The ability to control potentially disruptive emotions and impulses is known as self-regulation.  Daniel Goleman identified self-regulation as one of the five dimensions of emotional intelligence.


Self-regulation is the ability to behave in a way that is consistent with an individual's values and goals. It's the ability to remain in control of emotions when in stressful situations and the capability to stay upbeat when success is not being achieved.

In the workplace, potentially disruptive emotions can result in the feeling a manager is not yet ready to be a leader in an organization. Leaders exhibiting characteristics consistent with self-regulation, or self-control, are considered by peers to be trustworthy, conscientious, and able to adjust to changing situations.  Self-regulation is also characterized by a readiness to seize opportunity, and a drive for excellence.

Self-regulation is one of the five dimensions of emotional intelligence, as described by Daniel Goleman.  The other four dimensions of emotional intelligence include:  motivation, self-awareness, empathy, and social skills.

Related Terms

empathy, motivation, social skills, self-awareness, situational leadership style