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Emotional Intelligence Series: Self-Regulation

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Managing our thoughts and feelings is a key part of self-regulation.

If I had to wager, I would bet that most people have said something in the heat of the moment that they have regretted. When high emotions and/or stress take over our brain, our capacity for thinking diminishes. This is why it is important to understand and recognize how we are feeling, and how it may influence our decisions and actions.

Being a leader with emotional intelligence doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. What is does mean, is showing the appropriate emotions at the appropriate times, and not letting emotions take over decisions and actions. Emotional regulation is being able to control your emotions, energy, abilities, and impulses.

There are times that asking for time before making a decision may be appropriate. Sometimes taking a few minutes to walk away from a situation, process it, and get into a calmer frame of mind not only benefits us as a leader but those we lead as well.

As a leader, we are always looked to as an example. We can choose to be a positive example of emotional regulation by holding healthy emotional boundaries, saying “No” when we need to, controlling impulses, and being honest about our emotions.

There are several suggested ways to improve emotional regulation: practice mindfulness of thought and emotion, build tolerance for stressful situations, practice listening and clearly communicating, find appropriate ways to express difficult emotions, and look at challenges as opportunities.

Reflection Question: What steps can I take to improve my emotion regulation?

Topic Next Week: Emotional Intelligence – Motivation


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