Resilience in Management – Advice for First-Time Managers
Resilience in management is a big topic, although I don't see it tackled enough for managers. And if you are a first-time manager or you are aspiring to be a manager, you should start learning about it right now.
Management is not for the faint-hearted. It comes with many new responsibilities and accountabilities. Managing people and the performance of others is difficult, especially in difficult organizational circumstances, such as reorganization. Also, the pressure comes now from your management, your management colleagues, and your team. It can be very overwhelming when you are a first-time manager.
Resilience in management is a characteristic of great leaders and a necessity for every manager because it will allow you to thrive in these circumstances by getting over setbacks, adapting to change, and keeping going when things don't go your way.
Even if you aren't a manager yet, if you want to go down this path, you should start right away figuring out which mechanism allows you to deal with stress to avoid burnout.
When I was promoted, I asked my new manager what his advice was for me and if there was only one thing he could recommend. And it was this: "You need to find ways to cope with stress." And there were definitely times when I felt the pressure and remembered this piece of advice.
I don't think that you would never feel stressed, even with the best resilience in management abilities; however, there are a few things I have found helpful on my way. I hope you will find these beneficial to navigate your career in a modern and busy world of people managers.
3 Tips on How to Build Resilience in Work
1. Effective Planning and Dropping What Is Not Important
Failing to plan is planning to fail. A perfect bumper sticker for first-time managers.
Stress often arises when many important workstreams align at the same time. It often feels like this happened suddenly, but this is rarely the reality, and good planning could have avoided many issues.
I plan for the work week, the next three months, and the following year in decreasing detail. I expect the same from my team. This allows me to react to issues appropriately, anticipate problems in the long term, and put countermeasures in place in the here and now.
Unfortunately, many managers fail on this. When you ask why they did not plan better, you often get answers like, "I am too busy because I had too many issues to attend to."
2. Stay in the Now
Especially when we feel stressed, it is important to let go and rest. When you are at home or having coffee with your friends, there is little chance that you can resolve your issues. Acknowledge your thoughts on work, and then let go.
This is important to keep balance in life and don't allow work to take over. It is "only work."
Quickly said, hard to do. I struggle with this one the most.
However, I made good progress after reading "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. It isn't an easy read but worth the effort. He reminds us that it doesn't serve us to obsess about our problems, especially when we are in a "now" where we cannot change the situation, such as in our free time. I use many of his principles, especially when things keep me awake at night. It often works!
It all starts with awareness of a stress response. Use this for two reasons: (1) dealing with stress and (2) identifying the triggers.
Triggers can be similar types of projects, meetings, and behaviors. Recognizing the patterns of what causes you stress is huge because, over the long term, you will be able to know what to expect, plan and deal efficiently with these.
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