Developing Self-Control As A Manager: 8 Inspirational Lessons

Self-control is an essential attribute for any manager. It can help you stay calm under pressure, focus on your goals, and handle challenging situations effectively. However, it’s easy to lose self-control in the workplace. It is because the demands of the job can be relentless, and the stress of the situation can be overwhelming. In this article, we offer eight ways managers can develop self-control at work. Hopefully, by following these tips, you’ll be able to maintain composure in difficult situations and keep your team on track. Let’s get started with understanding what precisely self-control is and what are the benefits of having it.

What is self-control?

Self-control is a psychological ability that enables individuals to resist impulses and temptations and control their emotions. It is the ability to delay gratification, resist temptation, and resist impulsive behavior. Basically, it is the ability to maintain composure in difficult situations. It also involves having a significant emotional intelligence that doesn’t allow unnecessary negative emotions to come out while at work.

Good control in the workplace over self will enable a person to make rational decisions rather than being driven by emotions or personal biases. In the workplace, self-control is essential for both managers and employees. Managers need to be able to impose limits on themselves to stay focused and achieve goals, while employees need to be able to resist temptation and follow instructions. When both parties exhibit self-control, it leads to efficient workmanship, a positive work environment, and career success.

Where do managers need self-control in the workplace?

The opportunities to show some control over oneself can be many at work. A few of them can be:

  • Dealing with difficult employees or conflicts between team members.
  • Managing a high-stress project with tight deadlines.
  • Responding to unexpected or negative feedback from superiors or clients.
  • Handling a crisis situation, such as a data breach or workplace accident.
  • Making tough decisions that may have negative consequences for some employees.
  • Dealing with a team member who consistently underperforms or has a negative attitude.

The benefits of managers having self-control in the workplace

Managers with self-control can maintain their composure under pressure, stay levelheaded when making decisions, and be more effective leaders overall. Here are some specific benefits that managers with self-control bring to the workplace:

  • They create a calm and productive work environment: When things get hectic at work, a manager with self-control can remain calm and help others do the same. It creates a more effective and positive work environment and reduces the risk of burnout.
  • They make better decisions: Managers who can control their emotions can make better decisions, as personal feelings or biases do not sway them.
  • They are better at handling difficult conversations: When difficult conversations arise, managers with self-control can stay calm and productively handle the situation.
  • They set an excellent example for others: When employees see an example of a manager with who can control themselves, they are more likely to model the same behaviors themselves.
  • They build strong relationships: Leaders who promote self-control can build strong relationships with their employees. Instead of negatively reacting to employee issues, their self-control pushes them to show empathy and compassion, which leads to trust and mutual respect.
But how does one develop self-control in the workplace? Let’s go through some practical tips in our next section.

How to develop self-control at work?

Here are eight tips on how you can develop self-control in the workplace. Both managers and their teammates can use these tips.

1. Know your triggers

The first step you need to take to develop self-control in the workplace is knowing your triggers. Understanding what sets you off and why can cultivate a better relationship with yourself and develop more control over yourself. To identify these triggers, it’s essential to be honest about what frustrates or annoys you to address the problem head-on. Doing this will help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions at any moment. Once you identify your triggers, make a plan to avoid them or constructively deal with them. And most importantly, remain consistent with your plan.

2. Avoid situations that are likely to lead to temptation

To develop self-control, you must avoid situations that lead to temptation. It means making a conscious effort to steer clear of places, people, or activities that might trigger an undesirable reaction in you at work. It can be helpful to have a plan of action when you find yourself in a tempting situation. This plan might involve leaving the problem entirely, distracting yourself with something else, or talking to someone who can help you resist the temptation. Having a plan ahead of time can make it easier to stick to your goals and avoid succumbing to temptation or any undesirable action.

3. Distract yourself from thoughts of temptation

It’s easy to get swept up in thoughts of temptation while working when you have low control over yourself in the workplace. By practicing self-regulation and distracting yourself from these thoughts, you can maintain your focus and stay on task. Some practical ways to develop this distraction involve taking short breaks, focusing on something else, turning off your phone or computer, and cultivating strong willpower. By practicing to self-control at work, you will not only stay productive with consistent job performance but also avoid succumbing to temptations that could ultimately derail your career.

4. Practice delayed gratification

By delaying gratification, you can learn to control your impulses and emotions at work, which will improve your productivity and overall work ethic. In the long run, this will also help you build better self-esteem and resilience when facing challenging situations. To do that, you need to practice patience and restraint, which will take some effort but can be achieved with practice. Start by setting modest goals for yourself and gradually working towards them over time. Once you have mastered this skill, you will be more prepared to resist temptation in the future when it comes to working. Start practicing delayed gratification today by keeping a few goals that are important to you in check, and see how you do!

5. Develop a support system

A supportive network can go a long way in ensuring that you don’t succumb to the temptation of poor work habits or lifestyle choices. It will be a great help in being accountable to your objective. By surrounding yourself with people who understand and support your goals, you will stay disciplined and motivated even when things get tough. Creating a supportive network will help you connect with like-minded professionals and build valuable workplace relationships.

6. Be patient with yourself

Another highly effective way of developing self-control while at work is being patient with yourself. It means setting realistic goals and not expecting too much from yourself too soon. Start slow and build up your endurance over time by consistently following through with your goals and commitments. To develop this patience, you need to be confident in your abilities and know that you can handle whatever comes your way. Remember, developing control over yourself takes time and effort, so don’t expect overnight results. Developing this patience will also allow you to practice and maintain self-discipline.

7. Don’t compare yourself to others

One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to self-control is comparing ourselves to others. It often leads us into situations where we give in to temptation. This is because we feel we should be doing better than everyone else. Remember, there is no “perfect” work ethic or lifestyle. What matters most is how well you stick with your goals and priorities in the face of temptation. Compare yourself to where you were last year, not to someone else who may be doing better than you currently are.

8. Persevere through setbacks

It can be tough to regulate your emotions when working under pressure and trying to meet deadlines, but it’s worth it. To do it, you need to have strong self-confidence and be willing to stick with your goals even when things don’t go as planned. Remember that setbacks are part of the process, and keep moving towards your goal. When things don’t go as planned, remember that it’s not the end of the world. Plenty of other opportunities are waiting for you. Be patient and stick to your plan, and you will eventually be able to develop higher levels of self-control.


In conclusion, to have a successful workplace, managers need to have self-control. It is the ability to delay gratification and resist temptations. It’s also about staying in control of one’s emotions and not being controlled by them. Managing oneself effectively in the workplace is key to maintaining productivity, minimizing conflict, and leading a successful team. So, if you are a manager, follow the eight tips mentioned above and develop the self-control you need to become an effective leader.

Master conflict management in your team with the free toolkit.

The free conflict management toolkit is a one-stop guide for managers to understand and overcome conflicts in teams.

Why is self-control important for managers?

self-control is important for managers to ensure that they do not act impulsively or emotionally. It saves them from taking rapid decisions without giving them its due share of consideration. As a result, they are able to focus on the important matters in any situation and do not get deviated by short-term instances.

What are the benefits of self-control?

Self-control helps managers act better. It helps them make thoughtful decisions and choose the right course of action for their team as well. Self-control reduces conflict and stress as well because well-thought actions are more likely to create a better impact.

What is the main idea of self-control?

The main idea of self-control lies in maintaining composure and tolerance in the face of unanticipated events. A manager should keep their emotional reaction in check and instead act rationally to deliver the best for the team. Self-control helps managers control and calculate their response to their environment.

Other Related Blogs

Types Of Work Environments

7 Types Of Work Environments You Can Try

7 Types Of Work Environments You Can Try In today’s work culture, various types of work environments exist to cater to different philosophies, needs, and job functions. Each type offers…

5 Proven Ways Managers can Build Collaboration in a Team

5 Proven Ways Managers can Build Collaboration in a Team In today’s fast-paced world, team collaboration is the key to success. But, not all workplaces are conducive to collaborative teams.…

5 Creative Expectation Setting Activity For All Managers

5 Creative Expectation Setting Activity For All Managers As a manager, it’s essential to set clear expectations with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page and working…

12 Effective Communication Activities that Your Team will Love!

12 Effective Communication Activities that Your Team will Love! Communication skills are the key to effective teamwork, better communication skills, and higher job performance. Whether you’re in the workplace or a…

Comments are closed.