A Ruler for Your Emotions

People sometimes come to Shafer Leadership Academy with the hope we will help them control others. First, we talk with them about controlling themselves. 

It’s not always the message they want to hear, but it’s usually the one they need to hear.

We can’t lead others until we lead ourselves or, as my uncle often asked me:

What are you doing to keep your side of the street clean?”

A Simple Tool

Emotional Intelligence is defined as “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”  

David Neidert, author and facilitator for Shafer Leadership Academy, shares this helpful tool during our upcoming Emotional Intelligence session on April 25th from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.

It’s called the “RULER Reminder,” and it’s useful when we find ourselves in emotional situations.

RULER stands for:


Recognize emotions in self and others by examining face, body, voice tones, and feelings;

Understand how these emotions influence us;

Label the emotions by expanding our vocabulary as precisely as possible;

Express appropriate behaviors in the context and culture; within cultural rules;

Regulate by developing strategies for how you might respond (e.g., positive self-talk, exercise,  visualizations, walking, journaling, etc.)

Keep Your Side of the Street Clean

The RULER Reminder represents four basic dimensions of Emotional Intelligence:

1) Self Awareness;

2) Self-Management;

3) Social Awareness and;

4) Relationship Management.  

Self-Awareness is the first step toward better Emotional Intelligence. It’s how we keep our side of the street clean.

Enhance your Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional Intelligence is a challenging topic. It requires a mixture of thinking, self-reflection and intentional action. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this work alone. We, at Shafer Leadership Academy, are ready to walk alongside you. (or: are ready to pick up a broom. Let’s go clean some streets!

Click here to learn how you can attend Emotional Intelligence: Discovering You on April 25th.

Scholarships are available!

About the author:

Mitch Isaacs was named Shafer Leadership Academy’s Executive Director in May 2015. In this role, he works closely with the organization’s board of directors to fulfill the mission of the organization. He is responsible for creating vision, connecting with stakeholders, administering program offerings and leading the organization in meaningful ways.  Learn more about Mitch »