I am a manager, yet I hardly feel like I manage people. I live in constant fear of disappointing others, specially those who I love or care about. I suck at letting people in. I don’t sleep well and hardly eat properly. Sometimes I talk too much. I get angry and sometimes I am more stubborn that I’ll ever admit. Mathematics confuses me, and sometimes I don’t remember what I say. I have failed more often than not.
But I have also committed to doing my best job possible. I wake up early to exercise, and stay up late going through reports. I listen as much as I can. I try to understand every time there’s a problem. I help, or try as hard as I can. No matter how grey or dull Mondays are, I never let them bring me down. I say hi to everyone at the office, every single morning and bring food every time I can. I try, every day, every night, I always do.
How often do you acknowledge everything that’s good and that’s bad in your life? Sometime it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not. We tend to quiet the thoughts we get around them. I guess I could say it’s “Peer pressure”, or the one that comes with the role but I don’t think it’s neither of them. I believe it has more to do with the fact that once you become a people manager, you start building something new and the most common way to do so is by imitating what we know and filling in the gaps.
Those gaps we usually fill with silence and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not always healthy. You know your shortcomings better than anyone, but saying them out loud would embarrass you, wouldn’t it? What about your victories, those things you’re really good at? It wouldn’t look good if you just said it out loud either. Who likes a cocky manager or a presumptuous leader after all?
It does look like whatever the intent, saying things out loud is not always idea. This is not necessarily true all the time yet it is likely to be a common idea and as such, considering it wrong or not absolute feels weird, which is exactly why you should do it, it is why you should challenge the concept: naming things for what they are, saying them out loud sometimes helps changing them.
Naming your fears allows you to control them, so naming your victories maybe helps you enjoy them and naming your errors help you overcome them. Not naming them and just thinking on them, without form or structure…well, you already know how that is, so why not trying?
All you have to do…is speak up.
Also published on Medium.