Archives February 2019

Why can Self-Management improve your business effectively?

Why can Self-Management improve your business effectively?

Because, for entrepreneurs and leaders alike,

Self-Management is the secret ingredient to success.

Moreover: self-management can be learnt and improved, like any other emotional skill.

In my last blog, we explored the basics of self-awareness
one of the key components of Emotional Intelligence.

Today we will dive into Self-Management and its competencies, trying to understand what they are and how we can implement better techniques and strategies to ensure they keep improving.

What will we be covering here?

What is Self-Management?

Emotional Self-Control

Self-Control: Top Tips


Adaptability: Top Tips

Achievement Drive

Achievement Drive Tips

Positive Outlook

Positive Outlook Top Tips


Let’s briefly talk about the 4 competencies under the Self-Management umbrella:

👉Emotional Self-Control

Once you have identified your emotion, the next step is to take control of it. If you can manage your emotions, you can remain calm and focused amid the most stressful situation and be of help to your co-workers and team in addition to yourself. Keeping disruptive emotions at bay is fundamental for anyone, especially for leaders.


This is the ability to be flexible and change the course of action according to the circumstances, without losing sight of the end goal. Learning how to develop this skill enables you to be flexible, without adding any stress. Life is unpredictable at the best of times, so uncertainty is expected and to be comfortable with it, is a great accomplishment.

👉Achievement Drive. Initiative and Innovation

This competence is key and entails striving towards goals whilst maintaining a standard of excellence, accepting the challenges you might encounter en route but, at the same time, improving performance and being ready to welcome opportunities. Being open to innovation is crucial in an era where everything around us changes at lightning speed.

👉Positive Outlook

The way you see the world changes your outlook of it. You can build your whole universe and turn each and every situation into an opportunity. The future always holds opportunities for improvement and positive outcomes.



So now, let’s dive in and explore how to improve each one of them!


“The goal is balance, not emotional suppression: every feeling has its value and significance”

Dr. Daniel Goleman – Emotional Intelligence

Dr. Goleman defines Emotional Self-Control as “the ability to manage disturbing emotions and remain effective, even in stressful situations”.

Emotional Balance (as you can also call it) speaks loudly and clearly about benefitting from the ability to manage your emotions after acknowledging their existence. Emotions can be intrusive and overwhelming.

As you may have seen previously, emotions can’t be denied nor suppressed and you cannot then avoid dealing with them. If you try to do this, you end up setting them free and this is when they take control of your body and mind.

This is why Self-awareness is so important: managing your emotions involves recognition and acceptance.

When you know what you feel, you can act accordingly. Better yet: you can learn to detect the triggers that, in certain situations, pave the way for certain reactions.

Self-control will give you the possibility to remain calm, in control and to think clearly, even in the most stressful situations.

 Self-Control Top Tips

The goal? To keep emotions in check. This will lead to well-being and success.

How can you improve it? Practice mindfulness: this will help develop your ability to pay attention without judging and help you identify what is going on without acting. Mindfulness also helps to improve observation and patience.


Change is the magic door that leads to new opportunities, but the fear of the unknown can keep you paralysed. Adaptability is a key emotional competence and if you master it, uncertainty can be embraced with confidence.

The first thing to know about Adaptability is that it is the best competence to have for enabling your business to weather the storms. It allows you to not only embrace challenges but also take risks.

Being able to change perspectives means situations can be open to new developments.

What are the benefits of mastering this skill?

👉 You will feel comfortable with change

👉 You will also anticipate change and make the most of it

👉 You will be able to envision different scenarios and possibilities to attain your goals

👉 You won’t be afraid to take necessary risks

Adaptability Top Tips

The goal? Transforming the fear of the unknown into a world of NEW OPPORTUNITIES

How can you improve it? Get out of your comfort zone and pay attention to what happens. Begin with little things (change your favourite cafe, for example). Explore.

 Note: Leaders with this skill can remain focused in the middle of any storm and moreover, can be ready to receive uncertainty with open arms.


Enthusiasm and persistence in the face of setbacks have an undeniable payoff. Motivation is a powerful tool you can fuel on a daily basis, remembering your values and goals.

Achievement orientation is a skill that shows your capacity for permanent improvement. It generates new interests and gives you a reason for continued learning and expanding your horizons.

Do you have enough passion for what you do? This is the hidden driver that will lead you to excel in all that you do.

Setting high goals, working hard to achieve them and calculating the risks worth taking en route, is the perfect definition of Achievement Orientation.

Note: Leaders who have developed this skill are able to create an achievement culture within their organizations.

Achievement Orientation Top Tips

The goal? Learning to detect and feed your motivation. Being ready to adapt yourself and to explore and conquer new horizons.

How can you improve it? Take a piece of paper and make four columns. Complete each one with the following: what are my core motives? What goals have I set? What I am doing to achieve them? How can I make room for improvement?




In short, this skill is all about the ability to turn any situation into a positive outcome, identifying its new opportunities.

It entails the ability to see the “big picture” and also, to expect the best in the future. A Positive Outlook can be the difference between defeat and success because mastering this skill will allow you to identify multiple solutions and more easily overcome obstacles.

Positive Outlooks lead to

👉 better performance

👉 higher motivation

👉 creation of new opportunities

👉 empowerment

👉 greater loyalty

👉 outstanding customer service

Note: Leaders with this skill have the ability to see opportunities where nobody else can, and also have resilience, as they understand setbacks in a different way: not necessarily as obstacles but as positive challenges.

Positive Outlook Top Tips

The goal? Learning new ways to think and respond, and clearly identifying the goals that, in the end, will give you meaning and purpose. 

How can you improve it? Write in a journal. Once a week, write down in as much detail as possible, an important event or situation that troubled you. After explaining the facts – including how you responded to it –  imagine at least 2 other possible conclusions for that event. 



By now, you know that developing these skills will certainly help improve your social and emotional intelligence quotients.


Why is Self-Awareness so important for better business?

Why is Self-Awareness so important for better business?


Self-awareness is the key component of any successful business

How can self-awareness transform situations and open an
umbrella of possibilities and success?

“Self-awareness, in short, means being “aware of both our mood and our thoughts about that mood,” John Mayer, co-formulator with Peter Salovey of the theory of emotional intelligence.”

Last week, we began to talk about the Emotional Competencies or the skills that can be learnt and improved to help us achieve better performance, reliable results with less strain and, in the end, more satisfaction and happiness.

Briefly, the four main areas of EI are:

📍 Self-Awareness: recognising our emotions is the first step. If we acknowledge them, we can choose how to control them.

📍 Self Management: this is the aspect that allows us to master our emotions, to be in control of them and give them better use when necessary

📍 Social Awareness: recognising emotions in others can help us relate to them better. Happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger and surprise are the six universal emotions that we can identify in any human being.

📍 Relationship Management: this area is the one that allows us to have an impact on our company, neighbourhood or community, our daily work with others and any social sphere. It relates to the emotions and behaviours of others and how we can be of benefit to them.

So today, we will explore Self-awareness and its competences (or skills): Emotional Self-Awareness, Accurate Self-Assessment and Self-Confidence.

What will we be covering here?

Why is self-awareness so important?

How do we detect our feelings?

The importance of the neocortex

How do we interpret our feelings?

Practical exercises and examples to improve Self-Awareness

Self Awareness and leadership

Two crucial final points to remember

Why is Self-Awareness so important?

The importance of recognising our own emotions and feelings when they are happening is crucial. This can make a difference and transform any situation.

Self Awareness

Our feelings exist – they affect us and our performance. So, being able to detect and understand what they are and what they mean, opens a new road that leads straight to

👉 an accurate sense of self-confidence
👉 a path of authenticity
👉 real productivity

Being realistic and accepting that our feelings will affect our performance directly, is the magical key that will open the door of improvement and change (when it is needed), clarity and a sense of purpose as well as, a reaffirmation of your true self.

Knowing yourself, your limits and your potential, as well as the impact that your emotions have on everything you do, sets you up for the future.

But how do we detect our feelings?

As a psychologist who studied psychoanalysis in depth, I enjoy the Freudian method of paying attention, impartially, to anything that occurs – like a witness, or someone not engaged in the scene.

Yes, it is difficult, but not impossible and like everything, the skill requires practice for it to be mastered.

Monitoring our feelings can help us understand specific reactions, they usually come in patterns. We tend to repeatedly react to certain triggers in the same manner.

So, the effective way to cut the cycle begins with paying attention to the emotion when it arises.

“I prefer the term self-awareness, in the sense of ongoing attention to one’s internal states. In this self-reflexive awareness, mind observes and investigates experience itself, including the emotions.” Daniel Goleman. Emotional Intelligence.

We can learn how to be aware of moods and thoughts too. The neocortex (the area of the brain responsible for functions such as perception cognition and language among others) activates and labels the emotions, so they can be better understood and identified.

The neocortex is the evolutionarily newest portion of the cerebral cortex, and it is where most of the higher brain functions reside.

Self Awareness

And how do we interpret them?

One tendency we all have is to immediately “judge” the feeling, giving it a positive or negative value and thinking in terms of should or shouldn’t.

For example, if the feeling is considered a negative one (against our principles, not convenient, etc.), our thought might be “I shouldn’t feel this way”.

This is the kind of thought that we need to unlearn, instead of remaining impartial which leads to acceptance and acceptance to self-management.

Tips to improve your Self-Awareness and to increase your EQ

Here are some practical exercises to strengthen Self-awareness:

1) Practising mindfulness: giving yourself some time to explore your present state is the first step. You can ask yourself some questions, such as

❓ What am I feeling right now? For example: “I feel tired. I feel anxious. I feel full of hope.”

❓ Can I identify the source of that feeling? For example: “I didn’t sleep well last night. I have a deadline. I got promoted”.

❓ Does that feeling resonate in a specific part of my body? For example: “My back hurts a little bit. My shoulders are tense. I feel warmth in my chest.”

❓ Does it have a certain weight or texture, a colour perhaps, or any attribute at all? For example: “Heavy. Red. Light”.

2) Give your emotions a name: At the moment you’re feeling an intense emotion, try to give it a name that is as accurate as possible: fear, anger, happiness, etc. If you can, write it down and if not, repeat it in your head. Give yourself some time to explore the feeling and, if possible, “be with it”.

3) Keep a journal: This can be helpful, especially if you make notes about the situation that led to that particular emotion and your reaction to it. Research has demonstrated the efficacy of writing and its connection with health.

“Writing seems to help the brain regulate emotion unintentionally. Whether it’s writing things down in a diary, writing bad poetry, or making up song lyrics that should never be played on the radio, it seems to help people emotionally,” Dr Matthew Lieberman, psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles,

If we look at this now from a leadership perspective (and when I say leadership, I mean any person that has a team, within or outside of the corporate framework), self-assessment turns out to be crucial in clearly identifying both strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as developing Self-Confidence -the sense of one’s self-worth and capabilities.

Naturally, a proper test to measure the EQ would be the right thing to do. But there are other methods that can help too such as feedback which certainly gives a leader useful knowledge.

That feedback, when it comes not only from the managers but also from the teams and employees, results in understanding the others’ perspectives. Remaining open and receptive can make the difference and open numerous opportunities for change and growth.

self awareness

Two critical final points to remember

a) Developing and improving our self-awareness is the foundation of the building; all the other floors will be built and established on this foundation. This is why it is so important.

b) The information we get from this exploration need not be viewed as any kind of judgement. Don’t dwell too much on your strengths nor your vulnerabilities.

Of course, the best way to dig deep in self-awareness is to know the tools (the exercises) that can help and have a coach with whom to discuss and clarify them.

Another way to start knowing yourself better is to do assessments. You can find plenty on the internet (some of them are free), and even though I highly recommend you to book a consultation with a professional -to evaluate results and set a course of action- some of those assessments can give you some basic information and clarify certain areas.

By now, you might be wondering, how can I improve my EIQ?
Well, improving your self-awareness will certainly help.