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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Tenant of Self Control

One of my passions along with leadership and business analysis is strengthening at all times are interpersonal skills, which a lot of individuals are not interested in sharpening because they believe they have mastered them or individuals tend to just put the on the back burner and focus only on the hard skills. This to me is so sad because without the interpersonal skills you will not be as successful as you can be.  I'm speaking of things such as communication, relationship building, etc...

From an earlier blog post last year, one of the items I discussed is the five tenants of Karate. Those tenants are:

1.    Courtesy
2.    Integrity
3.    Perseverance
4.    Self-Control
5.    Indomitable Spirit

One of the tenants that have really resonated with me lately is self-control.  As I work with people either in business analysis, leadership and career development or event planning I have realized the importance of exercising this tenant without being taken advantage of. Understanding that if someone is hostile to you doesn't mean your reaction should be the same. Understanding yourself to know how to exercise is extremely important but you also need the balance to not be run over. In my dealings with people every day I have come up with the following tips on how to practice self-control in high pressure situations without compromising who you are or being run over:

1.   If someone is confrontational toward you exercise self-control by staying calm.  If they raise their voice then lower yours. It's hard to argue with someone if they aren't arguing back.
2.   If you feel yourself losing self-control walk away from the situation and address it when you are calm. Sometimes the best reaction is no reaction at all.  No need to add fuel to an already burning fire
3.   Understand your limitations. In order to interact with others you must know who you are. What makes you tick? How do you like to be approached?  Once you define who you are, you know your boundaries. This helps yourself control because you know when you are reaching your point of no return.
4.   Don't take everything personal. Sometimes we can take comments or words personally when if you really think about it, it was never intentioned that way. Your reaction to when things are taken personally can be EXTREMELY negative.
5.  Take accountability for your actions. Before you react, hold yourself accountable to think through the consequences of those actions.

No one can control you but YOU. Know that everything you do is a reflection on your character which defines who you are. People are watching you when you may not be aware. Don't do things that will compromise that character. No matter where you are be aware of your surroundings and actions at all times. Those actions can make you and break you.

Paula Bell


  1. Well said Paula. The tenant of self control is a difficult one to master, but the mastery of it is critical allow success to be experienced.

    This tenant is the single most common contributing factor to success AND failure in my business. I have rarely had a consultant succeed without it and even more rarely had a consultant fail with it. Self control covers a multitude of "sins" in the business world.

    Thanks for writing on this!

  2. Thank you for your comment Patt. I agree with your statements as well. I would love for your to join my blog and add your insights as I continue to write. :-)

    Paula Bell