Leaders need to cultivate self-regulation and self-control to communicate effectively.
Don’t freak out and react poorly as a leader. Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Boss-Level Self-Control: Improve Your Leadership Communication

Learn to self-regulate in a way that you are composed, confident, and respected among your staff, peers, and clients.

Leaders need to contain their anger in stressful, critical situations to give the best response while continuing to lead.
Leaders need to contain their anger in stressful, critical situations to give the best response while continuing to lead.
Contain your rage. Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Delay

One of the tools that I have used successfully is choosing not to respond at all. It absolutely infuriates my staff and stakeholders when I do not respond immediately, but I have learned that if I feel one of those critical, stressful situations, I can choose not to respond at all. I can think about it for a few hours or overnight, then respond in an appropriate way.

Holding Yourself Accountable

Implementing goals and monitoring, being mindful about knee-jerk responses, emotional outbursts, reacting angrily, and loss of self-control are key steps (Pychyl, 2009).

Having a Peer Accountability Partner

Having a trusted peer helping to monitor may be beneficial, as people often do not recognize what they are doing at the time. I usually do not realize that I made a mistake regarding self-regulation until long after the situation has passed, so a calm, trusted voice of a peer would help correct my path.

Having a Personal ‘Code of Ethics’

Knowing my values is a vital next step. Is there a personal code of ethics that I live by that I can measure my actions and reactions against (Batool, 2013, p.88)? Keeping those values to the forefront can help guide decisions where I would normally react poorly left to my own devices.

Practicing Calm

Practicing meditation, introspection, and practicing calm with deep breathing exercises are helpful tools toward self-regulation. Journaling feelings and responses rather than expressing those responses in a knee-jerk way is also a helpful strategy (Batool, 2013, p.88).

Staying Healthy

Taking care of my physical self, getting enough sleep, getting exercise, and eating normally are keys to staying in control (Gouguechon, 2018). I find that when I am exhausted and working on no sleep through stressful incidents, it is far more difficult to stay in control of my emotions, speech, and behavior.

Conclusion|Summary

In order to lead effectively without jeopardizing your role, your team, and your relationships, use these strategies in order to get you through those stressful, critical times when it seems natural to freak out:

  • Holding yourself accountable
  • Finding an accountability peer
  • Developing a code of ethics
  • Practicing calm
  • Staying healthy
Having a strategy to deal with stress and conflict is important in being an effective leader.
Having a strategy to deal with stress and conflict is important in being an effective leader.
Happy leader, happy team. Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Art is the President & COO at a managed service provider called MePush. He is experienced at leading IT operations, cybersecurity, and architecture teams.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store