Season 2 Episode 3: Self- Regulation - Done Done Done
Welcome back to the integrated leader podcast.
We're on a mission to help you transform into a more effective, empathetic and impactful leader, both professionally and personally.
. I'm your host, Lauren Marie and executive coach passionate and helping you unlock your potential.
If you're just joining us in this season. Welcome. I do want to let you know that each episode is built on the one before it.
So I encourage you to start at the beginning. So that you have a foundation of the science and the self-awareness that this episode is built on.
And this episode, we're diving deep into a topic that's often overlooked, but incredibly vital for exceptional leadership, self regulation. Now you might be wondering what exactly is self-regulation.
Self-regulation is managing and controlling your emotions, particularly in stressful or challenging situations. It's about staying composed and making thoughtful decisions, even when emotions are running high. And if you can remember in the science episode, we talked about how the amygdala can hijack our prefrontal cortex.
We're all of our rational, logical thoughtful. Decisions and ideas take place. And so if we are emotionally hijacked, It is much harder for us to regulate, which is what we're working on today. In the workplace self-regulation is vital for maintaining a positive environment, resolving conflicts and staying focused on your goals.
Self-regulation also allows you to stay calm under pressure.
A valuable skill for leaders and team members. So what are some signs that you might have low self-regulation? One difficulty controlling emotional reactions, such as anger or frustration. Two. Impulsive decision-making without considering the consequences.
Three. Struggling to stay focused and manage distractions. Four. Difficulty coping with stress or setbacks. I'm five. Strained relationships due to emotional outbursts or conflict.
If you recognize any of these traits in yourself, don't worry. You're not alone. Like self-awareness self-regulation is a skill that we can develop over time with practice and intention.
Unfortunately, many people resist learning how to manage their emotions effectively. So I'd like to take some time to explore some common reasons for this resistance. And discuss strategies for overcoming these obstacles on the path to better emotional regulation. One, the fear of losing authenticity. Some people worry that regulating their emotions will make them appear in authentic disconnected from their true feelings. They may believe that expressing emotions freely is a sign of honesty and openness.
The strategy with that is to understand that emotional regulation doesn't mean suppressing or ignoring your emotions. Instead it's about acknowledging your feelings. Understanding the, their origins. And choosing how to express them in a healthy and constructive manner that aligns with your values and your goals.
Another way people resist would be a lack of awareness or skills. Some individuals may not be aware of the importance of emotional regulation or lack the necessary skills to manage their emotions effectively. This honestly can lead to resistance or avoidance of learning emotional regulation techniques altogether.
So a strategy would be to educate yourself on the benefits of emotional regulation and its impact on personal wellbeing. Relationships professional success. Seek out resources, such as books, workshops therapy to develop emotional regulation skills and techniques.
Some people resist because we have habitual patterns and comfort zones for some unregulated emotional expression may have become a habit or part of their comfort zone. Changing these patterns can feel challenging or uncomfortable leading to resistance. So the strategy would be to recognize that change often involves discomfort.
And that it's natural part of personal growth. Begin by gradually introducing emotional regulation techniques. Into your daily life. I'm really be patient with yourself as you develop new habits and ways of responding to emotions.
The next one may be a fear of facing unresolved issues. Emotional regulation. Requires confronting and addressing unresolved emotional wounds. Some individuals may resist emotional regulation because they fear facing these painful experiences.
So a strategy would be to acknowledge and validate your fears. Well, understanding that addressing unresolved issues is essential for emotional healing and growth. Consider seeking professional help such as therapy or coaching. To provide support and guidance as you navigate this challenging process.
Overcoming resistance to emotional regulation is really a crucial step in developing emotional intelligence. And becoming a more integrated leader.
So now I'd like to invite you to listen into a conversation I've had
with licensed therapists, Kaleb Mitchell, who is also a dear friend. He has been helping us articulate and flesh out the ideas around emotional intelligence all through this series.
So listen in.
[00:06:04] Lauren Marie: Caleb, thanks for joining us again to discuss self-regulation. It's good to be with you.
[00:06:10] Caleb: Are you feeling regulated?
[00:06:12] Lauren Marie: I am in this moment.
[00:06:13] Lauren Marie: Are you feeling regulated?
[00:06:15] Caleb: Yeah, actually I am. I had to check in there for a second, but yeah, I too. All
[00:06:20] Lauren Marie: right, well, let's talk about it. .
[00:06:22] Lauren Marie: How does self-regulation differ from self-awareness, and why is it considered the second component of emotional intelligence?
[00:06:31] Caleb: Self-regulation is the second component because after you're aware of what your emotions are, now you get to make some choice about how you're going to move. Forward with them, and I say that really intentionally move forward with them, not lock them down and shut them off and kill them.
[00:06:50] Caleb: Because if that is what you're trying to do, then that becomes where your energy is. It's towards locking them down, killing them, getting them , in the right place or obedient to what they should be doing. Which then takes you out of the present moment of engaging with this other person.
[00:07:08] Caleb: Mm-hmm. So, so we're not talking about feeling nothing because like we said earlier, we are primarily an emotional being. We're going to have emotions. So the question is, how do we work with them and use them in a wise way? Mm-hmm. Versus how do we just throw them out? Because if we do that, Then we're not present then we're not actually in the room with the people we're trying to lead and or work with.
[00:07:34] Caleb: But if we just spew them all around, then that's not helpful either. We can go to one or two extremes. We can either try and lock them down and feel nothing, and that becomes our focus. So then people will experience us as possibly cold, detached, disconnected, and maybe not someone safe to actually work with.
[00:08:01] Caleb: Hmm. Or we can just start throwing our emotions around all over the place. Um, which is also really dangerous and scary for the people that we're with, , because. They don't feel like their emotional state or their experience can be heard at all either. So either one of those extremes feels really unsafe, for the group.
[00:08:25] Caleb: And if we're going back to everyone is still trying to be safe, right? So Right. I, as the leader, I'm trying to be safe. The people that I'm leading are trying to be safe. The people that I'm working with are trying to be safe. Everybody is trying to be safe, and that's not helpful. So the self-regulation is the ability to try and be safe and someone that other people can work with and not fight against.
[00:08:49] Caleb: And so that's the goal for self-regulation is so that we are working out of this place that is both emotional and logical, there's this thing called dialectical behavioral therapy, and they often talk about this integration of the emotional and the logical self and working out of them together, towards wisdom.
[00:09:09] Caleb: So self-regulation is the second piece to this, because after self-awareness, Knowing what's happening, then you're trying to figure out how am I going to move forward with this group in a way that is beneficial, , and effective.
[00:09:23] Lauren Marie: I think one of the interesting things that I've learned through the psychometric assessment we have that measures someone's emotional intelligence is that you can be very aware of your emotion and you can be very unregulated with them or.
[00:09:41] Lauren Marie: The opposite can happen is that you can be very regulated with them, but really have no idea what you're feeling. And I think that's quite interesting. and I think it's interesting because the way you articulated moving forward with emotion, gosh, that's a tricky dance to do
[00:09:59] Caleb: Yeah, it takes skill.
[00:10:00] Caleb: Like just in the same way that Yeah, like for an athlete, right. Um, so like a baseball hitter, uh, they're thinking about their stance, they're thinking about their grip, they're thinking about the swing, but they're trying to think about all of this at the same time while dealing the pressure of where they are in the game.
[00:10:21] Caleb: Maybe they're down to, and they're in the eighth inning, maybe there's already two outs and they're, they haven't been hitting well. So there's like all these emotional, psychological things that are going on at the same time while they're trying to think about how they're hitting. And so all of that is coming together at exactly the same time.
[00:10:41] Caleb: And that, yeah, like you said, it can be, a pretty complex dance
[00:10:46] Lauren Marie: , I, I think I would be someone who would tend to know my emotions more than I'm regulated on them. I think by being unregulated with them, I was being authentic. I didn't understand the difference between, I'm allowed to be very mad and I don't have to slam a door to be mad. Right. It's crazy. My brain kind of hurts and I hope like I'm not the only one that feels that you can be mad and not act out.
[00:11:13] Caleb: Yeah. And you can use the anger To begin to move forward with, with something versus acting it out, which stops the process. So it's a very different thing to, to storm out of a meeting and end the whole situation or just Sure. Sit there and, and, and like start a diatribe about how everybody's not living up to their potential.
[00:11:38] Caleb: It's another thing to be aware of the anger. And go, huh? I am really angry at everyone right now because I'm scared that we're not gonna be able to accomplish what I know that we can mm-hmm.
[00:11:52] Lauren Marie: Moving forward with
[00:11:53] Caleb: instead. Yes. Yeah. Instead of blowing up going, being able to be aware of this kind of under the surface fear, right.
[00:12:01] Caleb: That's driving the anger and saying, You know what team, I think I'm just scared. We're not living up to potential. And now you've taken all of that energy of the anger and you've worked with it to move forward with them about how you can now start, problem solving and what you can start doing different to help them actually live up to their potential versus just stopping the process with your anger.
[00:12:27] Caleb: Or the other thing that I, yeah. I would find myself as a leader doing at times is just holding it all in and taking it with me and not saying anything about it. And in not saying anything about it, now you've just avoided the situation and you've just kicked the can further down and nothing's happening.
[00:12:48] Lauren Marie: Yeah. And all of your energy just went with it.
[00:12:50] Caleb: Right, exactly.
[00:12:52] Lauren Marie: So good. Moving forward with emotion, self-regulation people, that's what it is. It's not easy. So I feel like you just answered this question, , but maybe you have something else to add. Can you discuss the role of self-regulation in maintaining a positive work environment and resolving conflict?
[00:13:12] Caleb: I think I would just add that you can't motivate people long term if they don't trust you, and the only way they're gonna trust you if you are safe to them. And the only way that you can be safe with them is that you're. Honestly expressing your own experience in a way that encourages them to move forward.
[00:13:33] Caleb: And a lot of times I see leaders who are afraid in a meeting or feeling some other really painful extreme emotion and what they do. Is they try and regulate their own internal experience by regulating the room. Mm-hmm.
[00:13:53] Caleb: So when I've run groups in the past, one of the things that has come up over and over again is that for many of these leaders,
[00:14:03] Caleb: Their attempt to quell their own fear and their own shame or some other kind of painful emotion has been to silence all of the people in the room and make sure that everyone just does what they want. And ironically, it's because that helps them feel calm. And so they're trying to get everyone to do exactly what they want so that they can feel calm internally, and they're not even aware about how they're trying to regulate and calm themselves by using everyone else in the room.
[00:14:37] Caleb: And so I think that is toxic leadership. It is when a leader tries to regulate. their own internal world by controlling their outside world, and that is usually their team.
[00:14:50] Lauren Marie: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. I see myself doing that in my own parenting. Can't you all just do what I ask so I can feel better?
[00:15:00] Caleb: I've never done it. Okay. You've seen, you know me too well for that, but yes, exactly. That's it. I mean, it, it's funny we, that you're using kids, but that is what leadership feels like a lot of times, right?
[00:15:15] Caleb: Yes. Is that you're, you're kind of running the second family. and yes, a lot of times I want my kids, I want my. Clinicians to do things that help regulate and make me feel better internally. And that's a really hard thing to admit a lot of times. Right.
[00:15:33] Caleb: I think it's completely human because we all want some. Level of peace, right?
[00:15:40] Caleb: And the lack of peace that other people are experiencing often does impact us. But I think this is where this psychological $25 word comes in and that is differentiation. I love that word. It's the idea that I can let you be, you and I can be me, and that I don't have. To be governed by your emotional experience.
[00:16:06] Caleb: And so I think this is where leaders oftentimes become this other $25 psychological word of enmeshed or overly, identified with their team. And so how the team is doing is how they're doing. and so if they're doing well, then I get to feel okay. If they're doing poorly, then I. Can't help but feel anything but the same way.
[00:16:32] Caleb: And so I think part of the process is that leaders need to begin to find spaces, as we talked before, where they get to explore their own experience of things and hold true to those and figure out how they're gonna work with the fear or the apathy or the excitement of their teams. Mm-hmm. Versus trying to get their teams to match what they want.
[00:17:01] Caleb: . So when it comes to your kids, maybe it means that you step outside, you let the noise be really loud, and you get some quiet and you take some breaths, and you realize they're gonna be kids. the, the other day my kids were laughing and giggling, kind of annoyingly, how dare they?
[00:17:19] Caleb: And I got so frustrated cuz they were messing with my piece and I just literally told myself, Caleb, they actually like each other. Mm-hmm. Can you just be thankful they like each other? And so I went to the other room and I let them just like each other. , and I think that, that, that's what leaders have to do at times.
[00:17:40] Caleb: . They have to be differentiated and know that they are different from the people they're leading.
[00:17:46] Lauren Marie: It's important. To note here that you can become unregulated with good emotions the same way you can be unregulated with perceived bad emotions.
[00:17:56] Caleb: Yeah. You can overwhelm people. Mm-hmm. If you're not careful. Mm-hmm. You can demand that they feel the thing that you feel, which again, is this attempt to regulate yourself by using other people. You want them to like come alongside you and get it as excited as you. Right. And so I think that's where the differentiation comes into play.
Well, that's all the time we have for today. Caleb, thank you so much for bringing such a depth of understanding and insight. Into the conversation around self-regulation. You really opened my eyes to a lot today, so I appreciate you taking the time.
Stay tuned for our upcoming episode around social awareness. See you next time on the integrated leader podcast. Remember business is personal, so let's be good at it.