Self-Management for Happiness
First off, let’s talk about what we mean by ‘self-management.’ In our recent Community and Connection course, we asked people to post in chat what self-management means to them. I was really surprised at the diversity of perspectives and descriptions. Here are some of them.
- Managing yourself in the most productive & strategic way possible.
- The Pomodoro method
- Recognizing something rising up within me, managing my response as appropriate to the situation
- Self-management + my ability to act masterfully and be aware of my impacts on others
- The first 3 habits of Stephen Covey: Be Proactive (Personal Vision); Act with the End in Mind (Personal Leadership); Put First Things First (Personal Management)
- Aware and observing the less evident parts of myself
- Managing yourself in your environment
- Balancing our skills and faults to create a balance
- Being able to use properly the Self
Much to my surprise, a great deal of the discussion was around getting things done rather than the more personal self-awareness aspects of what predominated in the list. Perhaps that has to do with the term, ‘management’, which often refers to managing people in order to get work done. Our frame of reference as we thought about this topic of self-management and how it is important for happiness was more focused on our own self-talk and how we get our Interaction Style Drives met. That did happen a bit later in the session as we introduced the following graphic and brief overview of Interaction Styles.
After a breakout group, discussions revolved around how awareness of their Interaction Style Drives, Aims and Talents help them with their own self-management such that they feel happier or at least more satisfied in their lives.
Here are the key points for each Interaction Style:
So what does all of this have to do with happiness? Below are a few examples.
A woman with an In-Charge style had repeatedly been told she was too bossy when growing up. She was so relieved when she realized her drive to accomplish was natural. Most of her old negative self-talk messages just went away. As her self-esteem began to be repaired, she began to recognize when her determined energy was appropriate to a situation and when it wasn’t. She could now take great joy in using her talents and getting her drives met.
A man with a Behind-the-Scenes style realized that his drive to get the best result possible was not what his work role needed. So he shifted out of a role that had a lot of need for quick, achievable results into a role where his open energy and drive to integrate new information was needed in order to get the best product possible. He found a lot of his constant stress was relieved and he was actually more productive.
A woman with a Get-Things-Going style realized she was angry at her father for constantly being disappointed in her. She would tell her father she might do xyz and then he would come back to her and ask her if she had done it and she had not. After her realization that his Interaction Style was most likely Chart-the-Course, her anger went away and she shifted her behavior. She realized that when he said he was going to do something, he already had it all mapped out. She realized that her sharing was a way to get involvement and he took it as a definite. So from then on, she quit sharing her ideas in progress and waited to share until it was almost a done deal.
A man with a Chart-the-Course style realized that his focused, more contained energy was being misperceived as not really caring about the people on the consulting team. So he started letting people know that when they were being enthusiastic and brainstorming ideas, he was inside his head thinking about what plan of action was going to be needed. They began to value his charting a course of action and he felt more included.
If you are interested in joining our community of like-minded individuals who are helping others increase their self-management skills you might want to consider our Self-Discovery Practitioner Certification.