Manage yourself to manage others

Manage yourself to manage others

Lately management theme is all around me. Someone suffers from a manager with micromanagement style, another one misses people aspect in his manager’s actions, third one is looking for a guidance how to be a good manager. Indeed, when I think about it, the role of manager has significantly evolved in the past decades. Nowadays people turn to manager not to get instructions but but to guide and mentor them, to help them to realize their potential and support them in becoming a better version of themselves. Now this is more important than ever.

The demand for different style of management is exponentially increasing. Hence managers need to adapt fairly quickly to changing requirements. What was considered a good management style 10 years ago might be quite opposite today. Many people see manager as their coach, advisor and sometimes even psychologist. People are looking for freedom, guidance and possibility to get their experience by making mistakes. They expect to be given a goal but to be able to find a way to achieve it by themselves.

One of the biggest challenges for some of the managers remains the following: not to perceive his/her subordinates as competitors. It might sound unbelievable but, especially in Eastern European countries, this is one of the biggest troubles for managers and, more importantly, team members. Managers with low self esteem often fear that if their team member will develop a better idea, will show an outstanding performance or will make a good impression to upper level management that will put their own position at risk. And then they do everything to “gently neutralize” certain team members’ performance in order to feel safe. I believe we all can agree that it is extremely difficult to ignite motivation and inspiration in such a team .

Hence what is management really about? What characteristics and personal skills make someone a good manager? Apparently, you cannot be too selfish, but selfish enough to have career aspirations. Not too strict, but strict enough to be able to give constructive feedback. Not too emotional but emotional enough to show your empathy. I could continue on and on however the biggest question here is how to find the golden middle and the right balance between dos and don’ts?

From my perspective it all comes to self-management and to the fact that we all are human beings. Practice what you preach, and things will be way more simple. Treat others with respect and remember to be kind to people, keeping in mind that you are a human yourself. I know, it’s easier said than done 😊

We often hear phrase “lead by example”. Some of us have understanding that first of all we need to become some sort of a great example in order to be able to lead. However, life is way easier. By accepting ourselves we set the example to everyone that being who you are is a value. In the team, led by a “normal human being” with all his/her imperfections team members are more relaxed and confident because they know that there is no need to be ideal and perfect to be successful and accepted. They feel safer in such an environment and can put their attention to generating ideas, servicing clients or reaching targets in the most efficient manner instead of trying to become ideal and fit some unreasonable standards.

It is easier to be an example when the behavior and the values that you are trying to bring to your team are natural for yourself. People very quickly feel what is true and what is fake. The genuine behavior will always attract supporters and followers. We all know that is very difficult to ask people for respect someone who does not respect himself or others. That simply does not work. The same goes for everything! If you wanna get something, firstly you need to give, even though you are a manager.

If you wanna succeed in managing others first be successful in managing yourself. That’s the simplest rule I’d say. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is your relationship with self-discipline and self-awareness? Could you be an example?
  • Do you understand yourself enough so that you could understand others?
  • Are you emphatic to yourself so that you could practice that with others?
  • Is there a balance between your work and personal life? Do you have a personal life?
  • Do you respect yourself so that you could be respectful to others?
  • Are you kind to yourself so that you could spread kindness around you?
  • Can you react to the success of others with joy or it is mixed with undertone of jealousy?
  • Are you willing to support someone to be successful even if his/her success will be greater than yours?
  • Can you accept people doing things not your way?
  • Can you remain calm and professional while managing people you don’t even like?

Honest answers to these questions can help you to find interesting insights. They can assist you in identifying your growth areas and can become a part of your personal development plan. It is the most important to keep in mind that before aiming to change and improve others we better start from ourselves. It is often surprising how other people reflect our own changes

"Being yourself is the highway to success".

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