Self-management relies very heavily on self-awareness. If we are not conscious of what we are thinking, saying and doing – and the impact of our thoughts, words and actions – we are incapable of managing ourselves.
Self-management, according to the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, is “the process of managing one’s internal states, impulses and resources”.
Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, identified the opportunity space for self- management:
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lives our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our greatest happiness.
There are a number of ways to develop self-management. I will discuss two approaches in this post:
1. Managing Your Response to Negative Triggers
We all have situations, people or events that “set us off”. They may stimulate anger, frustration, annoyance or anyone of the multitude of negative emotions. As Vikto Frankl pointed out, we really have a choice of how to respond. In a previous post, I discussed the SBNRR process (stop, breathe, notice, reflect and respond) to help you manage your response to your negative triggers. Reflect is an important stage of the process because it seeks to get us to move beyond the particular negative stimulus and response to gain insight into any observable pattern, e.g. obstinacy when dealing with a person in authority.
2. Mindful Listening
Mindful listening requires us to be fully present to the other person, to understand what they are saying and the significance for that person. It also means to be able to reflect back their words and feelings, and the depth of those feelings. It requires discipline to stay with the other person’s conversation and to avoid diverting the conversation to yourself and your own experience. It also means avoiding interrupting the other person mid-sentence. All of this takes considerable self-management. Mastering mindful listening is a lifetime pursuit – in the process you will develop self-management and grow in mindfulness.
Self-management contributes to the development of mindfulness; as we grow in mindfulness it becomes easier to manage ourselves and our responses. Both contribute to the development of mindful leadership.
By Ron Passfield – Copyright (Creative Commons license, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives)
Image source: courtesy of moulinaem on Pixabay