Self-Regulation - Leader EQ
Research has identified five components of Emotional intelligence. These elements include:
Self-Awareness - the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others
Self-Regulation - the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods: the propensity to suspend judgment - to think before acting
Intrinsic Motivation - a passion for working for reasons that go beyond money or status: a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence
Empathy - the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people: skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions
Social Skill - proficiency in managing relationships and building networks: an ability to find common ground and build rapport
Self-regulation is the component of emotional intelligence that enables us to identify compulsive behaviors and release ourselves from being prisoners of our feelings.
Neurologists and biologists have long confirmed that natural chemical elements within the human brain have the ability to drive emotions. When the "fight or flight" reflex triggers an adrenaline rush coursing through our veins, there is little we can do to reduce the chemical reaction, but we can do something about how we react to the sensation. This is the essence of Self-Regulation within Emotional Intelligence. Self-Regulation is the inner monologue we debate within ourselves to decide how we physically and verbally react to our feelings. Individuals who master self-regulation feel happy and sad or frustrated and angry, just like everybody else, except that they recognize their emotional impulses and control themselves by not reacting based on their feelings. Self-regulated people react appropriately given the circumstances based on logic and reason within their minds, irrespective of their emotional drive.
It is not accurate to say that feelings don't exist. Feelings are driven by chemical reactions in our brain that are present and must be addressed. The critical variable is identifying how to handle the feelings. Several different strategies provide a solution to channel emotion, including physical activity, self-counseling, a transparent discussion with a trusted advisor, along with prayer, and meditation. The essential point is to accept the presence of the emotion created from natural chemical reactions in our brain and then address the neurological and biological reality of the circumstance by channeling the feelings to a positive outcome. This implies that the physical actions and verbal words spoken are controlled not to be offensive or project anger but rather present a rational response to the circumstances irrespective of the adrenaline pumping through your veins.
Consider the circumstance when a mortgage loan is scheduled to close tomorrow but fails to close because of a missing document. In this story, the customer is frustrated, the realtor is yelling at the originator, and the originator is trying to keep all parties focused on the goal while feeling frustrated, which is a legitimate sensation given the details. Irrespective of the circumstance, the originator must maintain composure while interacting with the realtor and the customer and then maintain composure while interacting with the processor and the closer to maintaining an internal culture of respect and mutual appreciation within the mortgage company. It is natural to want to kick the dog, yell at the kids, and yell at the staff associated with the transaction. Yelling is not the appropriate channel for the frustration felt. It is also unhealthy to ignore that an emotional reaction is present. It is best to focus on an effective means of channeling frustration through physical activity or another mechanism as part of embracing self-regulation.
The same standards apply to leadership. The CEO of a company must always maintain self-regulation when interacting with managers and staff to create an environment of trust and fairness. An excellent way for the CEO to establish trust and respect is to consistently apply self-regulation in all activities and especially when it is obvious that an emotional circumstance has surfaced. It is in the time of stressful circumstances when the CEO can deepen a culture of trust by appropriately responding to the participants irrespective of the stress. When the staff can trust the CEO in times of stress, they are more likely to trust the CEO in all other cases.
Research has demonstrated that talented people are drawn to an organization with a culture of self-regulation, respectful behavior among staff, and an environment of trust. Executives, managers, and other business professionals who have mastered their emotions through self-regulation can adapt to a changing environment. The pace of change is accelerating, and the ability to adapt to change is a highly valuable skill set. It is also accurate to say that a high rate of change triggers an emotional response, which is all the more reason to embrace emotional control, known as self-regulation.
Self-regulation is enhanced when self-awareness is present. Said a different way, individuals who struggle to accept self-awareness are likely to be ineffective at self-regulation. Self-regulation is difficult to achieve without identifying the feelings that lead to behavioral dynamics. The self-aware person can identify the emotional feeling and, through self-regulation, intercept the emotional trigger by controlling the physical and verbal response given the circumstances. In this respect, self-awareness enables identifying the emotion, and self-regulation prevents inappropriate physical or verbal responses.
There are mountains of research that identify the negative effect when a CEO displays negative emotion toward their staff. Stated positively, the CEO who possesses a high degree of self-awareness is likely to implement self-regulation effectively and create an environment that becomes a magnet for talented people who want to work in an atmosphere of respect, trust, and mutual appreciation.
Some of this information is leveraged from The Harvard Business Review article written by Daniel Goleman titled What Makes a Leader? You can find the full article here.
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About Dr. Schell:
Dr. Andy Schell, Ph.D., DBA, MSML, MBA, CPA/CFF, CMB
Dr. Schell is CEO, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder of Mortgage Banking Solutions and the Founder of MBS Financial Services ("MBS"), based in Austin, Texas. Dr. Schell is known for his ability to turn "vision into reality" and "chaos into order" as he finds creative solutions to the challenges his clients face addressing Revenue Stability, Technology Enhancement, Financial Management, and Workflow Efficiency.
He has 4 decades of experience as a strategist directing the activity of both small and large groups of employees including mortgage lending activity at Bank of America. His leadership knowledge extends from his hands-on experience and his academic training in his MBA, his master's degree in leadership, and his doctoral work to examine employee dynamics given leader stimulus.
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