(Editor’s Note: Regardless of where we work and what we do, being able to manage ourselves is essential to our professional success. This series originally appeared in Workshifting, a blog which focuses on telework, online tools/resources, travel and technology. Enjoy the read!)
Our last post in this series about the qualities of self-management deals with change. Not change management because that’s an organizational process. The idea behind “manage to change” lies in the ability of each individual to change as necessary.
Just as a quick recap, here are the five qualities we’ve discussed so far:
Really, on some level, all of them deal with our ability to change. Whether it’s knowing ourselves, understanding others or handling difficult situations, there is a change component. The concept of “manage to change” focuses on our ability to effectively make a change when needed. It’s about knowing ourselves and our circumstances well enough to know when a change is called for and what kind of change needs to be made.
Here are two examples:
It’s only natural to rely upon our strengths. And our tendency might be when the going gets tough, to use our strengths because…well, they’re our strengths. However, there are times when relying upon those strengths too much can turn those positive and productive behaviors into negative and self-defeating ones.
Let’s say a person is known for their ability to lead a group or project. One of their strengths is getting people and responsibilities organized then helping the group maintain productivity. If, however, the person always has to be in charge and is unable to participate without being in a leadership role, then their usually positive behavior becomes an unproductive liability.
The way we can manage to change in the situation is by being cognizant of our strengths and aware of situations when we might be overusing them. This will prevent us from using our preferred behaviors to excess.
The second example is when we use our strengths at the wrong time. A person who uses logical, systemic, analytical behavior is a great person to have on the team. But if the situation calls for listening to people and taking into account their feelings and emotions, then it might be considered inappropriate to use logic and systemic reasoning at that time. In this instance, changing the approach to a more empathetic one would be more effective, even though it may not be a strength.
We need to recognize those situations that call for us to leave our comfort zone, regardless of our skill level, to align our behaviors with what is required for the situation.
The more we can manage to change; the greater our potential.
Today’s workplaces are becoming much more social which, in turn, means they are becoming more personal. If we want to solve the business challenges of the future, the first step is being able to manage ourselves.