How can an understanding of yourself help you become a better manager?
You’ve sat on the bench long enough, and in your mind you have a vision of the impact you want to make on the team. You know the areas that require immediate improvements, you’re well-rehearsed at what doesn’t work. How do you ensure you reach peak performance – the answer is within you.
First, set the stage
Progress is to challenge yourself. But, asking the right questions is to honestly face who you are, and that’s not so easy. Remind yourself, how else can you possibly discover what defines you? The limitations you have or the strengths you may not have realised?
It’s like taking the stage for the first time after years of sitting comfortable and inconspicuous in the audience. Being under the spotlight is a shock, with new levels of exposure and vulnerability.
To perform well can seem natural and easy from the balcony, but when you put yourself out there, alone and under scrutiny, new pressures apply. Your most important lesson will be the knowledge of yourself, so embrace it.
Secondly, identify where to find the knowledge
Your greatest adversary can be your own expectations. You will encounter situations that defy imagination, and the behaviour of others will often leave you confounded. Sometimes the objectives will seem impossible, like a barrage of situations to confront and test your metal.
Reflecting on who you are is a great start. The Johari Window Model provides four areas to help us understand who we are. Try considering events at work that affect you from these four perspectives:
1. What we and others see
2. What only we see and hide from others
3. What we can’t see about ourselves and yet to others is obvious
4. And then of course the quadrant of the unknown
Lastly, seek to understand, and then be understood
Having a mentor, a coach or a role model is crucial for instilling a belief in yourself. They will challenge critical thinking and help you to define you. Using a theoretical device to analyse predetermined reactions to a given situation is a great start, yet nothing beats the discovery of a mentor or a coach. Confronting role play and problem solving develops perspective. The ability to assess yourself and your team lies in 3 clear evaluations:
How do you bring this all together?
Training courses become important at this stage, as they are a proven way to initiate mentoring. Workshops that take the principles of management and expose them to experiences and theoretical situations, while encouraging individuals to solve – all of which can create a better understanding.
Knowledge is power. How willing are you to investigate the unknown? The challenge is not for everyone, yet for those who do step beyond the comfort zone, they are guaranteed to find two things. A better path to self-awareness and a greater clarity in how to inspire others. Both go hand-in-hand and both are the keys to success. It’s all up to you.