Tools to Build Character (Self-Leadership Part 2)

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Behaviour is something that comes naturally in intense situations. But we can learn to control our reactions and, as a leader, you are definitely going to have intense situations.

It’s important to stay focused and consider your actions and reactions. A quality of a strong leader is having the ability to control emotions during times of upheaval.

When trouble grows, your character shows.

You can train your brain with a lot of self-talk. It takes dedication and patience, just like the traits of a good leader, to master controlled behaviour.

The key is to focus on what good behaviour looks like and be aware of what bad behaviour looks like. To exhibit positive behaviour, focus on what makes you happy. Act as if you are trying to impress someone else but do it for yourself.

Bad behaviour is a prelude to poor self-esteem. It can draw you to others who feel the same and it is likely a symptom of a bigger issue.

There are so many things we can do to curb bad behaviour. Here are a few.


Generally, we all want to be good people. But sometimes we forget about our behaviour and don’t realize we’re hurting ourselves or others. To avoid this, create cues to act correctly. Cues to re-direct negative behaviours can absolutely be learned. Non-verbal cues can help motivate us to exhibit proper behaviours and stop those that derail our intentions.

You should always be conscious of your cues to adjust your behaviour accordingly. It can make all the difference for you, and it helps avoid problems. Non-verbal cues to be aware of:

  • Gestures
  • Body posture
  • Facial expressions
  • Eye contact


This is the starting point for making changes in our lives. It’s done to be aware of your feelings, moods and thoughts throughout the day. This is also the beginning of self-knowledge. You need to be able to see yourself before you can truly know yourself. Here are some keys to self-observation:

  • See how you affect others.
  • Be able to see the positive and negative.
  • Live in the moment and experience the present.


This is one of the most basic and essential skills to develop. Since childhood, I’ve been a goal-setter: saving my pennies to get that new Cabbage Patch Doll, putting away some of my family allowance for that fancy banana bike, learning how to run properly so I could participate in a marathon, owning my own HR business, purchasing a new Ford Mustang Convertible.

Goal-setting gives you focus and achieving them will increase satisfaction in your professional and personal life.

(This is part 2 of a 4-part series on self-leadership. Read part 1 here.)