As a (high) sensitive person you might be familiar with the feeling that life is overwhelming at times. You notice so many things at any one time that it is hard to keep the overview. Let alone to stay focused and separate important things from trivia. And without these 3 qualities achieving personal or professional goals may seem nearly impossible.
What can you do to counteract being overwhelmed, keep the overview, stay focused and achieve your goals?
If you want to prevent your best qualities to remain unrecognized, unused or to disappear, read through the 10 points below. Each point starts with a situation from the job market and ends with some questions you can ask your ‘employee you ‘ as your ‘manager you’. If you recognize a similarity between the outlined job market situation and your life, start doing something about it!
You, a top manager
Have you ever considered improving clarity and focus by changing your perspective? No? Then I invite you to start changing your perspective on your life. That’s easier than you might think: instead of looking at your life through ‘your’ own eyes, where what you are ‘seeing ‘is colored by your emotions and experiences, you step into the shoes of somebody who is the manager of the person ‘you’. Just imagine, you see yourself through the eyes of your partner, mother or manager.
To clarify your thought processes or achieve a breakthrough in private or work-related matters, you can simply start looking at the situation as if you were your manager. Approaching a situation from the point of view of your manager allows you to assume a neutral position outside of yourself. The position of the neural observer. This can be enormously enlightening.
Start by imagining that you are a manager in a company. The company can be your family, club or your work. Then see your employees in that company. One of them being ‘you’. What does the ‘employee you’ need to stay motivated in your ‘work’ ( or relationship, or task…)? And how can the ‘manager you ‘ help to bring out the best in the ‘employee you’?
1) Job: structural overwork
On the job market, usually employees are being burned off and eventually leave work if they are structurally overworked. And as understandable as it is to use your good people again and again for everything – after all, you get things done – the downside is often forgotten: the employees feel that they are being punished for their excellent performance. Research shows also that the structural excess work of people is counter-productive. Working more than 50 hours per week even decreases productivity during each hour substantially.
- How many hours per day do I expect myself to ‘work ‘ every day? ( this includes thinking about work-related issues)
- How many hours do I work every week?
- How realistic is it to expect from myself that I am super-efficient and alert all these hours?
2) Job: adequate reward
It happens regularly that the contribution of an employee is not recognized to its value and that good performance is not rewarded adequately. This is especially true for employees that are intrinsically motivated (as (high) sensitive people often are). The power of an honest compliment is structurally underestimated. Everyone loves compliments and particularly those people that give everything time and time again for a good outcome. As a manager, you are wise to enter into dialogue with these people to hear what motivates them. The motivation could be a raise in salary or just a recognition of their performance.
- What motivates you to contribute to a situation or project?
- Do you ever take a moment to compliment yourself on something you have achieved or done well?
- If so – how often per week do you compliment yourself?
- If not-start doing it immediately, at least once every day!
3) Job: insufficient involvement
More than half of the employees who leave their job decide to do so because of their relationship with their boss. Excellent managers know how to make a balance between professionalism and humanity. These are the managers who celebrate the success of their employees, empathize with them in difficult times and that challenge their people in a positive way.
- How involved is your ‘manager you’ in how your ‘employee you’ feels?
- Is it necessary to change this evolvement from output-orientated to more human?
- What can your ‘manager you’ do to improve the balance of professionalism and humanity?
4) Job: a deal is a deal
As a manager, making promises puts you on the thin line between making your people happy or seeing them deeply disappointed. If you stick to your promises, you gain respect in the eyes of your employees because you are showing that you can be trusted and respected. If you do not keep your promises, you come across as indifferent and disrespectful. In addition, the loss of trust may easily result in a disastrous way of thinking among your employees: if the boss fails to meet his commitments, why would employees do indeed?
- Are you in the habit of promising yourself things that you never keep?
- How do others perceive you when it comes to making promises? (You can learn a lot from this, just ask people you trust)
- What does it do to your self-respect if someone promises you something and doesn’t keep the promise? (This can teach you a lot about how conscientious you are but also how flexible and adaptive)
5) Job: no place for passion
Employees with talent have a passion for their profession. The possibility to make a living with their passion ensure that both their job satisfaction as well as their productivity are high. The fear of many managers is that such employees lose their productivity and focus. Research, however, shows the opposite; people who can indulge into their passion get into a flow. And people in flow are five times more productive!
- Do you know what your passion is? Or what your passions are?
- Can you use your passion to help you achieve one of the goals you have?
- Try spending 15 minutes a day doing something you love and monitor how you feel afterwards. What is the effect on you mood? How well can you tackle less loved tasks afterwards?
6) Job: why develop?
Too many managers fail to assist their employees to develop their skills, particularly by providing confidence, autonomy and empowerment. If not encouraged by their manager, employees have to motivate themselves to keep learning. Good managers, however, continuously pay attention to their employees wishes by being alert and giving good feedback. Especially with talented employees is important to always look for areas where they can develop. The best people want feedback! It’s your job as a manager to give them that, otherwise they get bored or complacent.
- When has your ‘manager you‘ last listened to your ‘employee you’s wishes and desires for development?
- When has your ‘manager you ‘ last given empowering feedback to your ‘employee you’ s problems?
- What would you like to develop more from the point of view from a) your ‘manager you’; 2) your ‘employee you’?
7) Job: insufficient place for creativity
The most talented employees are always looking for improvement and innovation in what they do. When this possibility is taken away, they get bored with their work. Limiting creativity does not only rob the employees of perspective. It can also lead the manager to become bored and frustrated.
- What was the last improvement/innovation you allowed yourself to introduce into your life?
- In your case: is it more the ‘manager you’ that prevents creativity or is it the ‘employee you’ that is unmotivated or scared to try new things? Act on your answer!
- Do you in any way recognize some boredom and frustration in your life? If so: can it be linked to a lack of creativity?
8) Job: insufficient intellectual challenge
Great leaders challenge their employees to do things that seem impossible at first. Instead of boring plain goals, they set goals that get their people out of their comfort zone and then do everything to help them succeed. Employees who operate on automatic pilot, will eventually leave and find another job that excites and challenges their intelligence.
- In which area of your life are you operating on an automatic pilot too often?
- What was the last intellectual challenge you gave yourself?
- Pick one of your goals and screen them for (realistic) intellectual challenge
9) Job: trust your employees!
Many organizations and managers are accustomed to lead their employees on the basis of control. But what works better? Control or trust? A rather new approach is based on the belief that organizations function optimal when employees experience the right mix of freedom and responsibility. Long-term leadership based on trust is by far the most rewarding on the long run. It ensures successful, flexible and innovative organizations. And employees want to work for such organizations. But leading on the basis of trust is not the same as suddenly completely cutting employees loose. It is a route that you as a manager take together with your employee. It requires a specific mindset and behavior of both the organization, the managers and the employees. Training and support are essential.
It is important that everyone involved is looking for a new balance between freedom and responsibility. Managers and employees should be in constant contact during this process. Only then you can perceive what is needed to take the process further and learn what guidance, leadership style or direction is needed at the time.
- On what basis does your ‘manager you’ lead your ‘employee you’?
- Does your ‘employee you’ need more freedom or more responsibility to increase ‘performance’?
- If you view your life as ‘an organization’: what do you need to change in order to make it a successful, flexible and innovative organization that your ‘employer you’ would like to work for?
10) Job: the manager as an example
If a manager doesn’t practice what he is preaching, the company is in big trouble. As a manager you always serve as an example; in fact; what is happening in the team is often a reflection of what is happening to you. A manager should always set a good example, especially in times of crisis when there is a need for strong leadership. Are the staff expenses being cut? Then also the spending’s of the manager should be cut. Nothing works more demotivating for employees than a manager’s behavior that is counteracting what he asks of his employees.
- Have a close look at your ‘manager you’: how visible is it? Is it active or passive? Is it taking responsibility for your success?
- Have a close look at your ‘employer you’: do you like the way you are being managed? Do you have faith in your ‘manager you’?
On the job market, you keep your best employees by paying attention to their needs, challenging them and be aware of how you treat them. Make sure that you love working with yourself instead of hating it!
If you are unhappy with any aspect of your life as it is now, look for people who can help you improve that aspect. Do you feel the ‘manager you’ needs some training? Find someone to teach you. Or take courses, read books, whatever works for you, but take action. Because you will be rewarded with a life that is more suited to your abilities, more rewarding and easier to manage.
A life that lets you shine.
More to think about:
- Which insight got you thinking most?
- Name one situation where you can easily improve your situation by letting the ‘manager you ‘ and the ‘employee you’ work together in a new and improved way.
- Do you think that your mental fatigue are in some way related to poor management of your ‘employee you’?
- What is your motivation to improve your self-management?
If you are looking for help to manage yourself with more effect, love or more successful, just call me (06-53667256) or send me an email and we will find a way to help you taking up your space and shine your light-for your own benefit and for that of others!
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Do you like this article? Be sure to read: “Do’s and don’ts for (high) sensitive persons and work”. Online February 1st.
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Anke Weber Smit, P.h.D. is an passionate coach and approved healer with nearly 10 years of professional experience working with children, teens, adults, and companies. Anke’s mission is helping people with recondition the past and creating their future lifes. She has experience with treating (high) sensitivity issues, eating disorders, body image, relationships with others or with yourself, psychological abuse and anxiety. Anke is a honest, warm inspirational counselor, author and speaker who uses professional expertise, humor and personal recovery to help others to help themselves. For more information on her services, please follow Anke’s blog or visit her on www.cocreate.com (English) or www.ankewebersmit.com (Dutch)
(This article is based on the articles of Mike Myatt (publications Forbes), Guido Heezen Effectory and Travis Bradberry (publications Harvard Business Review))