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 manager, 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 manager…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.

Managing your state is not always easy. After all, we’re human and 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 last week, I was incredibly frustrated. Five minutes after blasting AC/DC’s Back in Black, I was a different person. Pick songs that “pick you up” and use them as medicine for the mind.

Learn to manage your state and you’ll be surprised at the result in your own productivity as well as your teams.

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