I’ve written a lot about leadership how to improve your business, team, and how you work with others. However, improving how you work with others may need to start with how you treat yourself. Someone said it’s hard to love anyone if you don’t love yourself. The same is true for leadership. It’s hard to lead if you don’t lead yourself, and it’s difficult to build fruitful working relationships with others if you haven’t built one with yourself. How are at working with yourself?

7 Steps to Improving Working with Yourself

Turn off your inner voice when it becomes destructive

I build bridges before I reach the river. My protective inner voice uses whatever data is available, regardless of how limited it is, and then puts 2 + 2 together to come up with 5. I’m learning to tell my inner voice thank you but no thanks. Last week I wanted to catch up with my wife at a meeting. When I arrived at the parking lot, her vehicle was missing. She didn’t answer text or phone. I knew she had been kidnapped, waylaid, and was on life support at a local hospital.

OK, I’m exaggerating, but my inner voice took me there. The location of the meeting had been changed, which was on our shared calendar had I taken the time to look. I do the same thing at work. I’ll jump to conclusions not based on fact but on the fear my little inner voice perpetuates. Learn to say thanks but no thanks to your inner voice.

Limit passive aggressive behavior

We all do it. We allow something that bothers us to fester. Rather than work toward a solution we let it to live inside our brains poisoning our system with anger. The question is why? Are we afraid of confrontation, do we wonder if we’re out of line, have we given up and find it easier to aqueous, is it all of the above? Allowing the anger to live inside us is unhealthy. It can lead to ulcers or worse. Rather than accept your passive aggressive inclinations find a way to express your concerns in a non-aggressive manner. If you find your behavior to be petty, unwarranted, or self-centered, then give yourself a break and file your passive aggressive thoughts in the trash bin.

Find the humor 

Work is a lot more pleasant when you have fun, especially if the humor is directed at yourself. Self-deprecating humor reminds us of the frailties of the human condition and eases the pressure of our fear of failure.

Take a break

Take more than one. Leave your workspace, take a walk, work in the yard, stretch, or do yoga but give yourself a break or it will break you.

Get organized

I know for many this is easier said than done, but taking the time to organize your activities relieves stress.

Procrastinate less

I feel great putting this off — said no one ever. Try this, it’s called the gumption factor; begin your day tackling the most difficult task first. The feeling of accomplishment will extend throughout the day.

Listen more

You don’t have to do all the talking. When you’re talking, you’re not learning. If you’re distracted, you may miss essential information. When your attention is divided, you take action based on faulty information. Slow down, stay focused, quit talking. Listen.

Be Good to Yourself

If you viewed these 7 points as how to work better with others or how others can work better with you, it’s a no-brainer. But do we ever take the time to consider how we treat ourselves? How do you sabotage you? Where do you drop the ball when working with yourself? What do you need to do to improve?

A Challenge

Pick one of the 7 points to improve over the next 30 days. Please let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a  management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Pontus Wellgraf on Unsplash