When people think of Self-Management, they generally think of managing time and goal setting and there is no doubt that a good manager will be able to do these things.  However, what sets Great Managers apart is their ability to deal with emotions and reduce stress by being able to respond rather than react to difficult situations.

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Great Managers know how to reduce stress and stay resourceful and calm under pressure.

Self-Management includes being able to adapt to different situations and different people – to get the best out of the situation or other people, and yourself. The application of this skill includes the ability to manage emotion and use emotion intelligently to guide thinking and effective decision making.



Self Management, also known as self-regulation, or impulse control is the ability to resist or delay an impulse, drive, or temptation to act.

It’s the capacity to look before you leap – to manage wisely, and consider before you act. It is not about being overly cautious or inflexible. From this description, it’s easy to see why the skill of self-awareness is such an important precedent.

Managers with low self-management skills can be burdened by low frustration tolerance, become impatient easily and have difficulty controlling their anger. They may be vulnerable to stress or anxiety and behave in unpredictable ways. They may also totally withdraw and avoid dealing with situations that require any emotional involvement such as managing conflict or difficult conversations.



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Self-Management Assessment

Do any of the following statements apply to you? Be honest.

Use the rating scale No (N), Sometimes (S), Yes (Y).

1- I become impatient easily
2- I often find that other people are too slow in explaining themselves or making decisions
3- I tend to interrupt others when they are speaking
4- I tend to say things to others I regret afterwards
5- If another driver cuts me off I will yell at them or make obscene gestures at them
6- I have had feedback from others that I am hot-headed or defensive
7- I have been told that I can be intimidating
8- I have little delay between an idea and acting on it
9- I have a sarcastic sense of humour
10- I can’t stand it when other people cry or get overly emotional


This assessment is about raising self-awareness.

If you’ve answered Yes or Sometimes to a number of these, you will benefit a lot from developing this skill. Most of us can benefit from some improvement to our self-management skill.

Use Self-Management and its Elements to Reduce Stress

Self-Management is an important skill that will increase your effectiveness and reduce stress. It is a skill that can be learnt.

The more you build this skill the more effective you will be as a manager. Learning to manage the power of your own emotions can open up an untapped reservoir of effectiveness.

The energy that fuels impulsive behaviour is the same energy that, when better controlled, can motivate you to high achievement.

As a manager, your energy is a valuable resource and needs to be treated as such. Your role requires you to use a range of energy-hungry skills such as prioritising, planning, deciding, negotiating, problem-solving and many others.

Increasing your self-management skills, not only helps you reduce stress but can help you manage your energy better.

People who succeed under pressure have learnt to be in a place of high alertness, but maintain a quiet mind so that they can still think clearly.

The 3 elements of self-management are managing emotions, managing thoughts and managing behaviour.


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