Mudassir Iqbal

There is a lot of ongoing discussion about emotional intelligence (EI) and its influence on the diverse and dynamic field of project management. That being said, it can significantly contribute to performance and success. Project managers who use the key principles of emotional intelligence in their routine job take one step ahead in their career growth. In this blog, I will be focusing on the art of self-regulation.

Well, self-regulation is an extensive concept involving multiple factors – encouraging far-sightedness, make wise decisions and manage the work along with self-behavior in the best possible way. It is important to focus on self-discipline, patience, and vow to follow them irrespective of the challenges.

Now let’s move on to the two primary categories of self-regulation!

Behavioral Self-Regulation: It focuses on your response to different situations and how you manage things considering the long-term goals. For example, it can be difficult for you to wake up early for a morning walk, but you still do it to improve your health and fitness.

Emotional Self-Regulation: It focuses on controlling your emotions. You are required to process your feelings consciously and act wisely to keep up with a positive outlook. It let you be more reliable and empathetic towards your team.

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Manage Your Thinking

Have you experienced missing out on your one or more objectives because of the busy routine? I believe most of us has gone through this situation quite a few times in our career. This is the primary loophole that needs to be covered with effective planning and thinking. The very first thing you need to do is list down a few problems that require smart planning. Once issues are identified, they can be eliminated one by one. Another concept I would like to highlight is ‘metacognition’. It helps you understand your cognitive process and how to better regulate them.

Manage Your Emotions

Being a project manager, it’s important to control your emotions while managing multiple projects. If your behavior is more like an emotional time bomb that can explode off any time, your team members are more likely to feel insecure. You should understand when, where, and how to communicate your emotions. In the initial years of my career, I remember one of our project managers presented serious concerns regarding the documentation preparation phase. With several revisions, we were able to understand our shortcomings and worked on them. It would not have been possible if these concerns were not communicated on time.

Manage Your Time

Irrespective of the nature of your job, one cannot overlook the significance of time management. The ability to manage time can influence your project and the overall outcomes. With my years of experience, I would recommend coming up with realistic plans, divide your project into chunks of manageable tasks, and prioritize them accordingly. Effectively managing your time means more productivity.

Manage Your Priority

This is one of the most important traits that I have been emphasizing and teaching my students throughout my career journey. To be a successful manager or leader, you must prioritize your tasks and list down them accordingly. It will help you cut down the non-essential or not required tasks at the moment and entirely focus on what is important. You will experience many situations where you will need to decide between tasks and responsibilities. It won’t be exaggerating to say that being exceptionally good on certain tasks works better than performing multiple tasks and not reaching the expected level of excellence.

Have you ever thought about the core of emotional intelligence? The foundation of this concept is based on perceiving the powerful emotions associated with behavior. For example, if you worry about everything you may have many false perceptions that fuel your anxiety. Your body will probably respond to negative thoughts. Here you must understand the purpose of emotions which is to focus more instead of reacting. This is the primary principle of understanding EI. It will help you better understand your emotions and cultivate self-awareness. If you are not aware of your feelings and thought-process, you are losing on major things in life. Once you begin knowing yourself, you will be able to manage yourself.

How we manage our feelings can notably contribute to successful professional relationships. Keep in mind that it’s not only the hard work that can influence the project outcomes. The better you will use your emotional intelligence, the better you will be able to manage the project. It is no surprise that project managers with powerful EI understanding tend to deal with larger and complex projects successfully. On the other hand, it helps in managing any change or efficiently dealing with conflict. The ultimate result is going to be greater productivity ensuring success. 

Top 3 Self-Regulation Skills

Here I have listed a few important skills contributing to self-regulation.

Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize your feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. It’s important to stay rational and disciplined when responding to others in critical situations.

Persistence: Stay focused and committed to your ultimate goals. Put up every effort in your internal and external struggle and keep them aligned with your values and ethics. You should know when to let go of a situation.

Adaptability: The ability to cope up with any change. This helps you in staying more flexible when listening to different viewpoints. At the same time, it allows you to analyze and manage issues considering multiple perspectives.

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My Personal Perspective on Self-Regulation

When we talk about self-regulation, my personal goal is to come up with a strategy that can minimize the pressure in a professional setting. To achieve this vision, I believe it’s important to be mindful – be focused and aware of what is at hand. When you have insightful knowledge about yourself, how you feel about it, what seems right or wrong, and the surrounding professional circumstances, you will be able to make informed decisions. In my opinion, it is the most important human endowment that can make emotional intelligence as effective as possible. I would like to end this article with a popular quote:

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” –

Denis Waitley

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Further Readings

  1. Project Management | Top 8 Must-Have Social Skills
  2. Important Motivational Elements for Project Success
  3. Empathy: The Winning Skill in Project Management
  4. Project Management: Self-Learning Journey
  5. Self-Regulation: Foundation of Emotional Intelligence

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