Manage Your “State”
What is your state of mind as your reading this?
Are you tired? Energized? Frustrated? Confident? Bored…I hope not!
Our state of mind changes dozens of times throughout the day; a boring meeting, a difficult phone call, an accepted offer, a misunderstanding with a demanding client. We know that all of these things affect our state and, as a result, our performance. But, do we understand how it affects our co-workers and staff?
As a leader, you can’t afford to let your state manage you; you need to manage your state instead. Teams tend to mirror, and even magnify, the emotions of their leader…positive and negative. If you’re confident about a situation, they’ll trust things will work out. If you’re worried about business performance, they’ll fear for their jobs and business will suffer.
Managing your state is not always easy. After all, we’re human and have a right to be angry, frustrated or worried. My rule is that I’m allowed to get emotional about a situation for 5 minutes, behind closed doors. Then I take a deep breath and change my state. Here are some of the ways I’ve learned to change my state:
- Smile – Sounds silly but it works. The next time you’re in a negative state, take a deep breath and smile real big. You’ll notice a change in state almost immediately.
- Be Thankful – Think about all the things you could be thankful for; family, friends, home, situations, etc. Being thankful will help you to forget the problem of the moment and take a longer term view.
- Ask The Right Questions – “Why me?” is the wrong question. Asking negative questions makes matters worse by causing you to dwell, unproductively, on the problem. “How can we achieve this goal regardless of the issues?” is the right question. A positive question will lead to productive, creative answers.
- Pick a Song – After a very difficult situation with an employee last week, I was incredibly frustrated. Five minutes after one of my favorite songs, I was a different person. Pick songs that “pick you up” and use them as medicine for the mind.
- Take a walk – Taking a long walk allows my mind to slow down. It relieves the stress and I, almost always, come back from my walk with a new idea.
Learn to manage your state and you’ll be surprised at the result in your own productivity as well as your teams.
What ideas do you have for managing your state? I’d love to hear them.