The most gifted leaders effectively manage the moods of their organisations with Emotional Intelligence or Quotient (EQ). They are self-aware, empathetic and can intuitively grasp how others and the organisation feel.

While EQ comes to some more naturally than others, the good news is that EQ is a skill that can and should be learned, especially if you are a leader in your organisation.

Here are three ways to increase your EQ levels. 

Get the right information, guidance and support

Approach people you trust and who know you well. Ask them to provide candid assessment on your strengths and limitations. Use the information to craft a development plan and use your workplace as your laboratory for testing and learning. Find support from a mentor to turn to as you practise handling difficult situations and learn from setbacks. 

Watch your Language

Read voraciously, listen attentively and observe constantly. Watch your and others’ body language during interactions. Sensitise to what people say and how their expressions form on their faces, where they put their hands, how they are physically reacting to others. Then observe yourself when you interact with others. 

Engage your Demons

Some of the best lessons are to be learnt on the battlefield of your own emotions. Some leaders struggle with fiery tempers, others with deep melancholia, some with self-centeredness, others with excessive aggression. Look inward and see how some of your own wayward emotions are impacting others in the organisation. Battle with your demons and come out victorious as a leader others look toward to lead them.