Every manager should have a set of self-management skills in their toolbox. Change is a new reality, and managers must find ways to adjust and manage their people in real-time. Now more than ever, the work environment is changing rapidly.
Before we dive into the essential self-management skills managers should master, let’s define self-management in the workplace. Self-management is a combination of behaviors that determine how you manage yourself in the workplace. As a manager, ask yourself the following: How well do you manage your commitments and time? Are you able to cultivate and motivate your peers while also keeping yourself motivated to learn new things? At its core, a self-managed manager is a productive manager. To be as effective as possible in your position, consider the following five self-management skills every manager should master:
Positivity is infectious. You can't fake genuine positivity. By creating both short-term and long-term goals for yourself, you can develop a positive outlook. Once the goals are set, continue to motivate yourself to achieve them with positive thoughts. Let go of any negative thoughts. Stay focused on the end goal and take small steps each day to work towards it. Project your positivity on those around you; it will start spreading.
2. Stress Management
Technically speaking, stress can kill you. A manager’s job has them sorting out difficult situations every single day. Implementing stress management techniques can help you navigate and manage the variety of situations that pop up daily. One of the simplest things a manager can do to help manage stress in certain situations is to delay the initial reaction. Take a moment to breathe deeply and think about an effective solution for the problem. This reflection will allow you to be in the best state of mind to make sound decisions.
3. Time Management
As a manager, you know time waits for no one. You must juggle multiple tasks at any given time. If you have not planned accordingly, you will set yourself up for failure. Prioritizing is the first step in getting a handle on your time management skills. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish. After reviewing the list, start to cut out any tasks or redundancies. Make use of all resources that are available to you to work through your list of tasks. Recognize the skill sets of your co-workers and delegate tasks when appropriate. Always remember to communicate your plan and strategy to everyone involved. Time management allows you to build a structured framework for productivity and effectiveness.
Decision-making is an essential skill that drives operational excellence. As a manager, you likely make important decisions that influence your business strategy. This skill requires you to have faith in your decisions. They should be fair and devoid of any emotional attachments or conflicts of interest. It's OK to have co-workers weigh-in, but beware of “too many chefs in the kitchen." Stick to the facts and have the utmost confidence when you do make your final decision.
Problem-solving requires a manager to be fearless when tackling a difficult situation. You may face problems that are technical (e.g., fix this process) or interpersonal (e.g., help this employee). The key takeaway is to remain objective. First, understand the problem. Second, learn what is causing that problem. Third, ask what can be done to resolve the problem. Finally, determine the best way for your business and what actions must be taken to find a solution.