Self-management for emotional intelligence

Improve your ability to effectively regulate stress and appropriately express emotional reactions, whether alone or with others. 

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Why this matters

The skills in this area are designed to help you strengthen the following abilities:

  1. Managing stress: understand, anticipate and manage personal  and work-related stressors effectively

  2. Self-regulating: can calm yourself, whether alone or with others

  3. Managing frustration and anger: express frustration and anger appropriately  and being mindful of how these emotions impact others

  4. Making decisions in stressful situations: demonstrate thoughtfulness, self-discipline and emotional control when responding to stressful situations

When you enhance your self-management, you can improve how well you emotionally react and respond to stressors. Individuals with strengths in this area are:

  • Calm, level-headed and even-tempered
  • Effective, even in highly stressful personal or work situations
  • Calm under high pressure
  • Able to bounce back from difficult situations easily, quickly and effectively
  • Respectful towards others in all circumstances
  • Able to modulate intense emotions, such as frustration, irritation and anger
  • Thoughtful decision makers
  • Effective and controlled in demanding situations
  • Attuned to others’ emotional reactions in high-pressure circumstances

Self-management assessment statements

Each of the following are related to self-management and are included in the emotional intelligence self-assessment .

  1. I regularly struggle with maintaining good work-life harmony.

  2. For the most part I have no control over my stress.

  3. Stress prevents me from being as effective as I’d like to be.

  4. It’s impossible for me to hide my emotional reactions even when I try to control them. 

  5. I remain calm even under extreme pressure.

  6. If I get upset, it takes a long time for me to feel like myself again. 

  7. Others would say I’m always respectful no matter how frustrated or upset I am.

  8. Anger’s one of the hardest emotions for me to control.

  9. People can tell I’m emotionally upset, even if I haven’t said a word.

  10. When faced with urgent demands, it’s generally best for me if others stay out of my way.

  11. When under high pressure, I tend to act quickly and reflect later.

  12. It’s unreasonable to focus on others’ emotional reactions when I’m under high demands.

Tips for stress management 

Stressors are unfortunately part of our daily personal and working lives. This doesn’t mean they’re directly problematic. Rather, our responses to stressors can be challenging. When we work to reduce our overall stress levels, we can find it much easier to fulfill our responsibilities. It’s especially helpful to regulate the stress levels of people who oversee a group – such as in a workplace, classroom or on a team. Anyone can be considerably less effective when reacting to others who are stressed. See Tips for stress management to learn more. 

Find action-oriented and reflection exercises that can help you refine your emotional intelligence skills here: Emotional intelligence for employees and Emotional intelligence for leaders.

Contributors include.articlesDr. Joti SamraMary Ann BayntonMyWorkplaceHealthWorkplace Strategies team 2007-2021

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