Most clients will enter your business through some initial contact where they can talk to you about your services.

- The discovery call.
- The free initial consultation.
- A getting to know you session.

Whatever you call it, we're talking about the conversation that takes place immediately prior to money changing hands.

There are two people involved in this conversation, and you're both going through your own (fairly predictable) emotional rollercoaster.

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Emotional intelligence is being able to read people’s feelings, regulate your own emotions (especially anger), and understand what you’re feeling, and why. From resolving disputes to discovering what the client is really saying to negotiating deals, solopreneurs need to be able to read emotional tea leaves, as well as understand their own strengths and weaknesses.

You can easily improve your emotional skill set by identifying your strengths and weaknesses and taking steps to work on them. For example, if a train of thought is worrying you, stop and ask yourself if your thought process is truly helping you through it. If it’s just making things worse, sit down with a pencil and work things out on paper instead.

If you can stop before you act and ask yourself how you feel and why you feel this way, it might give you just enough time to gain insight into which emotions are driving your behavior. Because anger so often gets in the way of relationships to others, learning what triggers your anger can ultimately help you understand and control it.

If you believe that someone else is overreacting to something, don’t rush to judge or correct them. Instead, take a longer moment to imagine what they’re going through and to construct possible stories about what might be behind their emotions.

Use the infographic from Net Credit below to begin to assess your own emotional intelligence. You can take it a step further by taking an emotional intelligence test online to understand areas that may require work. The good news is that you can strengthen your emotional intelligence and the benefits will pay off in every area of your life.

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