Who Are You Managing at Work? Your Boss, Your Colleagues or Yourself?
Look around the brick & mortar and online book stores today, and you'll find heaps of management books on How to Navigate at Work, Tips for Managing upwards, sidewards, downwards... making it 360 and loads more. But how many times do we take a pause and ask ourselves - when was the last time you managed yourself proactively?
Let's use a fantastically simple framework - ME, US and IT.
IT = refers to work related matters. It could be an email, phone call, meetings or simply a project deadline you need to meet.
US = refers to the relationships we have at work. Your colleagues, your friends, your line managers, your direct reports and even the politics at work.
ME = simply refers to yourself. Your feelings, your personal well-being, your development and more.
Do a honest reflection - when you arrived at work first thing in the morning, what is the first thing that you do or comes to your mind? How much time do you spend on IT and/or US vs. ME?
In today's working world, undefended boundaries at work means you'll be absorbed into more IT and US and less time for ME. If you fail to establish your values, fail to be true to yourself, fail to establish solid boundaries defining what you are willing and not willing to do, the people around you - bosses, peers and direct reports will take whatever you have to give. Eventually, you feel tired and you will have no one to blame but yourself because you didn't allocate time for ME.
This article seeks to share some quick tips that is nothing new, but sometimes a necessary conscious reminder for ourselves to develop that discipline to spend more time on ME at work.
Develop Personal Discipline = this is the regular routines you enforce on yourself ruthlessly. It can be gym, time with family, no 8am meetings, strict lunch hours, etc. Plan to plan these for ME, or others will take it for themselves.
Build Support Systems = who are your advice & counsel network? At work and in life, you need 3 types of advisers:
- Technical adviser who provide expert analysis. An example of it would be my Asia Pacific Gum & Candy Finance Director when I was with Mondelez International. He was a senior coach to me and taught me how to understand the markets, strategy and performance of the business.
- Cultural interpreters are those who help you understand the new culture of a place. These are the natural historians of a company who can help you navigate at work.
- Political counselors are the ones who help you deal with political relationships. With the right Counselors, you'll find time to assess the environment, not lose yourself andcontinue to stay true to who you are with their advice.
Remember, you can be great managing others but if you fail to manage yourself, you are probably not staying true to who you really are. Develop a strong personal discipline and seek out people who can be your advice & counsel network. Be respectful to them and be grateful.
I end this article with a learning & quote I had from a coach, 'We're not here for a popularity game, you're here to be who you are, and do what you believe in'.
With that, I hope this article has been a positive inspiration and I hope you find time for ME on top of US and IT!
This article first appeared on LinkedIn.