Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.
You Can’t Manage Others Until You Can Manage Yourself
June 1st, 2012
Before you try to improve the way you manage others you need to look inward to see how well you manage yourself. If you can’t manage to complete your own tasks on time you’re not going to be able to manage others to do so. If you don’t handle stress well your employees aren’t going to either. Leading by example is an old concept but it is extremely important that you keep it in mind if you want to be a successful manager.
As a manager you have the everyday task of managing both projects and people, it is likely you want to improve your ability to do both of these things. In order to make this improvement you are going to first need to improve your ability to manage yourself. First you need to develop a deep understanding of yourself. How you learn, what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, how you work with others, what you value, what you don’t value, and where you can make the biggest contribution.
In order to discover what your strengths are you are going to need to reflect back on past projects. Remind yourself what went right and what went wrong it is your strengths that led to your successes and your weaknesses that led to your shortcomings. If you succeeded in getting everybody excited about your project you probably have strong interpersonal skills and presenting skills. If you failed to meet deadlines you probably have weak organizational skills. You may be surprised what you can find out about yourself by the simple act of reflection. Once you discover what you are good at put yourself in situations where you are going to be able to exercise your talents. This will allow you to improve upon your strengths allowing you to develop additional skills. When you discover your weaknesses you need to work on setting specific goals in order improve them. Where you are weak, your office will be weak. For example, it is really difficult to work for somebody who isn’t organized and thus cannot give you specifics and deadlines.
It is also important that your day is fairly scheduled but still allows room for flexibility. If your employees know what times you are available they’ll be more likely to approach you with questions and concerns.