A closer look at Emotional Intelligence: Self-control

Jul 26 2011 | Tags: Emotional Intelligence

A closer look at Emotional Intelligence: Self-control

Imagine this scenario; you are a Manager in a retail store and it is coming into your busy period when you realize that you have lost your phone. The last place you remember having it was on the counter and now it is not there. Immediately you get upset and panicked, asking all your staff where your phone is, no one knows. You are extremely upset and immediately assume someone has stolen it, you start yelling at the staff, then blame someone because they should have been standing behind that counter…

Have you been in a similar situation before? If you were on the receiving end how did it impact on you? Is this a productive response? Or is there a better way to deal with this situation?

I saw this very scenario not so long ago, understandably the Manager was upset, I’m sure we all know that feeling of losing a phone, there is nothing worse. This is the kind of day-to-day reaction that we can sometimes find ourselves delivering or encountering – what is important to look at though is the greater affect on the rest of the team. The store was about to go into it’s rush period, and the Manager was upset and yelling at everyone, everyone else then noticeably became upset, lost focus and their ability to deliver great customer service.

So is there an alternative response or a better way of dealing with this situation? Surely it is an emotional reaction that we can’t necessarily control?

This scenario relates to our self-control, a competency in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) that our Emotional Capital Report (ECR) measures for. Self-control encompasses calmness, a rational mind and discipline. When self-control is low in terms of emotional intelligence it can mean that we get emotional in stressful situations, find it difficult to control anxiety and can often act impulsive and unpredictably; consequently you may end up putting yourself and others under undue pressure, which contributes to a stressful working environment.

As talked about earlier in the previous blog piece, emotional responses are learnt and can become habitual responses; however by acknowledging this and giving yourself space to look at the situation, we can re-learn more productive ’emotional habits’.

What are some strategies you can employ to help develop your self-control?

Examine negative ‘self-talk’ that drives your emotional reactions in stressful situations.

Respond, rather than react to difficult situations by introducing a pause before speaking and acting impulsively.

Take time to pause and give adequate thought to the impact of your words and actions on others.

These are just a few examples, but as you can see, to develop our EQ it can really be a matter of taking simple practical actions. The first step is to acknowledge this, benchmark your EQ and then work on practical coaching strategies.

And the outcome of the above scenario?… The Manager found her phone, it was where she had left it (on a different counter), and she ended up looking and feeling quite silly about the whole situation. So save yourself the frustrations and embarrassment of going through these motions, and make an active step towards your self-development today!

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