Do You Self-Regulate?

Do you know leaders who feel entitled to express their negative emotions, regardless of the situation? They bark, complain, whine, and spew over things that other people have done, ostensibly resulting in their workday being “ruined”.

Many problems arise from this, but one of the biggest ones is the unseen impact on an employee. The recipient can feel humiliated or shamed and is likely to privately absorb the impact of the harsh words.

The ripple effect for the employee can range from passive aggressive behavior to shutting down altogether to passing along the leader’s anger to co-workers.

Bottom line? It’s toxic.

The ability to manage your impulses, moods, and reactions towards others is called self-regulation and it’s a key component of emotional intelligence. The literature reveals that emotionally intelligent leaders are more effective, productive, and get better results, so being able to self-regulate is a skill worth cultivating.

Can a person with low self-regulation change? Absolutely! Simplistically, you need to learn to think before acting and redirect your anger, frustration, or moodiness so that the people around you don’t become victims.

But it’s not typically a quick fix and you need to be committed to make the change successfully. Here are three action items:

  • Recall times when you’ve delivered difficult messages effectively and your emotions haven’t hijacked you. Try to recreate those circumstances.
  • Get to the gym! Exercise is a key outlet and provides a place to redirect those impulses.
  • Work with a trusted colleague to “catch you” when this happens so you become more self-aware.

If you’d like to discuss a particular situation or would like to assess your emotional intelligence, please feel free to email me.

Have a great day!

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