Emotional Intelligence

The Seven Bs to Improving Emotional Intelligence

In today’s virtual and technology-driven business world, emotional intelligence and relationship-building might be considered a lost art.

I’ve observed the best and most skillful leaders work hard to build the (fifth key) competency of emotional intelligence– social skills.

Because we have lost a lot of our relational connections, I believe “relationship-building” can be a competitive edge for you and your business.

Here are Seven Bs to Improving Your Emotional Intelligence (in-person and virtual):

1. Be poised, polished, and confident.
I’ve noticed a lot of distractions from people on zoom lately. Zoom fatigue. People in key business meetings (virtually) are showing up lacking poise. Improve your online presence– be alert and smile. Be polished and prepared for each call. Display personal confidence. Sit up straight and have great eye contact and body language.
Remember: You never get a second chance with your first impression.

2. Be interested (not just interesting).
It may be true that interesting people attract attention, but I believe interested people attract connections.
Your business clients and associates are flattered when you express an interest in getting to know them better. Appreciating the people we serve increases the value of our service to them.

3. Be a world-class listener.
On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being an active world-class listener, how do you rate?
Do you ask questions of interest?
Do you listen with the interest to understand?
Do you realize that listening is the #1 underrated skill in business today?

4. Be empathic.
Empathy is a hard-edge emotional intelligence skill, not just a soft skill. Observing and then responding to people’s emotions, moods, and attitudes. Adopting to their real-world issues and showing a caring response will build “emotional capital” and trust.

5. Be a straight shooter.
Live by the simple mantra: “say what you’ll do, and do what you say”.
Don’t create expectations you can’t fulfill. Keep your world and be a straight shooter.

6. Open the door.
Physically open doors for others. Be a servant leader. I love the military observance that “officers eat last”. Be gracious and serving in all you do. Put others first.
I asked my late father-in-law Chuck Rall what his #1 goal in life was? “To be a gentleman.” Wow! I aspire to do that as well!

7. Be early.
Some people say “be on time”. I like to say “be early”. Did you know that you help people save time by being prompt and that is a gift?

Note: I would say on average in the course of one week, five to six people get on a call or zoom with me and apologize for being late. I don’t judge that but I strive to be early as I do believe that time is the one thing many people have far less than their money.

Which of the seven Bs can you improve upon this week?

Have a great week ahead!


As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.