What is self managment?
Emotions are always rumbling underneath the surface and there are things you can do each day to influence what’s happening beneath the surface.
Self management builds on self awareness through picking up on the rumbling underneath and responding to it appropriately and proactively.
Self management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to actively choose what you say and do.
Sometimes, self management is a matter of taking a deep breath and keeping yourself in check when emotions come on strong.
You can only choose how to appropriately respond to emotions when** you’re aware of them**.
Understanding your emotions and responding in a way you choose, gives you the power to take control of difficult situations, react quickly and take initiative to achieve goals.
When you can size yourself up quickly, and grab the reins before you head the wrong direction, it allows you to choose positive and productive reactions to different situations.
If you don’t stop to think about your feelings and how those feelings are influencing your behavior, you set yourself up to be a frequent victim of emotional hijackings.
What does a lack of self management look like?
Jason L, IT Consultant Self Management = 59
“In stressful situations, or when something goes wrong, Jason sometimes responds too quickly, sharply, or disjointedly. I wish Jason would take some time to cool off and slow down before responding. He’s so emotional. I have seen his coworkers respond in disbelief to the manner in which he communicated with them. Jason means well but can panic when he is stressed. His reactions trickle onto his teammates.”
“Jason should be more aware of his verbal outbursts, and how they affect both clients and coworkers. He is not mean-spirited; he cares a great deal about others but these verbal miscues are just that—outbursts that need to be thought out before expressed. These happen more when he is stressed . . . as the old commercial says, he shouldn’t let them see him sweat so much.”
“Jason lets his emotions rule his behavior. Sometimes he acts or speaks hurriedly. I wish he would be a bit more patient and give the situation an opportunity to work itself out before reacting. Many times these situations resolve themselves or aren’t quite as urgent as he perceives, but before you know it, he’s heightened the intensity with a flurry of messages.”
Mei S., Regional Sales Dir. Self Management = 61
“Mei needs to not be so honest. Her staff don’t need to know about all of the bull that goes down at corporate. If certain things upset her, she needs to learn to keep them to herself. When she is unhappy, it sets the tone for our team. Mei tends to radiate stress in certain situations, and as a leader, it impacts her team negatively by creating stress and negativity rather than diffusing them.”
“Mei has a hard time congratulating staff for their accomplishments, and it comes across as jealousy. It feels like I am in competition with her rather than feeling like she wants me to succeed. I think Mei is a great sales professional, and she treats clients well. I wish she would give her employees the same treatment.”
“Mei needs to be proactive instead of reactive. In times of crisis, she shouldn’t reveal to everyone how stressed she is. She’s so focused and driven to personally succeed that perhaps she takes on too much herself. She has a demanding workload managing the West Coast Team, but she needs to hold her emotions back when people vent about their own problems in meetings.”
What does a high score in self management look like?
Lane L, Health Care Administrator, Self Management = 93
“Lane is the perfect example of patience and understanding during heated, emotionally charged meetings. Others around her become deeply involved in the arguments or discussions, and Lane actively listens and responds with knowledge and wisdom.”
“I have seen first-hand how well she deals with difficult situations (i.e., termination of an employee). Lane is sensitive, yet direct and to the point. She listens patiently and sets a high standard of conduct.”
“Lane is great one-on-one. She communicates well and thinks on her feet. Her reaction to crisis is excellent. Her ability to separate emotion from logic makes her a good tactical manager. I wish there were many more of her.”
Yeshe M, Software Engineer, Self Management Score = 91
“Yeshe handles stressful and confrontational situations very well. No matter how harshly project managers (PMs) hammer Yeshe, he never loses his cool! This gives him a lot of credibility with the PMs. He’s also able to work with other people whose working style he isn’t a fan of. I know going back and forth with them can be frustrating sometimes, but Yeshe never loses his patience.”
“I’ve seen Yeshe in an extremely frustrating situation where he couldn’t get something done because other people didn’t do their jobs. He dealt with it politely and professionally. He was able to explain the procedure again in order to achieve the best possible solution, even though he was upset.”
“I have never heard Yeshe speak negatively about someone who has a different opinion or idea. A lot of talking behind people’s backs happens around here, and he doesn’t give into the temptation, even when he feels strongly about an issue.”
What does Breathe Right mean?
Most people breathe in shallow, short breaths throughout the day. They don’t fully contract their diaphragm and fill their lungs.
When you take shallow breaths (which is any breath that doesn’t contract the diaphram and protrude your stomach) you aren’t giving your body the full amount of oxygen it needs for your organs and brain.
The brain demands 20% of your body’s oxygen supply, which it uses to control basic functions like breathing, sight and complex functions like thinking and managing moods.
The brain first uses oxygen to fuel basic functions and the remaining oxygen is used for complex functions which keep you alert, focused and calm.
Next time you are in a stressful or emotional situation, focus on taking slow deep breaths, inhaling through your nose until you feel your stomach swelling outward and grow tight, exhale gently. Place a hand on your sternum to check if it’s working correctly.
Anytime you **choose to breathe right **and flood your brain with oxygen, you’ll notice the effects immediately. The sensation is described as entering a calmer, more relaxed state where you have a clear head.
Create an emotion vs. logic list.
Often your emotions will sway you in a direction while your rational mind is tugging at your shirt to go another way
Whenever you find your mind having a battle of brains (emotional vs. rational), make a list that distinguishes emotional arguments from rational arguments.
With the list in front of you, it will be much easier to see whether you should allow the emotional or rational sides of your thinking to have a say in your decision
- Steve Jobs and Pixar sat down and wrote out arguments for and against a merger, then they ranked them in importance and priority, from there they could rationally make a decision
Count to ten.
Hint: get some space, cool down emotional brain
Reacting quickly and without much thought fans the flames of the emotional brain. Since a snappy comeback usually leads to a heated exchange where barbs are thrown back and forth, it’s easy to find yourself midst of a full-blown emotional hijacking.
Turn the temperature down on your emotions when they’re running hot by grabbing a drink before replying or counting to ten.
When you feel yourself getting frustrated or angry, stop yourself by taking in a deep breath and saying the number “one” to yourself as you exhale. Keep breathing and counting until you reach the number ten.
Even if you don’t make it to ten, you’ll stop the flow of frustration and anger long enough to cool down your overheated limbic system and give your rational brain some valuable time to catch up.
To be more subtle, with taking a few breathes, some people will bring a beverage with them. If they’re feeling raw, and about to blurt out something rash, instead of acting quickly, they’ll take a drink from their beverage.
No one expects them to talk while they’re drinking
So they have time to calm down, organize their thoughts, and plan something constructive to say.
- the counting and breathing will help you relax and stop you from taking rash action long enough to regain your composure and develop a more clear, rational perspective of the situation
Smile and laugh more.
When you laugh, your face sends signals to your brain that you’re happy.
Your brain responds to the nerves and muscles in your face to determine your emotional state.
When you’re stuck on a frustrating or distressing thought, force yourself to smile because it counteracts the negative emotional state!
Making yourself throw a large, legitamite smile will trick your mind into feeling the mood you need for the moment.
Use smiling and laughter to lift your mood by watching a show or reading a book that you find funny. This can feel odd when you’re feeling down, but it’s a great way to override the negative emotions and clear your head, especially if your mood is paralyzing your judgement.
Plan for possible changes in your future!
Put a mental recharge into your schedule (exercise).
Learn a valuable lesson from everyone you encounter
Speak to someone who is not emotionally involved in your problem.
Focus your attention on your freedoms, rather than your limitations.
Clean up your sleep hygiene.
Visualize yourself succeeding.
Take control of your self-talk.
Research suggests the average person has 50,000 thoughts every day.
Everytime one of those 50,000 thoughts takes place, chemicals are produced in your brain that can trigger reactions
Set aside some time for problem-solving daily!
Talk to a skilled self-manager.
Sleep on it.
The two strongest warriors are time and patience.
Where do time and patience get power?
Their ability to transform situations, ease pain, and provide clarity.
Why do we jump to action when we have anxiety?
To alleaviate the uncomfortable, dissatisfying feeling of internal turmoil.
What’s better more often than not?
Giving yourself an extra day, week or month to digest the situation before moving forward.
Why does this work?
Time brings clarity and perspective to thousands of thoughts that go swimming through our heads when something is important. Time will also help us gain control of emotions that would lead us in the wrong direction if you were to let them drive.
What’s all you need to do?
For yourself to wait for the dust to settle before making a move.
Make your goals public.