As a manager, the only person you really manage is yourself. The only person you can really control is you. And the process of controlling your own personal growth and development, becoming even better, is what we call self-coaching.
That all sounds great, right? But lots of managers that I’ve worked with are missing a huge piece of the puzzle of self-management. And if they can’t manage themselves, how can they really manage anything?
There’s something that always precedes self-management. In fact, you can’t have self-management without it.
Want to know what it is?
Awareness of something always comes before the ability to manage it. Right?
This might sound overly simplistic, but monster managers can’t figure it out. Hero managers are experts at it.
For you and I to master the process of self-management and self-coaching and show up as the person we want to be at work, we first have to have a keen sense of self-awareness.
Basically, getting better at self-awareness is all about practice.
The process of practicing self-awareness looks like this:
When you catch yourself experiencing some powerful emotions, especially negative feelings like anger, frustration, anxiety, disappointment, make a mental (or physical) note of it.
As soon as you possibly can after experiencing that trigger, set aside some private time to get curious about what exactly that feeling is, and what you learned from experiencing it.
This process will serve to separate you from the monster managers who just experience powerful negative emotions, allow them to go unnoticed, and to dominate their behavior at work.
They yell, scream, verbally abuse their employees, have terrible relationships at work, and are incredibly miserable.
And their negative feelings grow bigger and bigger.
But that will never happen to you.
Because you’re already working at becoming Hero You.
And you’re developing the super power of self-awareness.
The next time you catch yourself getting triggered at work, stop to write out the answers to these questions.
What might be one or two of the best words you could use to label the feeling that you experienced?
Rather than that negative state, what would you like to have felt instead?
Take a moment to play back to the moment that you experienced the negative trigger, only rather than watching “you” in that moment, put Hero You into the scene. Imagine Hero You displaying the state from your response to question 2 as they move through the scene.
How might Hero you have responded to that situation?
What might be one or two of the easiest steps you could take to respond like Hero You the next time a similar situation comes up at work?