Emotional Intelligence for Leaders: Self-Management
As we go along the components of emotional intelligence, you really get to notice a pattern or direction associated with it. You begin by being proactive and using your brain to assess your emotional reaction towards situations, followed by being proactive towards how others react to those situations, and whether or not those reactions are true or not.
Then after all of this, as we tackled in our previous article, you then use all this information to make the best available decision. In that article we talked about how important all of this is in when you take into consideration how you’re always making decisions every day, especially in the context of business or in working for a company, a startup, etc. Our emotions shouldn’t be underestimated!
So given the importance of our emotions, this brings us to the fifth component of Emotional Intelligence: self-management.
From the Genos International Website:
“Self-Management is about managing one’s own mood and emotions, time and behaviour, and continuously improving oneself. The modern workplace is generally one of high demands and pressure, and this can create negative emotions and outcomes. Our mood can be very infectious and can therefore be a powerful force in the workplace; productively or unproductively.
This skill helps people be resilient and manage high work demands and stress rather than being temperamental at work. People who are proficient in managing their own emotions are optimistic and look to find the opportunities and possibilities that exist even in the face of adversity.”
Epictetus, one of the pioneers of the Stoic philosophy, introduced the age-old idea of what’s within our control and what’s beyond our control. He said that the things we can control are our opinions, desires, pursuits, and our actions. What’s beyond our control are our bodies, reputation, property, command, and what’s not our actions.
What he’s trying to explain is that we control ourselves. Everything begins and ends with ourselves. How we look at things, how we act, how we carry ourselves, how we take care of ourselves. And like what Genos International mentioned, when we succumb to the high demands and pressure of today’s world, our mood changes. And when our mood changes, it can easily trickle down to everyone else and lead to a negative, unproductive aura that hinders teams from high performance.
No matter what’s the situation, there’s always the opportunity; there’s always something to take away, always something that can help us be better. Our level of understanding this depends on our skill of self-management. Before we think about others or think about how to lead them towards a common purpose, we must always begin and end with ourselves. We must have a clear understanding of what we do, how capable we are of doing them, how we go about our days, etc. We’re not even going to dive into our identity and about WHY we do things, because that’s an entirely different can of worms altogether. Let’s stick to the practial stuff.
Managing Ourselves Better
Self-management is a crucial component of Emotional Intelligence that enables individuals to effectively manage and regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is a skill that can lead to increased productivity and success in both personal and professional settings. It allows us to effectively manage and regulate our own emotions and behaviors, rather than being at the mercy of them. This is especially important in situations where we might be feeling overwhelmed or distressed, as it allows us to maintain a sense of control and to respond to challenges in a calm and rational manner.
To develop self-management skills, it is important to first become more aware of our own emotions and how they influence thoughts and behaviors. This involves learning to recognize and label different emotions, as well as understanding the triggers that cause them. It may also be helpful to practice mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, which can help to calm the mind and increase self-awareness. We talked a lot about these ideas in the first article of Emotional Intelligence.
Once we are more aware of our own emotions, we can then begin to practice self-regulation techniques, such as setting goals and priorities, creating a plan of action, and establishing boundaries. These techniques can help us to stay focused and to avoid becoming overwhelmed by tasks or challenges.
In addition to these techniques, there are also a number of strategies that can help to improve self-management skills, including:
- Time management: Effective time management involves setting clear goals and priorities, creating a schedule, and organizing tasks in a way that allows us to be productive and meet deadlines.
- Stress management: Stress management involves identifying and addressing the sources of stress in our lives, as well as learning coping strategies such as deep breathing, relaxation techniques, journaling, countermeasures for burnout, and exercise.
- Assertiveness: Assertiveness involves expressing one’s own thoughts, feelings, and needs in an open and respectful manner, while also respecting the rights and needs of others.
The benefits of self-management are numerous and far-reaching. Individuals with strong self-management skills are typically more productive and successful in both their personal and professional lives. They are better able to handle challenges and setbacks, and are less likely to become overwhelmed or stressed, but more likely to be resilient, as what Genos International stated.
They are also more likely to have positive relationships with others, as they are able to effectively manage their emotions and behaviors in social situations. This is something we’ll dive into in our final component of emotional intelligence: positive influence.
Self-management isn’t just about managing negative emotions – it can also help us to cultivate and amplify positive emotions. For example, setting goals and priorities can help us to focus on the things that are most important and meaningful to us, which can increase our sense of purpose and fulfillment. And by learning to manage our time effectively, we can create more space and opportunities to pursue activities that bring us joy and happiness.
Do you want to be a better leader?
Overall, self-management is a crucial aspect of emotional intelligence that can greatly improve our personal and professional lives. By developing self-management skills, we can become more productive, successful, and happy in all areas of our lives.
Once you manage yourself, you set the sturdy foundation for also being a leader for your business. And to know more about all of that, check out our leadership courses and other resources on our website! Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay up-to-date on all our content!