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Management Awareness

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Written by Andy Trainer– Tue 10 Sep 2013

Managers who know themselves well and who are aware of their emotions are in a better position to understand and empathise when managing others. This is something emphasised on many of our Management Training Courses.

So an important step to being an effective manager is self-awareness. This means, amongst other things, knowing:

  • Your strengths
  • Your areas for development
  • Your positive and negative qualities
  • Your prejudices
  • Your feelings
  • What effect you have on others

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence, or EI as it is known, can be helpful in this area of interpersonal understanding as it involves thinking about yourself and others.

EI is said to be categorised into five aspects:

1/ SELF-AWARENESS

If you're aware of yourself and what makes you tick, you'll be a more effective communicator and a better manager. Once you understand yourself and are open to self-development, you are in a better position to lead and guide others.

2/ MANAGING EMOTIONS

Do you always know how you feel? For many of us our feelings are unclear and hidden as we have been taught to suppress emotions.

Reversing this isn't easy, but research shows that unless we're first aware of our emotions we can't gain control of them.

You can increase your awareness of feelings simply by spending time thinking about them. The more you practice, the more conscious you will become.

3/ MOTIVATING YOURSELF

Once you're more aware of your emotions you can put them to good use to motivate yourself and keep yourself motivated regardless of the situation.

You no longer have to react in an automatic way to outside stimuli; you can choose.

4/ EMPATHY

Without empathy, it is difficult to gain people's trust, create rapport, influence people and develop their abilities.

Empathy is having a sensitivity to the feelings and concerns of others and seeing things from their point of view, rather than selfishly seeing things from your own perspective.

5/ HANDLING RELATIONSHIPS

Once you have empathy with someone and can recognise their feelings of stress, anger, sadness, rejection and so on, you can manage emotions in others.

Handling relationships mean having a degree of social competence and using social skills.

How Can We Use This to Be More Effective Managers?

Having the basic building blocks of EI means it is possible to control your emotions, create and maintain successful relationships and motivate yourself and others to achieve goals, all key aspects of management!

How Can I Find Out What Effect I Have on People?

Feedback should be a two-way process. Now is your chance to ask for some for yourself! This takes courage but is worth it.

The more specific the feedback the more valuable it will be - this applies equally to praise as to criticism.

You can help people be specific with their feedback by being specific with your questions:

Choose two or three people you trust in your organisation. They may be your staff, peers or manager. Identify two aspects of your management style that you want to receive feedback on. Be specific about what you ask for.

  1. Record what each of them says
  2. Analyse your emotional reaction to what they said
  3. Make notes on what you can do and are prepared to do to change your behaviour

You need to be sure that if they are critical, you don't get defensive. You will have to handle your feelings about the interchange if some of the comments are negative!

Being self-aware is also a key aspect of being a great leader; something you'll learn on our Leadership Training.

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