Self-Control: Managing Potential Disruptive Emotions and Impulses

She was the best of workers; he was the worst.  She was the epitome of exceptional customer service; he was the antithesis. Indeed, a book written about these two members of the same Corporate Family® could very well be titled A Tale of Two Employees.

Observers to the diametrically different team members summed up the major variance this way: “He just doesn’t have any self-control.”  Some days, he sulked into work—seeming to begrudge the fact that he had to show up at all.  He didn’t appear to like interacting with people (including the customers who made his job possible).  Even on good days, his mood could swing with the slightest disruption or disagreement.

No doubt we’ve all encountered people like this.  Sometimes we’ve hired them and then have had to let them go because of their “disruptive emotions and impulses.”  Those responsible for recruiting and retaining talent in their Corporate Family® want to find the best team members, like the woman above who provided stellar customer service, was a team player, and strove for personal and professional excellence. But how can we be certain we hire individuals with great Self-Control?  And, perhaps even more importantly, how can we assist current team members to improve levels of Self-Control, an essential aspect of Self-Regulation?

Some leaders don’t realize that Self-Control is one of twenty-five characteristics that comprise an individual’s Emotional Competence, also refereed to as EQ (Emotional Quotient).  Like all of the characteristics that make up one’s Emotional Competence, Self-Control can be improved upon over time.  This is because, unlike IQ, EQ is malleable—so the ability to “manage potentially disruptive emotions and impulses” (LEADon’s® definition of Self-Control) can be directly addressed using specific strategies.

As a leader, you would probably like to be confident that all of your Corporate Family® members exhibit exceptional Self-Control.  Actually, most of us would also like to ensure that our own levels of Self-Control remain high, especially during times of financial challenges, changing markets, and Corporate Family® conflict.  Yet, for a variety of reasons, the impact Self-Control has on productivity and profitability isn’t always on our radar.

But Self-Control is on other people’s radar.  Indeed, an April 2018 Forbes article entitled “A Neglected but Essential Leadership Trait:  Why Self-Control Really Matters” provides this poignant insight: “While the corporate world tends to ignore self-control, professional investors study and value it. Seasoned investors know they are prone to mistakes in judgment when emotion overrides rational decision-making” (see more of Prudy Gourguechon’s article at  Be assured that some of these “investors” in your particular company include your valued clientele who assess the levels of Self-Control in your Corporate Family® and adjust their interactions accordingly.

What can you do to evaluate the competency you and your team members currently have when it comes to an essential skill like Self-Control? At LEADon®, we’ve developed a proprietary assessment called the Developing Emotional Competency Questionnaire® (DECQ®) to help individuals, teams, and entire Corporate Families® discover their strengths and weaknesses in all twenty-five EQ characteristics.  Once this online assessment is completed, individuals receive their personal, confidential scores directly—while team and Corporate Family® scores are accessible to all team members so they can determine their collective EQ capabilities. In addition, the DECQ® can be taken repeatedly over time to benchmark improvement as you implement LEADon® straight-line strategies which target the skills needed for a healthy, productive EQ in your Corporate Family®.

LEADon® also offers over thirty online courses to help leaders in their personal leadership growth and the development of their High-Performance Teams.  For the EQ characteristic of Self-Control, we recommend beginning with the course entitled LEADing by Resolving Conflict® which provides a proven system for managing personal and professional conflict.  We also suggest taking LEADers Manage Their Health® and LEADing Through Stress and Burnout®.  All LEADon® courses can be found at

Remember, focusing on Self-Control must be a priority since “a pattern of behavior that betrays a lack of self-control should always be seen as a serious problem with significant personal and business consequences” (from the Forbes article above).  If you’d like assistance from the LEADon® team as you address this or any other leadership need, please contact us directly at 858.592.0700 or at