Want to change others? Look at yourself.

Most of us have a natural tendency to think that management means to make others do their jobs in a particular way or to control them or even fix ‘bad’ behaviours. We’re there to manage, right? Unfortunately, that approach backfires because forcing or controlling someone reduces engagement and commitment. You probably know this from your own personal experience – what happens to you when someone tries to control or fix you? I don’t know many who would find that engaging.

Being a powerful people manager or leader requires gaining trust and followership. How do you inspire? How do you support people to set realistic commitments and meet them?  How can you see them as individuals and treat them according to their needs? How do you personalise accountability and foster commitment?

Leaders lead other rather than control them

The first step to leading others is to understand yourself and learn to use your own human capabilities in a different way: Invest the time to find your way of seeing others and their capabilities, supporting them and inspiring them. Fortunately, this approach is more efficient and more satisfying; you will spend less energy trying to force and control people and instead, create a more collaborative relationship that will produce great results.

Work with emotions

What managers and leaders often find difficult is how to handle the emotional side of human beings. There is one person being difficult or combative, another person is slow, two others are always arguing.  It may surprise you to learn that sometimes your approach, style or expectations will create stress in others, which is part of what creates the behaviours that you wish to change. If you take responsibility for your impact, and shift your approach, you can change many of these dynamics.

Your first steps to leadership?  Start with you. Start with your own understanding of yourself and the impact that you have. Notice the impact that your emotional states have, notice how you communicate in person and in writing and how people respond. Are they following you? Or tolerating you?

Whether you are a first-line manager, a high-level leader or somewhere in between, this message is for you: your attitude and the dynamics between you and others has everything to do with how much they engage and commit to their work.

It’s important to know enough about yourself, so that you aren’t creating strife and stress with your people. Take the time to understand your own triggers, tendencies and traps and this will help you manage those and shift into a different gear that will inspire and motivate. By learning to manage your emotional triggers you can be intentional about the impact you have on others.