Growing EI Step 2: Self-Management

Creative Commons Image by Abhijit Bhaduri

Self-management builds on your self-awareness. With self-awareness you know more about how you will react and can take steps to stay out of situations that may enable you to react in a way you would rather not react. With self-management, you start to change the environment so you do not have to react, rather you are proactively managing or changing the environment.

Some of the key characteristics of self-management include self-control, transparency, optimism, adaptability, achievement, and initiative. By knowing yourself you are better prepared to use self-control to react to a situation because you have thought about it, know how you are likely to react, and can shift to the appropriate reaction for the situation. By building your open area you will appear more transparent to others and they are likely to respond by being more open with you. The optimism, adaptability, initiative and achievement will be a natural display of your self-confidence.

To enable and enhance your self-management you will have to become a more effective communicator. Communications takes many forms and is a very human trait. We speak not only with words, but also with gestures, body language and many other communications mechanisms we are not even aware of.

One approach to better understanding yourself and others, and to enhance communications is through a psychological approach. Studies in modern psychology provide tools that are easy to use for lightweight understanding of yourself and others. Most of the tools available online are based on Meyers-Briggs and provide insight on where you fall on a spectrum from introverted to extroverted and task-oriented to relationship-oriented.

True Colors


This is a great website to start discovering and understanding your personality type. Feel free to go through the exercise with friends or members of the team you work with. Please note, as you answer the questions go with your first instinct and be honest with yourself to get the richest insight. Also, over time your type will change. The one you took 15 years ago may not represent you now. 

By knowing your personality type you will understand you communication biases and will be able to guess at what others’ biases may be.


Andy Ruth 
SEI Mentor
Apprenticeship Program