This is Leadership: Self-regulation


Know yourself and be conscious of your immediate environment

Self-regulation takes its source from personal management and leadership models. Research works that seek to remind leaders that leadership involves higher levels of emotional intelligence and mixed models of motivational techniques direct these discussions at leaders. Learning to guide behaviours, feelings and thoughts to achieve goals are crucial to the self-regulation discourse.

Self-regulation enchantingly seeks to prompt leaders to contribute to their own motivation, performance and satisfaction levels in all endeavours. Good leaders regulate their emotions every time. To regulate is to set or even control something according to an acceptable standard so things can operate as required. Authentic leaders understand this.

Although Goleman (1995) expresses this clearly, Baumeister (2007) hinted that self-regulation has four components. Desirable behavioral standards, meeting motivation levels, willpower and monitoring or managing thoughts to align with leader feelings. To expand this in its real and broader perspective, Baumeister and his colleagues again stretched self-regulation to include strength, skillsets and knowledge structure.

Self-regulation is in the mind. Kindly note this. Know yourself and be conscious of your environment. Allowing the brain to wander within the thinking realms gives meaning to strength as far as self-regulation is concerned. The self-regulatory theory hints that people with low impulse control act on immediate desires.

Research confirms that many people find their way to jail because of the lack of self-regulation. This is just an example. In the offices, people get punished because of the lack of self-regulation. There is also the illusion of control which other research works refer to it as cognitive bias. Fenton-O’Creevy et al (2003) suggest that some people may be driven by their self-goals and although they may be aware of the situation, they may not give the environment the needed attention.

People who master the art of self-regulation are naturally self-motivated. Although recurring traits have a way of predicting behaviours, self-regulation fine-tunes a self-regulated personality. The OCEAN Model and the Goleman (1995) Model on emotional intelligence settle the argument that personality types are unstable over time. Self-regulation is just like watching a television programme with the remote control in your hand.

If you train your emotions, you’ll know when to increase or decrease the volume on your set. You’ll also know when to dim or increase some brightness to your vision. More importantly, you’ll know when change programmes and when to switch off or switch on your set. Leaders must learn to regulate their emotions because nothing is stable over time.

The key skills to live the art of self-regulation include: self-control (when to be that cat and when to be that dog), adaptability (being flexible in understanding situations and exhibiting the requisite wisdom to know when to act and when to hold off) and conscientiousness (exhibiting the right conscience to dutifully execute tasks excellently to reflect the predisposition to be diligent, organized and responsible). Leaders who regulate themselves well regulate the immediate environment.

As a matter of fact, if you position self-regulation within the leader- follower -situation context, it opens up the argument that ‘it only takes a man to change situations and not men’. If you regulate yourself well, you can regulate a whole system.

This is leadership!

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