Leadership Tip - To Effectivelly Manage People, First Manage Yourself

Do you ever experience frustration or challenges in managing the people who work for you?  You’re not alone!  That’s why there are so many articles, workshops and books on that very topic.  I invite you to take a step back and consider a relatively simple approach.

One of the best tips for effectively managing people is to first manage yourself.  You may be wondering what I mean by that.  Start by managing your attitude and your reactions. Needless to say, managing yourself can sometimes be more challenging than managing others!  It takes discipline and focus.  Creating routines to support yourself is critical.

In the most recent Unshackled Leadership Blog by Scott Hunter, “Choose to be Happy”, he suggests focusing on being happy every day.  This is a great way to manage yourself!  When you FOCUS on something, it is more likely to result.  Start each day choosing to be happy!  This sounds simple and yet, we get up and go into automatic pilot with our day. Before you know it, something comes up, we react and we are upset and unhappy.  We may even “take it out” on the people we manage.  Sound familiar?

Many people create routines and utilize discipline to help create a healthy lifestyle.  Time is set aside to workout at the gym, maybe even hire a trainer or fitness coach.  Many plan and eat healthy meals, getting into a routine with healthy eating habits that support them.  I invite you to set time aside and create similar routines and habits that support you in managing yourself.  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Set your alarm clock for 5 minutes earlier than normal.  Use this time to focus on being happy.  This can be stating your intentions for the day, positive affirmations, spiritual reading, etc.  Once you create this habit, you may find you want to extend the time. 
  2. Look in the mirror and say, “I love you!  You are amazing!”  while giving yourself a big hug!
  3. As you go about your day, manage IN and OUT!  Manage what you allow to come into your world, your mind, your thoughts, your time, and your space.  Manage what comes out of your mouth.
  4. Avoid complaining, criticizing, blaming, or judging yourself or others.  Put $1.00 in a jar every time you do this and donate it to a charity.
  5. Take 1 minute mini retreats throughout the day.  Shut your eyes, breathe in and out, thinking  happy thoughts on the “inhale” and letting go of negative emotions or thoughts on the “exhale”.
  6. Nourish your mind by reading or listening to positive, spiritual or uplifting books, podcasts, etc.
  7. At bedtime, write down all the things you are grateful for in that day.  Smile.

When you start managing yourself, you will find managing others suddenly becomes easier and more effective!  Try it!