Self Control and Self-Awareness
Let's talk a moment about self control and self awareness. Again, two sides of the same coin, but there are important distinctions about each. So self control, the ability to control oneself, one's emotions, desires, the expression of them in one's behavior, especially in difficult situations. Now self control is something that we all need to demonstrate. If you're a parent you know you need to demonstrate self control. If you're a manager, if you're a leader, you need to demonstrate self control. When you are dealing with the public in customer service situations, you need to demonstrate self control. And this is about your actions and your abilities. Your ability to see what's going on and demonstrate control of your own actions. Self awareness is a little bit different. This is conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires. Knowledge of your own character, feelings, motives, and desires, so that's a little bit different. That's you talking to you, that's...
you being your own best friend. I know I get always peeved when... I know that I can get cranky when... This is about ownership, and this is about motivation. So control is actions, and awareness is motivation. So you've gotta be aware of these things, but it's between you and you, controlling what comes out. Now service is inherently social. Service happens for others, with others, and that's true whether it's online or whether it's face to face, or it's on the phone. So self control is incredibly important because we are dealing with other people, and we're trying to make an impression on them that supports and upholds our business, and doesn't detract from it, we don't wanna pull away one leg of our little stool, we don't wanna bring in any distrust or mistrust by our actions, or our words, or things that we're feeling. So for instance, have we ever been to a place and you are, let's say you're in a big box store, and you see a lot of people like huddling around at a desk, and all the employees are here and you're like, I just need to check out. And everybody's all huddling around and they're chatting amongst themselves. They're not exhibiting any self control. Like yeah, I wanna talk to people, but no, there's a customer, I can't talk to my friends right now. Self awareness is really important. Like I just used the example of, oh I know I get really cranky when, I get really cranky when I don't eat things, I am that person who gets hangry. I'm the one who gets twitchy and weird. I need to make sure that I am, my self awareness says, Kate, keep yourself hydrated, make sure you have a snack. Because otherwise I'm gonna get hangry and that's not gonna be good for anybody else. No one needs to know about that. But then have you ever been in a place where somebody's like acting out? They're the customer service representative and yet they're acting out? Oh man I couldn't get my babysitter today, and then my car broke down, my dog has a cold, and they're talking about all their issues, no, no, no. Self control, keep that to yourself. No one needs to know about that. You have to be your best professional self today. So that includes keeping those personal things personal. It's an essential part of professionalism. This is something that people always strive to be professional, but self control allows you to be professional. So the opposite of professional is what?
Unprofessional, or amateur. Now when you were are in business, you cannot afford to be seen as amateur. So we need to make sure that we're always upholding a level of professionalism in ourselves, and professionalism means knowing yourself, knowing what you need, knowing what your expressions and thoughts are gonna do to the way you're being perceived. So we need to always be aware of ourselves in those situations. Yes?
We all have bad days, you know we sometimes show up to work grumpy, do you have any advice for folks that are like having a bad day, something bad has happened? How do you get beyond that?
Well you know what I have a friend that has this advice and I actually think there's something to it. So this is before you get to work, while you're in your car or before you just get to the steps, or even the block. If you're having a bad day, go for it, go for it. So I had a bad day, I stubbed my toe, I broke the heel on my shoe, bad day. Oh, and I'm like five pounds overweight, and my hair looks bad, and I have a breakout, and my husband's mad at me, and my cat was annoying last night so I couldn't even sleep, like go for it. If you're gonna get in that pool, jump in all the way. So bring in all the bad stuff that you're feeling, and when you start recounting the stuff it actually gets kind of hilarious, because you're like, oh my god, this is ridiculous. And you can actually, oddly enough, when you talk about how bad things are, you bounce off the bottom of that pool and then you come out, like you know. The beautiful vision that you are. It's funny, but if you really go for it and say get into that bad place for a moment, own it, then you can really get away from it. When we don't acknowledge how bad it is, and we just, oh it's not a big deal, it's not a big deal, it's not a big deal, then it sort of lays on the surface, so really go for it. And then the other one is do what you need to do to get yourself right. So like I said, snacks, things like that, if you know you need to take a little walk around your place, make sure you have enough time in your day to do that. Make sure that you're hydrated, make sure that you have a snack, or caffeine, and if you need to reach out to a friend and say, hey I'm just having a rotten day and now I gotta go talk to strangers. So try to get a little love in your world if you can. And it starts with self love, so that's taking care of yourself, whatever you need to do. That answer your question? Okay great.
When you were talking about self control, we always think of self control as restricting yourself from doing things, but I think there's another side of that too, self control can also prompt you to action so you're controlling your fears, or your inhibitions, there's a show on TV called What Would You Do? And it's like when you see things, will you take action? And I think part of self control is overcoming your resistance to do that and do it.
I love that, absolutely, yeah because we do think of it as almost a negative, and it was funny because I have a chapter called self control in my book and I had an animated conversation with my editor who was like, it has such a bad connotation and I thought of it as very differently. I thought of it as being sort of empowering, like you've got the control over yourself, use your control. And be aware of what you can do to make the best possible impression, and when I described it she was like, I don't love it, but okay, I trust you. But yeah, we do have this sort of like self control means you have a problem, no, self control means I'm gonna do what I need to do today. I'm gonna do what I need to feel good. I'm gonna do what I need to do to represent and present the most polished and professional way that I can. And maybe take a risk or two to make things happen for other people.