Every human being needs emotional intelligence to better relate with those around them. As a fashion entrepreneur, having emotional intelligence can help you have better relationships with your family, friends, and clients. This, in turn, helps you make better decisions to grow your fashion brand.
Last week, we reviewed a video by Bibi Adebiyi on 10 things to do if you’re starting a fashion brand in 2021. This week, we reviewed a TEDx video by Ramona Hacker on 6 Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence. In it, she shared 6 steps anyone can follow to improve their emotional intelligence.
This video aims to help individuals learn how to consciously work on being emotionally intelligent. For fashion entrepreneurs, this means being more emotionally intelligent in how you handle your emotions and those of your clients. Since the level of emotional connection you can have with your clients determines how well they will patronise you, emotional intelligence is important.
This video review will cover;
- useful points fashion entrepreneurs can learn from,
- important points missed out,
- the relevance of the information provided to fashion entrepreneurs.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
When most people think of emotional intelligence, they stop at the term “emotional”. However, it is crucial to differentiate between emotional and the value that emotional intelligence can have because emotional intelligence is something fundamentally different.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your emotions and those of others. It is said to include 3 skills;
- Emotional Awareness: Empathy towards others but also yourself.
- The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem-solving.
- The ability to manage emotions which includes regulating your emotions but also calming down or cheering up other people.
As a fashion entrepreneur, showing your emotions does not necessarily mean you are emotionally intelligent. You need to learn how to deal with emotions, both from you and from others.
Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill you need as a fashion entrepreneur to have better relationships with your clients. You have to take that time to consciously work on it. It helps you know how to solve their problems and connect with them on a deeper level.
“A fundamental part of being emotionally intelligent is knowing who you are.”Ramona Hacker.
Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
1. Acknowledge Your Emotions
The first step to becoming more emotionally intelligent is to acknowledge your emotions as something valuable. The very first, small but simple thing you can do is ask people with genuine interest how they are feeling. For example, when a client comes to your store or makes a purchase from you, you can ask them how genuinely they feel about it. They know when you are being genuine.
Also, when you’re asked by friends or family, answer with authenticity when you feel good and also when you feel bad. Never give a generic answer like, “I’m fine” when you are asked how you are feeling, but also, don’t complain. Instead of complaining, say, “I don’t feel like I can build this fashion brand to the point I want to” or whatever else is on your mind.
When people show emotions, tell them that it’s okay to have those. Talk about them. Be it your clients, staff, family members or friends, when people show emotions, talk about it. This will help you build your emotional intelligence.
2. Differentiate and Analyse Emotions
Sometimes, when we talk about or express a feeling, we substitute the original one with one that we think we know better or are better at handling. There are a lot of different emotions and all of them have their functions and might also need you to handle them differently. Therefore, it is important to get down to the core.
If you do not differentiate analyse your emotions, it can lead to stress which will tell on how you handle your fashion brand. When you can understand what you feel, you will better be able to put yourself in the shoes of your customers when they tell you about their emotions.
3. Accept and Appreciate Emotions
Emotions are neither good nor bad. They gain connotation through society. For example, grieving or sadness, why do we so desperately try to cut it out of our lives? It’s just a beautiful illustration of the appreciation that we have for someone or something.
You can approach all these 3 steps by writing your emotions out in a journal just for that on need basis. It could be daily or weekly, or monthly sometimes.
4. Reflect on Your Emotions and Their Origin
Sometimes, just knowing why you feel how you feel helps you handle the feeling. When you write them down, you have time to reflect on them.
Do you feel the way to feel because of how clients receive your fashion products? For whatever emotions you feel, sit and search for the root cause of it. When you know this, you can’t handle your emotions appropriately and not pour them out on others wrongly.
5. Handle Your Emotions
Reflecting might suffice but, also, it might not and so you also need to find your way of handling your emotions. There are many ways to do this but writing them down can help you greatly.
You should also read about emotions. Some books are “Opening Up by Writing It Down” by Pennebaker and Smyth, “Language of Emotions” by Karen McLaren, and any book by Brené Brown amongst others. Talking to friends and asking how they approach situations, topics or emotions will help also can help you find how to handle your emotions.
6. Handle the Emotions of Others
As soon as you master your emotions and also while you’re in the process of getting better at it, you will find it easier to handle the emotions of others because you have a deeper understanding. Understanding and awareness are the keys.
It gets easier because you can simply ask the other person how you can support them because they might know. Or, you can also ask them how they can support themselves, that way, you not only help them in their situation, you also help them develop their emotional intelligence.
As a fashion entrepreneur, this means that when customers come to you with varying emotions you know how to handle them. When it’s joy, sadness, or anger, you know how to speak to them in a way that will teach you how to improve on your products.
Being emotionally intelligent means knowing and understanding yourself, thus, it helps you make better decisions. It spares you from emotional suffering because you know where it comes from and how to handle it. It will help you deal with interpersonal relationships with your clients by connecting on a different level.
Other Points Missed Out
7. Improve Your Non-Verbal Communication
Being emotionally intelligent and communicating goes beyond just verbal skills. What we say is not as important as how we say it.
In handling the emotions of others, the non-verbal signals you send out determine how they will respond to you. Things like the gestures you make, the way you sit, how fast or how loud you talk, how close you stand, or how much eye contact you make determine how much do a connection your make with them.
As a fashion entrepreneur, in applying emotional intelligence in relating to your clients, you need to develop your non-verbal communication skills. This will help them believe you truly care about them and will endear you to them.
The Usefulness of the Information to Fashion Entrepreneurs
The information provided in the video proves to be useful for fashion entrepreneurs. In learning to understand your clients better, you need to be emotionally intelligent and this video brings practical steps to help with that.
As you practice being emotionally intelligent, you will find that it will be easier for you to craft your brand story to emotionally appeal to your clients. This is because you now know yourself, them and how they feel about certain things.