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Adrian Archie

Develop Emotional Intelligence to Win Customers and Influence Staff

Adapting behavior through emotional intelligence can help you and your team better communicate with customers and each other.





DALE CARNEGIE ONCE said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” That advice most certainly applies to your pet parent customers as well as to your team, making emotional intelligence (EI) an important skill for you to develop and train.

IQ vs. EQ vs. EI

Simply put, intelligence quotient (IQ) measures a person’s ability to solve problems, use logic, and grasp or communicate complex ideas. Emotional quotient (EQ) measures a person’s EI, or their ability to recognize emotion in themself and others, and to use that awareness to guide their decisions.

The five key elements of EI, according to psychologist Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., who helped to popularize the concept, are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, people skills and empathy.

Business Benefits of EI

A person with high EI behaves in a way that consistently results in successful interactions, which leads to high customer and employee satisfaction and retention, and to increased revenue.

Travis Bradberry, Ph.D., co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and co-founder of TalentSmart, a provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, shares stats from his company’s EI tests: “We’ve found that 90 percent of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the flip side, just 20 percent of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence. You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the chances are slim.”


According to a study by management software firm Workforce, restaurants with emotionally intelligent managers experienced a 22 percent annual profit growth vs. the average of 15 percent.

Increasing EI

While many people are naturally emotionally intelligent, if you or members of your team are not, here are three ways to improve these skills:

1. Observation is one of the greatest tools to develop EI. Role-play common scenarios with your staff and quietly observe each other’s interactions, then constructively discuss how to better recognize emotions, whether coming from a customer or fellow team member or even yourself. For example, some customers appreciate in-depth answers to questions, while others may become impatient and ultimately annoyed, resulting in a poor experience that keeps them from returning.

2. Prepare instead of instinctively react. This helps to prevent emotional responses that can result in customer and employee dissatisfaction. Document appropriate responses to common situations and incorporate them into your training program.

3. “Staying in the middle” greatly improves self-awareness, empathy and self-regulation. Consistent positivity is not a skill; it’s a habit. Briefly celebrate successes but return to neutral as soon as possible. Highs are hard to achieve constantly, and the addiction can result in deeper lows when the high was not achieved. Conversely, lows are easy to fall into, hard to escape and will steal years of productivity. Practice and coach each other to “stay in the middle.”

Personality and emotions prove difficult to change, but adapting behavior through emotional intelligence can help you and your team better communicate with customers and each other.

Prioritizing these skills will pay off big in your business.




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At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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