There are many ways people communicate that go beyond basic verbal communication. To be in tune with others, it is crucial to “notice” these other means of communicating. What are they? People communicate in many ways – with facial gestures, body language, tone of voice, choice of words, eye contact or lack of it, posture, touch and allowing or not allowing personal space. How often do you pay attention to another person’s non-verbal communication?
Over the next week, take some time to sharpen your ability to notice both your and others’ non-verbal communication. Try to discern what is being said beyond surface verbal communications. Noticing helps you increase your understanding of yourself and the people you interact with, resulting in better decisions, more effective communication and better managing.
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Most people favor either their mind or their emotions over the other. It’s a matter of orientation, situation and preference. Do you favor your mind or your emotions when you are managing? I do not have to explain the difference in the two approaches. However, your choice (and it is a choice) does impact your managing style and results. The ideal approach is to balance your mind and emotions when managing.
Can you think of a time you were managing and favored your emotions? Can you think of another time you favored your mind? How did they work out? Were you in control or did they run away with you? Of prime importance, as a manager, is to use your mind and emotions with full awareness. They are great tools, but they need to be managed, too.
Balancing your mind and emotions when you are managing is a skill that will make you a better and happier manager.
I wrote another post on this subject a while back titled Balancing Mind And Emotions When You Fire Someone. You can find it here.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
We all need inspiration, especially when we are stretching ourselves. Team members may come to coaching discouraged or unmotivated or daunted by what is expected of them. One very effective way to inspire is to lead by example. Show your team members that you are willing to do what it takes to excel and that they can too. Be a role model. Another way to inspire is to help individuals to see their strengths and the possibilities that lie before them. Show your faith in their ability to excel and face challenges. Inspire them by providing insights and suggesting strategies that help them move forward. Show your enthusiasm for their advancement.
Inspiration, by its very definition, makes someone want to do or create something they may not have considered before. Coaching is about advancement. Developing the ability to inspire is a win-win for both you and the team members that you coach.
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When you are coaching, “issues” are bound to come up. By issues, I mean topics that evoke emotions, anxieties, strong opinions and the like in the person you are coaching or yourself. When issues are introduced, you can get “hooked” by your own reactions to them. When this happens, you as coach have to maintain an objective presence and continue your coaching with a focus on the person you are coaching, not yourself. This can be a challenging thing to do.
Of highest importance is your level of self-awareness. You need to be able to discern very quickly when your own emotions start coming into play. If you feel yourself getting hooked in a coaching conversation, pull yourself back and regroup. Find ways to do this as quickly as you can. If you find you cannot, suggest a short break. Then, return to the coaching with your focus restored. After the coaching ends, you can deal with what happened. Getting hooked serves no one and damages your effectiveness as a coach.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Clarity is essential to making good decisions. There are many things that can cloud your vision, without your realizing that they are doing so. What kind of things? Here are several: biases, fears, attitudes, pre-judgments, ambiguity or confusion. Discerning when any of these things are present in your decision-making is a skill that is worth developing.
Take a moment and look back at a decision that resulted in trouble for you. What was going on when you made the decision? Did you have clarity around it? Then, look at a decision that went well for you. Did you have clarity when you made it? One way to create clarity is to stop when making a significant decision and bring yourself fully to the present moment. Ascertain what is happening in the present and let it inform the decision you make. Develop ways to clear your vision. With clear vision, you are able to see everything around you and your decisions will reflect your clarity.
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What does it mean for you to be at your best? Is your answer influenced by others’ views of what a good manager is or your own view? Being at your best asks that you manage in a way that allows you to excel. It asks that you continually improve your skills, honor your values and stay true to yourself.
Be aware of people or situations that hamper your ability to be at your best.
Being at your best is your gift to the world and to yourself. When you put your focus on being at your best, it is a win-win all around.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
1. Be your authentic self. This means no “shoulds” and being true to your values.
2. Get enough rest, so you can be at your best.
3. Treat all with respect and fairness.
4. Continuously sharpen your skills and know that the growing and learning never stops.
5. Do your best to live fully in the present moment.
6. Enjoy your work and encourage others to do the same.
7. Develop a positive relationship with time (See my previous blog post)
8. Use technology to create efficiencies.
9. Go to 10,000 feet every once in awhile, in order to see the bigger picture.
10. Acknowledge your accomplishments and those of others.
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Sometimes, we fail to ask ourselves the simplest questions. Circumstances lead us into situations and we ride along with them. In organizations, we can easily find ourselves managing people or projects, almost by default. There’s merit in asking, “Do I want to be a manager?” “Do I like what I am doing?”
Excelling at managing asks for a set of skills that may differ from why we chose our field in the first place. When we become a manager, all of a sudden, the core skills we have developed are not enough. We need to be adept at interpersonal communications, supervising, organizing data, project management, judging performance and spotting good talent, leading a team, and “managing up”.
Is managing for you? It’s a good question to ask yourself, if you want to be happy and fulfilled in your work and career.
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Each day, I work with clients as they navigate their work lives. Preparing to write this post, I thought about all the effort they put into creating a career that fulfills them. They focus on: keeping their skills up, interacting and communicating with others, negotiating effectively when they need to, staying motivated, maintaining balance, staying organized, keeping their emotions steady, getting to and from wherever they have to be, maintaining their self confidence and creating space for themselves and their creativity. It takes a lot!
Honor yourself for what it takes for you to make it through a day. What would you say are your strong points – where you’ve got what it takes? What are your weak points and what can you do about them? This is not a challenge, just a reflection. Recognize yourself for how well you are already doing. Kudos to you!
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A key element of being valued as a manager is to value your self. Past posts in this series have focused on finding an organization that values your unique strengths and assessing to what degree your organization values you. Today, the focus is within.
Your self – confidence and belief in yourself will go far in encouraging others’ confidence in you. With self – confidence comes appreciation of your own abilities and what you have to offer to your team and organization. No one is perfect – self – confidence is not about that. Self – confidence can thrive, even while you accept failure and acknowledge there is room for improvement.
How confident are you? Do you look to others for approval? Do you judge yourself too harshly? Do you feel timid or unsure? Putting some focus on developing self – confidence and affirming your own value will go far in assuring your organization values you as a manager.
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