The 5 Steps to Take When You Feel like a Raging Monster Manager

I remember it like it happened 10 minutes ago. I was red hot infuriated, a certifiable Monster.

Driving to work, I called my wife to vent about my boss.

“I can’t believe my boss is acting like this! I don’t even know how to fix this. This is so unfair. She can’t just make up rules like this!” Amanda was silent as I flipped out. Needless to say, I shouldn’t have been driving while I was under the influence of that much rage… and been talking (well, yelling, actually) on the phone at the same time.

Then after my temper-tantrum settled a little, Amanda spoke words back to me that I had preached many times before. She smoothly said, “What your boss did doesn’t really matter. What would the person you want to be do in this situation?”

Those words stopped me in my tracks. And they shaped how I started behaving from that point forward.

Prior to that day, I had been considering taking some coach training courses. I could see that coaching was a path that would lead me to a new career, that would allow me to quit my job as a manager, help others, and be my own boss.

But after taking those courses and finishing months of coach training, I found something else. Learning how to coach others helped me to learn how to coach myself.

After all, how could I learn how to help other managers to solve their problems at work without learning how to help myself to show up as the person that I really want to be more often.

Of course, being a coach doesn’t mean that I’m perfect.

But it has changed me.

It’s helped me to have more resources at my disposal which allow me to work to get what I want out of work.

And as a result of learning how coaching works, I’ve been able to continue to coach myself.

And now, believe it or not, I have an amazing relationship with my bosses and I have what I need to keep working hard to maintain it. Isn’t that ironic?

Now I feel confident that I can navigate any challenges that being a manager brings my way. I’m proud of the work I do and the people that are part of the team that I’m on.

Here’s what you can do the next time you see the Monster showing up for you.

  1. Notice. Just notice what’s happening within you. Catch yourself in the moment.

  2. Breathe. Take a deep, intentional breath (or 50) and ask yourself the questions in the self-coaching exercise below.

  3. Coach yourself. Take some time to think or talk through what’s going on and what you’d like to be feeling instead.

  4. Move forward. Find the smallest action step you can take to move toward feeling and being better.

  5. Celebrate. Show yourself some compassion. Nobody’s perfect. More than that, take a moment to really congratulate yourself for having the awareness to notice what was happening, stop going down the path you were on, and changing your thoughts, feelings, and actions to become better.

Sometimes seeing the Monster can be enough to scare us into transforming into the Hero.

But coaching gave me a new framework to begin to make that transformation.

And I know it can do the same for you.

Self-coaching is what we all need to be better leaders.

If you’re ready to take your self-coaching to the next level, check out my newest product for managers here:

The next time you notice the Monster showing up at work (or in any area of life), stop and ask yourself:

If I was the manager I want to be, what would I be feeling right now?

If I was in my most resourceful state, how would I be viewing this situation differently?

If I approached this situation looking for the best solution for everyone involved, what would I be doing differently?

Why is finding the best solution for everyone involved so important to me?

What might be the easiest step I can take from here to move toward the best solution?


Nate Sleger is a career manager, management coach, and author of The Manager’s Self-Coaching Guide. His course Show Up At Work Like A Superhero has been taken by hundreds of managers worldwide. He currently lives and works in Wisconsin, USA.

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