I am suspicious of the word “self-management.”
Folks consider it a desirable leadership skill.
Do we mean “act nice?” Do we mean “not upset people?” Do we mean “act professional” – one of the most loaded clichés in the corporate lexicon?
Most of us mean, I surmise, manage our emotions.
Workplaces are a sanctuary for professionals who have self-managed themselves out of feeling anything. That’s when “stuffing it” has become a way of life.
Most of us, I surmise again, believe that this is not a good thing.
You know the saying “I’m in a crappy mood?” The word “crappy” provides shelter for all sorts of emotions that don’t feel all that good. So what do we do when we find ourselves in crappy-land at work? And when being crappy, in that meeting, with that person, isn’t an option?
Here’s the “un-stuffing it” guide to gliding through crappiness:
Awareness of the moment is the real skill. When we are self-aware, self-managing is a breeze. When we are not, we revert back to – yes, stuffing it.
And how do we shift, you ask?
I have many answers to that marvelous question. But I will leave you with my absolute favorite, courtesy of the magnificent Alisa Alexander, Senior Developer of Strategic Education at Mary Kay Cosmetics:
Fake it til you feel it.
It is not about acting fake.
It is not about being inauthentic.
It is simply about taking the bold leap into your desired emotional state.
Sure, it may feel fake for a moment or two.
But then – yowza – reality will catch up with how you are already acting.
A lot more quickly than you think.
And that’s pretty darn cool …