Self-Regulation — A Key Component of Emotional Intelligence

If you have a high IQ, you’ll most likely be a successful leader. Who can argue with that statement? But according to Daniel Goleman, internationally known psychologist and New York Times best selling author, success takes more than what can be measured in numbers. Goleman would add the ability to understand and manage your and others emotions – qualities associated with emotional intelligence (EQ) – distinguish the best performers in the corporate world.

According to Goleman, there are five key elements of Emotional Intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. This article focuses on self-regulation – the ability to choose how we think, how we feel and the actions we take.

Simply put, self-regulation is about staying in control. Leaders who self-regulate are able to manage their emotions and responses to situations and other people. Most important, they can maintain this approach during emotionally challenging circumstances.

So, how can you improve your ability to self-regulate? Start by practicing the following tactics:

Know Your Values – Do you know what values are most important to you? Which will you absolutely not compromise? If you know what’s important to you, you’ll probably make the right choice when faced with a moral or ethical decision.

Manage Your Emotions  – The next time you’re in a challenging situation, be aware of how you react. Identify emotions and reactions that are not useful and replace them with ones that are more positive. Most important, think before you act. For example, if you relieve stress by venting your anger, find ways you can react differently. Perhaps, count to ten, take a walk or practice deep-breathing exercises to calm yourself down.

Hold Yourself Accountable – Stop blaming others when something goes wrong. Admit to your mistakes and face the consequences. You’ll not only sleep better at night, you’ll earn the respect of those around you.

Become More Empathetic – Empathy is a critical emotional intelligence competency for influencing and coaching others. But, it can also help increase your ability to self-regulate your emotions. Listening to verbal messages and observing non-verbal cues from other people’s perspectives is often an effective way to create a more deliberate and effective reaction.

Leaders who can regulate their emotions will have greater integrity, improve their EQ capacity and become more influential leaders. Contact Verve Consulting Group to design and deliver leadership programs to help develop more self-regulated, effective leaders in your workplace.


Daniel Goleman. 1995. Emotional Intelligence. Bantam Books.

Verve Consulting Group: Your leadership and organization effectiveness partner.

Executive Coaching | Leadership & People Development | Team Development | Organization Design (866) 399-4430




Aaron J. Brow, Principal of Verve Consulting Group Completes Specialized Training to Build Better Workplaces


June 15, 2018

Aaron J. Brow

(815) 566-7268


Aaron J. Brow, Principal of Verve Consulting Group Completes Specialized Training to Build Better Workplaces

Minneapolis, MN – June 15, 2018

Wiley welcomes Verve Consulting Group of Chicago, Illinois to the Authorized Partner network of talented trainers, consultants, facilitators, and coaches who bring Everything DiSC® and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ to organizations worldwide. Aaron Brow, Principal of Verve Consulting Group has successfully completed JumpStart, the official Wiley business-building and training session that features the tools, theory, and research behind Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. As an Authorized Partner, Aaron Brow will use this advanced knowledge to help clients improve workplace relationships and achieve organizational effectiveness with these proven workplace solutions.

“As an industry leading developer of workplace assessments, Wiley recognizes your dedication to building better workplaces using our proven Everything DiSC and Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team solutions,” said Barry Davis, Vice President and General Manager of Wiley’s Workplace Learning Solutions Group. “I continue to be amazed by the superior results our Authorized Partners achieve with their clients, by applying what they have learned through the JumpStart process.”

With the growing demand for learning assessments, Wiley continues to attract independent business owners who are committed to delivering the latest tools in workplace performance development. “Our high-quality tools coupled with Aaron Brow’s expertise in training and development will serve organizations well. The need for skilled leaders in this industry has been leveraged with our training programs.  We look forward to supporting Verve Consulting Group’s business growth,” said Davis.

About Verve Consulting Group

Verve Consulting Group is an innovative leadership and organization effectiveness partner that helps you align your strategies, grow your people and optimize your results. We are uniquely equipped to meet the challenges of today’s business environment with clear vision, sound strategy, and broad technical expertise.

About Wiley’s Workplace Learning Solutions Group

Wiley’s professional development business creates products and services that help people become more effective in the workplace and achieve career success. We bring the ideas and best practices of thought leaders to life—serving workplace communities worldwide.


Know Thyself – The Key to Becoming an Effective Leader

Last month, I shared the necessary traits to become an authentic leader. Key among them is the concept of self-awareness. The idea of self-awareness has been around since the days of Socrates and Plato. And, the phrase, “know thyself,” has withstood the test time. However, it wasn’t until the early 21st century that self-awareness, and its relationship to authentic leadership, became a popular leadership concept.

Having self-awareness means you have a strong sense of yourself, including knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your thoughts and beliefs, your emotions, and your motives. As a leader, one of the most valuable ways to improve your effectiveness is to become more self-aware.

However, according to research by organizational psychologist and author, Dr. Tasha Eurich, while 95% of people think they’re self-aware, the real number is closer to only 10% to 15%.

So how self-aware are you?

If you are in the 10-15% category, you may benefit from the following tips to become a more self-aware leader:

Look Within: Self-awareness is typically made up of two types of knowledge. The first is introspective knowledge, or how you see yourself. In order to develop a strong sense of self, start by asking yourself some basic questions:

  • What makes you unique?
  • How do you react in social situations, and why?
  • How do your emotions affect your relationships and decision-making process?
  • What motivates you to continuously improve and develop?

Then decide which traits you want to continue and which need improvement.

Look Outside:  Equally important to seeing how you see yourself is seeing how others see you. To increase your self-awareness, it’s important to seek feedback on your performance from others and, most important, listen without justifying or defending your actions. Seeing yourself through an objective lens will help you better understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie. And knowing your assets and shortcomings will help earn the trust of others and improve your credibility – both of which will increase your strength as a leader.

According to Eurich, people who possess both types of self-knowledge are the ones who are the most successful at work and in life.

Becoming more self-aware takes work and may often be uncomfortable. However, once mastered, it will arm you with the knowledge to make better choices — to change, grow and be an effective leader.


Tasha Eurich. 2017. Insight. Crown Publishing Group.

Contact Verve Consulting Group to design and deliver leadership programs to help develop more self aware, effective leaders in your workplace. Verve Consulting Group: Your leadership and organization effectiveness partner.

Executive Coaching | Leadership & People Development | Team Development | Organization Design (866) 399-4430





Four Tips to Lead with Trust

“The best way to learn if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” —
Ernest Hemingway

Trust – it seems to be featured more than ever in today’s headlines. Whether you’re a politician, an entertainer, or a leader, knowing how to earn trust is crucial to gaining respect and leading effectively. Simply put, you won’t succeed if you aren’t trusted. That’s because trust is the foundation of every good relationship.

As a leader, you need the trust of your team to build engagement and drive performance.  Do not assume that your employees automatically trust you.  Even though you may be working hard to earn their trust, not until they are willing, will they grant you their trust.

Check out these four practical tips to build and reinforce trust with your teams:

1. Lead by Example

When leaders say one thing, but do another, they erode trust. If you want to build trust within your team, start by demonstrating the behaviors that will result in respect, trust and dignity. Always remember, your team members watch and take cues from you, so take the opportunity to show them what trust in others really looks like. For example, if you say teamwork is important, “walk the talk” by collaborating across teams and functions in your company when developing solutions.

2. Be Transparent

Proactively share information that helps your employees do their jobs and disclose your personal feelings and opinions on topics. Even when it’s difficult, tell the truth – don’t just say what you think people want to hear. Part of being transparent involves having the integrity to tell the truth, even if it means you may be the bearer of bad news. “If you can’t tell people the hard stuff, they won’t trust you,” says David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University and the author of The Truth About Trust

3. Show Support and Confidence

Show support and understanding for your team members. Ask for help and encourage involvement. Acknowledge it’s okay if mistakes are made, including your own. When you and your leaders acknowledge mistakes, employees see you as credible and will follow your lead.

4. Foster Authentic Communication

Listen with respect and respond with empathy. Trust grows out of the belief that you understand and can relate to the other person. Encourage employees to share information and express their viewpoints and consider their ideas with an open mind. The most important part about communicating authentically is to place the emphasis on the person you are communicating with, not on yourself.

In the end, whether we like it or not, trust is a crucial part of our day-to-day. But keep in mind, trust doesn’t occur overnight – it’s granted over time. That’s why it’s important to make establishing trust a learning priority for your business, leadership and yourself.

Contact Verve Consulting Group to design and deliver leadership programs to help you build a culture of trust within your organization. Verve Consulting Group: Your leadership and organization effectiveness partner

Executive Coaching | Leadership & People Development | Team Development | Organization Design (866) 399-4430

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Authentic Leadership: If it is to be, it is up to me

If it is to be, it is up to me. This may sound like the title of a Dr. Seuss children’s book; however, these ten small, yet powerful two-letter words from famed artist, William H. Johnson, are the backbone of every authentic leader. That’s because authentic leadership is all about your individuality and uniqueness. To be authentic, you must choose to leverage the qualities that make you, YOU.

So, what is  ‘Authentic Leadership’ and why is it important?  Simply put, Authentic Leadership is about owning your personal experiences and acting in line with your true self. Authentic Leaders inspire and engage their teams by providing goals that are aspirational, yet achievable, while getting their employees excited about their personal development and contributions to the organization. Authentic Leaders hold themselves accountable for their behavior, which starts from within.

Authentic Leaders demonstrate the following five traits. Think about how you would assess yourself in each category.  Then, ask yourself, “Where do I have room to grow?”

  1. Self-awareness: Effective leaders spend time seeking to understand their own behavior, strengths and values. They treat their leadership experience as a learning journey and continuously evaluate what they stand for.
  2. Self-regulation: Self-regulation is the process that leaders use to identify opportunities of ‘choice’. When they are in a moment of decision-making, they take time to evaluate the situation, including the people they are interacting with. Effective leaders use this moment to determine who they need to be, in that given moment. Sometimes this means that they need to make slight adjustments in their behavior that allow them to remain ‘real’ while balancing the needs of the situation or person.
  3. Personal Acceptance: Authenticity comes with being honest about your abilities. Humans cannot be superior at everything that comes their way. Authentic Leaders make peace with their abilities, including their short-comings. They accept the fact that they have strengths and weaknesses and know that they are still completely whole.
  4. Trusting Transparency: Effective leaders must earn the trust of their teams to build engagement and drive performance. To do so, they proactively share information that helps people do their jobs and disclose their personal feelings and opinions on topics. This approach helps to create environments where people are open to be genuine and trust one another.
  5. Optimism: Employees want to be inspired to perform. Authentic Leaders consistently exhibit positive behaviors that inspire and motivate their employees toward the future.

While you’ve just learned some ‘truths’ about authentic leadership, there are also some commonly held myths on the topic as well. For example:

  1. You must be completely transparent. Not true. The key is to share what you know, only when it’s okay to do so. It’s all right to tell your team when you are unable to speak on a topic or when you don’t know the answer to something.
  2. If you “tell it like it is” you are being authentic. That is not the case. Authentic Leaders must consider others and how they will react to their actions. This is where self-regulation comes in to play. While you need to be yourself, you must filter out non-productive messages, tones and behaviors.
  3. You are you and you can’t change. It’s important for leaders to build self-awareness and use it to stretch, grow and change for the better. Effective leaders learn from their experiences and interactions with others and work hard to integrate new behaviors and improve.

Which of these myths did you believe?

Being an authentic leader requires you to live within a delicate balance of being your true self and leading by example. To become an authentic leader, you must be committed to continually developing yourself through meaningful experiences and continual learning. Once mastered, it will help build genuine relationships, empower others and create an environment based on trust.

Cary Cooper, J Burke Ronald. 2006. Inspiring Leaders. New York: Routledge.

Contact Verve Consulting Group to design and deliver leadership programs to help develop authentic leaders in your workplace.

Verve Consulting Group: Your leadership and organization effectiveness partner

Executive Coaching | Leadership & People Development | Team Development | Organization Design (866) 399-4430

R-E-S-P-E-C-T – It’s What You Want

This article is inspired by World Civility Day, which is today, April 12, 2018.

Respect, it’s what you want, right? However, according to Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and author of Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace, 62 percent of employees indicated they were treated rudely at work at least once a month.

So, chances are some of your leaders and employees are being disrespectful, impolite or dismissive to one another. On top of the emotional toll, all that rude behavior can have a costly impact on your organization, including higher turnover, more absenteeism and lower productivity.

Being uncivil in the workplace can happen without you even realizing it – missing or being late to a meeting, not respecting someone’s time or opinions, or expecting something without asking politely.  Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for treating people with lack of respect and professionalism.

Here are some practical tips to build civility in your workplace.

Build the Behaviors for Civility

Develop behaviors that will result in respect, trust and dignity in your workplace. For example:

  • Proactively build healthy relationships so you understand others’ motivations and goals
  • Be inclusive and allow time for each person to express his/her perspective without judgment
  • Listen intently, beyond the words, and ask open-ended questions to understand intent
  • Be transparent with items you agree or disagree with
  • Ensure your policies and programs reflect, support and reward those behaviors

Model the Behaviors

Model the civil behaviors you want to see in your work environment. This may mean taking a closer look at how you react in certain situations and making changes to become a more compassionate and civil leader. Take time to reflect upon your natural tendencies:

  • How do you react under stress?
  • What are your hot buttons?
  • What signals does your body give you during times of choice?

In addition, ask for feedback to learn how you are coming across to others. Listen to that feedback and act to improve.

Coach, Train and Coach Some More

Ensure your leaders become your civility champions and hold them accountable. It’s critical that your leadership team is aligned with, practices and coaches on civil behaviors.

From your CEO to your newest hire, everyone can benefit from further development:

  • Offer classes on skills such as listening, giving feedback and anger or stress management, and reinforce how to incorporate these tools into employees’ day-to-day work life
  • Encourage employees to consider the impact of their words and actions on others before they act, including sending e-mails, texts or voicemail messages

Demonstrating civility involves respecting the needs of every individual in your organization, while continuing to openly address and leverage differences of opinion. If practiced, it can result in a creative, productive and positive environment. Think of it this way – it can be as easy as practicing good manners – being thoughtful, courteous and polite. Remember, all you’re asking for is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

For more information, contact  Verve Consulting Group to design and deliver leadership and employee programs to help build civility in your workplace.

Verve Consulting Group: Your leadership and organization effectiveness partner

Executive Coaching | Leadership & People Development | Team Development | Organization Design (866) 399-4430