essential role in our daily lives. Both in our interaction with others and in the management of our emotions, with a direct impact on our decision-making and actions.

Being emotionally intelligent makes us better prepared to navigate strategically through all situations in our lives.


According to a meta-analysis published by the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, emotional intelligence was stressed out as a strong factor for entrepreneurial success (find out more on the results here: Emotional intelligence is more important for being a successful entrepreneur than mental ability, meta-analysis finds).

Mainly, it might be connected to the idea that emotional intelligence has a major impact in any other social and methodological skills. As such, it is a key skill in the management of interpersonal relationships, as is the case of communication or teamwork.

On  that note, a social entrepreneur must be able to build meaningful professional relationships and in order to do so, the management of emotions – one’s own and others’ – plays a key role in professional performance.

Moreover, this may be particularly relevant considering that the final beneficiaries of the SPORTS INC project are people with special needs.


  • As a (prospective) social entrepreneur, being skilled at managing your emotions and feelings will better prepare you for, among others, the following circumstances:

    • Self-awareness and self-management in every other aspect of your day to day life
    • Manage uncertainty and stress from a more optimistic perspective.
    • Manage teams and collaborate with others in a more efficient and supportive way. As such, EI helps you to be a more successful leader.
    • Also, being emotional intelligence within a business helps to cultivate positive company culture
    • Networking
    • Practising empathy and active listening to get to know the needs of your target group as well as your ecosystem/community
    • Manage potential conflicts and solve problems


The starting point for strengthening one’s own emotional intelligence is through critical self-knowledge and our ability to observe. So, in order to identify your main areas for improvement in managing emotions, you should first carefully assess your current situation.

It is likely that having honest feedback from friends, co-workers or family members will be of great help to get to know better how you perform in different situations. It’s funny how others can sometimes read us better than we can read ourselves, or observe different perspectives on the way we act.

A good idea, if possible and if it suits your needs, would be to have a coach or mentor to guide you through the process. Going to therapy to improve your self-knowledge can also be a valuable option. However, this will depend on your personal situation and the resources you have at your disposal at the moment.

In any case, learning and developing your emotional intelligence is a long-distance race. Your abilities will increase through continuous practice and observation, and it is a continuous learning process in which empathy, active listening and communication will be indispensable tools.

Some resources that we believe may be of interest to learn more about how to boost your EI are the following:


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