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So, you know how important a high degree of Emotional Intelligence is for success, a great quality of life and effective relationships.

However, do you ever find yourself flustered or irritated every time a particular person walks into the room, or looks at you in that way? Do you ever lose your temper with just a minor provocation when everyone else in the room is wondering why? Do you ever find yourself being overly defensive when you were just asked a simple question?

I hear many of my clients say that Emotional Self-Regulation is a key domain of EQ that they find challenging to master.

I completely  relate to this – my high empathy score 😉 – some days I’m sure my amygdala is the most reactive one in the room!

As Daniel Goleman says, biological impulses drive our emotions – we can’t do away with them – but we can manage them. Self-regulation is like an ingoing inner conversation that can free us from being prisoners of our feelings.

Top executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith wrote a whole book on “Triggers” – and how our emotional reactions don’t occur in a vacuum.

Something in the environment invariably triggers us to react – based on old ‘neuro-programming’ based on an adaptive response in the past to something ‘similar’, which is now rather ‘maladaptive’ given our current adult resources and situation.

Being able to regulate our emotions matters.

Since our emotions – what we feel our how we want to feel – drive our behaviours, our actions, what we do or don’t do – it is vital to be able to control our feelings and associated impulses.

The advantages of self-regulation?

  • It creates a safe environment of trust and fairness
  • It therefore increases productivity
  • It increases our resilience
  • It enhances your integrity as a leader

Signs of emotional self-regulation:

  • A propensity for reflection and thoughtfulness
  • Ability to suspend judgment
  • To think before acting
  • To listen deeply
  • Comfort with ambiguity and change
  • Openness to change

Emotional self-regulation takes self-awareness and effort to develop new strategies and to change your behaviour in response to the triggers.

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