Emotional Regulation – Learning about How We Feel and How We Make Others Feel
Joshua Aquilina
June 14, 2024

Emotions are defined by Juslin & Västfjäll (2008) as relatively intense affective responses that usually involve a few synchronised sub-components – subjective feeling, physiological arousal, expression, an urge to carry out certain expressive behaviours, and regulation. Emotional regulation is the ability to manage and respond to an emotional experience and it is a vital skill in the modern workplace.


Mastering emotional regulation is not just beneficial, but essential for those in management. The first step to this is by understanding your own emotions and working on controlling your reactions. There is a big difference between action and intent and having mastery over your intent before it turns into an action can go along way. In addition to reaction control, it is important to be able to express these emotions in a healthy manner rather than repressing them and seeking support when needed.


Leaders are often faced with high-stress situations and challenging decisions. The ability to regulate emotions can significantly impact their decision-making process, their relationship with their team, and ultimately, the success of their workplace. Leaders who can effectively regulate their emotions are able to think clearly, make rational decisions, and maintain a positive work environment even when facing difficulties.


Emotional regulation also plays a crucial role in conflict resolution. Leaders who can manage their emotions are better equipped to handle conflicts in a calm and constructive manner, fostering a culture of open communication and mutual respect. Furthermore, it is closely tied to empathy, a key leadership trait. Leaders who can understand and manage their own emotions are more likely to understand and respond effectively to the emotions of their team members. This emotional intelligence can lead to stronger relationships, increased trust, and a more engaged and motivated team.


To summarise, emotional regulation is a critical leadership skill that can significantly impact a leader’s effectiveness and the overall success of the organisation they work in. We must strive to understand and manage our emotions and foster a work environment that encourages emotional intelligence. After all, leadership is not just about what we do, but also about how we make people feel.


Juslin, P. N.,& Västfjäll, D. (2008). Emotional responses to music: The need to consider underlying mechanisms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 559-621.

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