You spent another day motivating the troops to perform the same mundane tasks that they performed yesterday, and the yesterday before yesterday. In fact, you’ve perfected the art of managing your team to perform the same mundane tasks every day of the working year. Yet, something is missing from your management skills repertoire. You always seem to finish a project within minutes the deadline. Many of your co-workers think your communication skills go about as far as your email address. You organize your day about as well as Donald Trump organizes his hair.
The bottom line at the end of the cliché-ridden day is that you successfully manage other people, but your personal management skills need marked improvement.
The Skinny on Personal Management Skills
The best managers can possess the worst personal management skills. Why do successful managers fail at managing their own lives? The primary reason is they don’t know what comprises the skills that drive successful personal management.
Let’s review what makes up the skills that drive personal management:
- Time Management
- Financial Management
Each of the four main components of personal management requires motivation, self-discipline, emotional stability, and ethical behavior.
No, the advent of personal communication devices has not made managing our time easier. The opposite effect is often true, as many managers spend more time mind-numbing text messages than the time they need to spend on matters that are more important. According to Pareto, eighty percent of our output derives from 20 percent of our efforts. I’m not sure how Pareto came up with his conclusion, but his principle encapsulates the importance of honing superior time management skills to enhance personal management development. The most effective way to hone time management skills is not only to learn how to do less with more, but actually implementing the philosophy in your personal life.
At the heart of time management sits organization, the pesky word that invariably comes up during every type of personal growth seminar. After all, how can you save time, when your desk remains cluttered with last year’s budget report? You stay organized by eliminating the hoarder mentality. Throw stuff away; it’s not going to cause your arm acute pain. Use a personal information management system such as Outlook or even a simple day planner to prevent you from scheduling more than one appointment at the same time. Devise a paperwork filing system that involves more than pushing older paperwork to the corner of your desk. Reduce the number of communication channels that include email addresses, voice mailboxes, and snail mailboxes.
Best selling author Robert Kiyosaki summarizes the importance of getting your finances in order to improve personal management skills. “It is not how much you make that counts but how much money you keep,” maintains Kiyosaki, author of best-seller Rich Dad Poor Dad. Poor financial management represents the wall that prevents many managers from acquiring superior management skills. It’s difficult to focus on motivating others, when your bank account statement represents the IOUs that pile up in the United States Treasury Department. Improve your financial management skills by creating and sticking to a monthly budget. Make financial record keeping an obsession, from saving every receipt to creating income and expense reports. You need to treat personal financial management the same way that you treat business finances.
Until you learn how to share what’s on your mind, you can expect to struggle to develop personal management skills. As Anthony Robbins says,” The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” Developing strong communication skills goes along way towards convincing others to follow your lead. Practice active listening, which doesn’t involve doing push ups, but instead, involves looking another speaker in the eyes and keeping quiet. Speak slowly and more important, speak at the right times. Written communication skills include saving a first draft of anything and revisiting what you wrote a few hours later.
You can’t earn an advanced degree in developing personal management skills. However, you need the skills to thrive in your career.