Do Estheticians and Spa Owners Need High EQ?

You have probably heard of EQ, which stands for emotional quotient – also referred to as emotional intelligence or soft skills.

However, many may not be aware of its important role in building an esthetician or spa business. Studies have shown that a high emotional quotient (or EQ) boosts career success, entrepreneurial potential, and leadership talent.

High EQ also improves health, relationship satisfaction, humor, and happiness.

Now we aren’t saying that a high IQ (aka being smart,) won’t give you an edge.

However, people buy from those that they can trust and relate to – as human beings, not an avatar on social media.

Especially in our industry, clients want to feel comfortable and relaxed when they’re getting treatment. Our service is “high-touch,” so the personal and emotional connections we have with our clients is the key to attracting and retaining them.

The increasing use of technology, however, has taken some of the person-to-person interactions out of our lives and many of us are getting rusty when it comes to developing our EQ and communication skills.

EQ is more than just being empathetic or caring. Interpersonal interactions and relationships are the foundations for building a strong, profitable, and sustainable business.

At the most fundamental level, building business is about building relationships. Share on X

“Getting in front of people” is more than going door-to-door and hand out as many business cards as you can and then hope for the best.

You need to circle back, follow up, continue the conversions, and build the relationships.

You need to make the effort to nurture those relationships and get to know your clients if you want them to trust you and use your services.

You have to be willing to put in the effort, go above and beyond to be of service because this is how you cut through the clutter.

I used to introduce myself to every new business owner in the community. I’d just walk over, say hello, and bring them coffee and muffin. They were busy setting up their new businesses and probably nervous about a new location. That small gesture – a human interaction, a signal that someone cares – always brought a smile to their faces. (Guess who they’ll be referring clients to down the line!)

Improving your EQ is really about understanding other people’s wants and needs. My favorite book of all times on this subject is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Is It Possible To Learn EQ?

Now you may say, I’m an introvert… I’m doomed!

No, you’re not. While some people have EQ as a natural talent, for those who don’t EQ skills can be learned.

You can increase your EQ and improve your interpersonal relationships with practice and training.

Don’t believe it? Let’s try this little exercise…

For the next two weeks, smile more when you are out and about. Yep, that’s it! Smile to more people!

Smiling increases endorphins in the body. Endorphin makes you feel good and energized, which in turn makes it easier for you to connect with others and vice versa.

It may feel weird in the beginning and you may have to make an effort to smile… but humor me – try it on for two weeks and let me know what happens.

Guess what… you just trained yourself to increase your EQ!

Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you work on boosting your EQ:

1. Respond vs. React

Reacting is often emotionally charged while responding implies that we’ve taken the time to think before we speak.

If you just take a moment to take a deep breath, calm yourself down and consider how you want to respond, you’ll be surprised by how much more constructive your actions are.

2. Talk Less & Listen More

Listening shows others that we value their opinions and who they are.

So often when people engage in a conversation, they’re not present. Their attention goes to rehearsing what they were going to say next, instead of actively listening to what others have to say.

3. Empathize, Starting With Yourself

In order to show empathy to others, we must first be in touch with our own feelings. Share on X

Start noticing how you feel in various situations, and then ask yourself why you’re having that feeling and what the trigger was.

When you’re in tune with your emotions, it’ll be much easier to tune into others’ feelings.

Applying EQ To Your Business

How do you relate to others? Do you put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their situations, or do you just judge with your own set of lens and call it a day?

I hope you always choose to take the time to see through other’s eyes because the ability to do so is critical to your success as an esthetician or spa business owner.

Ours is one of the most hands-on service industries and our client relationships are built on trust.

Cultivating your awareness and EQ will help you build deeper connections with your clients, which will lead to more sales and recurring business.

Working on improving our EQ on your own can be tough. We often don’t have the objective perspective to see what needs to be done.

For many people, partnering with an experienced coach is the most effective way to get out of their comfort zones.

If you’re ready to learn how to apply EQ to building your business, check out the 12-week course, Esthetician Business Essentials Course, in which students apply my unique ICE-T method to improve their communication skills and their business relationships.

The ICE-T Method – the Foundation Business Skill Every Esthetician and Spa Owner Needs

I’m a huge fan of continuing education for estheticians and spa owners, but I also believe we can’t afford to overlook soft skills in favor of technical ones.

Soft skills, or “people skills,” is the foundation of doing business – especially in our industry, which is very “high touch” and success is built on trust and relationships with our clients.

In particular, if you’re having challenges in retaining long-term clients or building strategic alliances with partners, this should definitely be an area of focus for you.

Technology and online tools aren’t replacements for human-to-human interactions when we deliver our services. It’s not just about putting an appointment on the book. We’re here to make our clients feel taken care of.

Your interactions with your clients and their experiences with your business can determine whether they choose your service over the esthetician down the block. Your ability to connect with your clients sets you apart from your competition.

Since improving our communication skills and building trusting relationships with our clients is such a critical component of our businesses, I make sure my students in the Esthetician Business Essentials Course are improving their EQ (emotional quotient) while learning solid business skills.

The most successful leaders have strong technical skills as well as soft skills. Since most estheticians work for themselves, I’ve developed a unique approach, called the ICE-T method, which you can follow to communicate more effectively and build a stronger business and better relationships with your clients:


This means taking the initiative to communicate with empathy and cultivate trust. This means putting yourself out there and do what it takes to build your business even if it’s risky, scary, or means you may experience some temporary setbacks.

If something is not working, you take the initiative to figure out what’s wrong and take the steps to reach out and communicate to everyone involved, instead of hiding in a corner and hoping it’ll blow over.

Taking initiative is about being resilient by moving forward, not giving in or giving up.

It’s about having a powerful vision, a solid goal and a sound plan so you take focused and meaningful actions without compromise.

Taking initiative is about applying discipline and assuming responsibilities, overcoming your fears and procrastination so you persist even if things get tough.


Communication isn’t just about what you say, but also how you listen and understand what others are expressing.

It goes beyond the words we say and how we say it.  We also have to observe the non-verbal cues from others and be aware of the message we project with our own body language. This is becoming a lost art and we need to pay attention if we are weak in this area.

In the esthetician and spa business, we’re here to make our clients feel loved, pampered and relaxed. Are you showing up – in your spoken words, written words and non-verbal communications – in a way that makes your clients feel that you genuinely care? That you have your client’s best interest? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…your clients don’t care about your products and services. They just don’t. They care how you make them feel.

What’s the tone on your blog? What do you write about on your Facebook page? Are you ranting on Twitter? All these pieces come together to paint a picture of who you are – a picture that your clients use to decide if they want to work with you.


Empathy is your secret weapon to understanding the needs of your clients and building a lasting relationship. Share on X

You’ll be amazed at how much more insight you can gain from just a short conversation when you’ve mastered empathy and you truly connect with your clients.

You’ll be able to overcome communication barriers, open doors for more opportunities and ultimately bring more sales to your business.


People buy from people they like, know and trust. Share on X

It does take time and energy to build trust yet once it’s established you have the strong relationship to keep a client for life.

Building trust takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Trust is built on offering exceptional services, being consistent, and over-delivering, so your client can always expect excellent service and value at each appointment.

Trust builds loyalty, and loyalty breeds referrals.

Bring More EQ Into Your Business

As esthetician and spa business owners, we’re talking to people every single day – whether it’s clients, referral partners, or vendors.

Our ability to connect and build relationships will influence the growth and success of our businesses.

The core of developing a high EQ – soft skills or people skills – is paying attention to the way we communicate and interact with others.

We need to cultivate the self-awareness to understand our own motives and motivation. We need to pay attention to our own behaviors so we can develop an understanding of the psychology of others.

This awareness and connection is the foundation for any successful business.

If you’re ready to learn how to apply EQ to building your business in which students apply my unique ICE-T method to improve their communication skills and their business relationships.

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