The Office of Management Development is charged with training very technical associates on the art of managing people. Technology does not have feelings. Loves, hates, conflicts, happiness, goals and desires are human characteristics. Being able to blend positive human characteristics and technical competency into the same project is an art. There are two aspects of this art that are necessary to accomplish any measure of success.
Goal One: “Know thyself.” –Socrates. When I teach courses on personality types, conflict resolution, emotional maturity or culture, I always ask associates to understand the course in light of understanding themselves. Self-awareness is a must when pursuing the art of management. If you can’t identify both positive and negative aspects of yourself, you probably can’t identify them in others. It is necessary to know what drives you. When you no longer fear what’s inside you, you won’t fear what’s inside someone else. Empathy, competition, altruism, introversion and extroversion are all possible explanations for behavior. Seeing a solution for the team requires seeing it working in you. Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” With a small variance, I would say, “Understand yourself and be the change you want to see in your team.” You can’t be dedicated to other’s success unless you’re dedicated to your own success through self-discovery and growth.
Goal Two: “Know others.” A clear, unobstructed view of oneself will clear the way for accurately observing and then successfully coaching/mentoring others. The rite of passage into the lives of others necessitates one having walked a path of self-awareness. When others see that you are also on a path of self-discovery - open, interested, observant and knowledgeable - they will allow you into their personal journeys.
How do I get to know myself? Read. Observe. Discuss. Learn.
How do I get to know others? Engage. Question. Coach. Teach. Mentor. Influence.
Take advantage of every training and self-development opportunity offered.
Suggested reading from the Benefitfocus Library:
The New Art of Managing People by Phil Hunsacker and Tony Alessandra
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham