Core Competency 1: Leading Self

Core Competency 1: Leading Self

These four essential elements are intertwined to support you in leading you towards developing yourself.

The role of an ICO requires you to interface with people of different personality types and thus it is important for you to have full knowledge of your own personality first.

Awareness of different personality types enables you to accept others who are not likely to have the same thinking as you do, and you would more naturally adjust your approach and expectations. While you get to know more about yourself, you will also be more cognizant that others too can have their views about you.

Besides personality, we all do have likes and dislikes which have grown up with and would find it difficult to change sometime.

For example, you may find it natural to talk loudly while your colleagues hardly speak above a whisper. Or, you may have a very generous heart and you like to give gifts and receive them with great appreciation. Some of your colleagues may think very carefully about gift exchanges and may even think of gift exchanges as a chore.

These characteristics make each one of us unique and if we are aware of ourselves vis-à-vis others, we will develop acceptance of differences.

Besides being aware of oneself, it is worth taking 5 minutes on a daily basis to check-in on yourself.

  • A little quiet space, a dedicated notebook of blank pages, a pencil to doodle and maybe a cup of warm camomile will be a good start for introspection.
  • Pen in pose or poem, doodle or draw your thoughts of the moments that made you smile and the moments that made you frown.

At the end of this regular exercise, you will build greater empathy for yourself and the people whom you work with.

When you return to your old notes, doodles, and drawings you will realise how much you have experienced, developed and you are different, or the same but certainly in a different position now than before.

Self-regulation is a very big topic and it covers every aspect of our life since we were very young, through schooling days and now as a working adult with responsibilities to oneself and others.

In your work, I am sure that you are always trying your best to be on top of everything that you do. You want to do your best for your Centre, for your children, parents and EC educators.

But the toll of the day can sometimes get to you and there is no denying it will not happen because you are as human as anyone else in a meeting room. You may become so overwhelmed that you begin to get emotional rather than think and speak rationally.

Self-regulation is the biggest test you may be about to experience or have experienced.

We all go through ups and downs, and we learn to self-regulate because of a bigger mission within us that is calling us to do good, to set the standards for others.

When you learn to self-regulate emotions, behaviour, and thoughts, you will be more resilient and begin to view challenges as opportunities.

Check out this resource on practising self-regulation:

Take time to do things that help you feel happy, feel relaxed and increase your energy. Start small and make it happen consistently.

Here are some tips to help you get started with self-care:

Get regular exercise. You may start small with a 15-20 minute stroll and increase intensity to a brisk walk of just 30 minutes. Do it every day and you will notice improvements in your mood and your health will improve too.
Eat regular meals, have healthier choices, and stay hydrated to improve your energy and focus throughout the day.
Sleep is equally important. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting 7 hours of sleep. Use the apps on your phone to help you Wind Down.
A relaxing activity or wellness programs or apps, which may include meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Having regular times for these and you could incorporate self-reflective journalling.
Set goals and priorities. Identify the good-to-do versus need-to- do. Learn to say “no” gently if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Think about what you have accomplished at the end of the day, and not what you have been unable to do.
Be grateful for each day, positive and gracious thoughts can go into the reflective journal too.

Stay connected with friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help. 

Discover what self-care looks like and works best for you as you find the time for yourself to support your psychological well-being.