Entrepreneurs tend to have some things in common.
They tend to be motivated and passionate. They tend to have big dreams and big ideas, plus the initiative to bring those ideas to life.
They’re natural leaders, the kind of people with a gift for organizing other people in groups. They know how to delegate tasks, cultivate comradery in a close-knit team, and how to motivate and inspire those around them.
But they have some other things in common, too — things you might not expect. Sometimes, you don’t pick up on them unless you’ve been around these people for a while.
One of these traits is emotional intelligence. When people think “tech entrepreneur,” they sometimes imagine someone technical but not people-oriented, maybe even with a certain coldness about them.
Like the depiction of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network.
But most of the time, the most successful entrepreneurs are socially and emotionally adept.
They also ask questions. Not only that, but they take the initiative to deliberately surround themselves with people who are just as smart as they are, or better yet, even smarter.
In a recent article from Entrepreneur, executive coach and author Jeff Boss explains these traits in detail.
When they’re the dumbest person in the room, it’s on purpose.
You don’t get any smarter working around dumb people (feel free to quote me on that), nor do you learn if you’re always doing the talking.
Surround yourself with cognitively diverse folks and ask questions.
Be curious. Asking questions is a powerful way to not only build up your own knowledge bank but also enable others to do the same.
If you want a better answer, ask a better question.
They’re emotionally adept.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, interpret and manage emotions in oneself and across situations.
Simply put, it’s knowing when to talk, when to listen, when to walk away.
Emotionally unintelligent leaders are the equivalent of a social hand grenade – throw them into a crowd and watch people disperse — quickly.
The good news is emotional intelligence can be learned and developed.
You can read more over at Entrepreneur.