There is only one person in the world you can control. And you know who that person is!! Go look in the mirror! And while you’re there, give yourself a thumbs up.
It’s not easy to bring your best self to work everyday — but you do. OK… maybe not last Friday, but who’s counting? Do you take time to truly appreciate all you accomplish throughout the day? That’s why I’m a big proponent of the concept of self management:
Being your own boss even when your paycheck is cut by someone else.
But self management requires a shift in attitude, an acceptance that effective praise does not have to (even though it is nice when it does) come from outside sources. You know when you’ve put in your best work — and the effort it took to get it done.
So before you move on to your next task after filing that complex budget report, step back and acknowledge what you’ve achieved with a good old “Yay Me!” Maybe even take yourself out for a coffee. Not only will you notice a self-esteem boost, you might also see a surge in productivity, just like when you have a boss who is good at delivering positive feedback.
And do you appreciate yourself when a colleague says something snarky, and you choose to hold your tongue? Or when you see something really inappropriate, and you find just the right time and place to address it one-on-one? Or, for those of you who have trouble speaking up, do you silently applaud yourself when you pitch an idea at the meeting? We need to appreciate both our tangible work efforts AND the way we notice and manage our emotions and interactions.
While it’s true that you are the only one you can control, it’s also true that your opinion of you has a huge impact on your ability to succeed. So look within, and in 2018 be the best manager you’ve ever had!
“What are you doing?” my daughter asked as I fumbled around my dashboard. “I’m looking for the seat heater,” I replied. On the car I had owned for two years, I might add. She rolled her eyes (as only daughters can do) and effortlessly punched the button that had eluded me.
I had earned that eye roll. I was so overwhelmed with driving, thinking, and talking, that I simply couldn’t successfully add another task. I would die of embarrassment in admitting this, if I thought I were the only one to have a seat heater moment. But I know I’m not. I watch people at work all the time doing their own version. They’re on computers, with two screens going, and they’re checking email, and they’re trying to have a conversation. And they aren’t doing any of them well.
Our minds are fabulous muscles, and can do all kinds of things, but they can’t do them all at one time. We’ve bought into the multi-tasking-is-good mindset. But I’m here to tell you, it’s a hoax.
Here’s the real secret to time management:
- Focus on one thing at a time.
- Take frequent breaks.
- In between even small tasks, take a long, gentle, calming breath.
- Shut off those email and text notifications.
- Stay on-task and in the moment.
You’ll be more productive, attentive, and calm — and maybe even avoid an eye-roll or two!
A year ago, I needed to replace the walkway leading to my office. I called three landscapers to estimate the project. The first landscaper was affable enough, took some measurements, and left.
The second assessed the area and then turned to me and said, “What mood are you trying to create?” I had no idea, so he offered to drive me around to look at “mood.” He had me show him what I liked. When we returned, he looked at the surroundings and he explained how the atmosphere created by the path would influence how people felt when they walked into the office.
As we talked more, I was excited by the possibilities, but nervous about the potential cost, which must have shown in my face. “Don’t worry,” he said. “We’ll start with the walkway, and then you can do the rest of the plan in stages, if that’s what you choose. I want to give you a whole plan, so that it will all work together.”
When the third landscaper pulled out his measuring tape, I had already been won over by the second landscaper’s approach. He had created a compelling vision for the walkway and allayed my money fears.
He got my business because, unlike the other two landscapers, he was more than just an order taker.
In training programs, sometimes participants say, “Oh, I don’t need sales skills. It’s not part of my job.” Regardless of your work, it pays to be persuasive, and it’s important to have a little sales mojo.
All of us need to be able to influence, which is essentially what “sales” is. When we work with our members, patients, clients, employees, and customers, getting to know them as individuals is key. What are their goals? Concerns? Wishes?
It’s only when we know people as individuals that we can truly influence and persuade. And persuasion is something we all need to do, even if you think you’re not in sales.
You may be a doctor encouraging your patient to quit smoking, an HR manager asking an employee to fill out a timesheet – or a landscaper building a walkway.
Whatever your role, sales skills will make you more successful.