Series on Emotional Intelligence: Self regulation

Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and control our own behavior, emotions, or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation. It is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.


self regulation

Sometimes you might know exactly what you should do in order to get what you want yet find yourself doing the complete opposite as a result of emotional responses. All of us know that we should control our temper in order to communicate more effectively with others yet most of us lose control of our emotions and mess things up. All of us know that we should control our stress in order to be able to properly deal with life problems yet most of us lose control. Learning how to control your emotions in a relationship, at work and everywhere else is an essential skill that everyone who is serious about success must acquire. Just like knowing what to do is vital knowing how to control your emotions is important so that you can allow yourself to apply what you know.

Take for example the case of the legendary entrepreneur, Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO of Apple. He is accredited with revolutionizing the world of personal computers and mobile phones. He also made people believe that “think different” was more of a life motto instead of a marketing slogan. For all his success and achievement, however, he was considered to be someone who was not nice to be around.

He was greatly feared throughout his Apple kingdom for his merciless, mercurial temper. The tales of his eccentric personality are famous and abound in numbers. One such story is his encounter with a young man in an elevator at Apple’s Headquarters in Silicon Valley. The young man in question had closed the door of the elevator not realizing that Jobs was approaching it. After realizing that he was in the company of the Apple founder, the young man tried to greet him pleasantly. Instead of returning the pleasantry however, Jobs questioned the young man as to what he has done for Apple recently. The young man replied that he has bought an iPad for his daughter on her birthday. The young man thought that he had given a witty answer but to his dismay, Jobs only got more angered and started screaming at him in the middle of the lobby. Jobs shouted at the man that he was fired. He told him to get all his stuff and leave the office immediately, The young man calmly replied that Jobs could not fire him. This made Jobs go berserk and he continued screaming at the man. Finally the young man said that Jobs could not fire him because he did not work for Apple. He was only there to fix the copier. This left Jobs red faced and embarrassed in front of everyone.

All these incidents led to people in certain circles having so much disdain for the Apple founder that there in 2010, a petition called “IhateSteveJobs” started online aimed at making him leave the organization. This goes to show that despite how much success or popularity you gain, you will not get the respect of the people if you do not exhibit control on your emotions and display them appropriately.