How to Manage Managers: 3 Insights from a Project Manager
Day in and day out, I manage people’s schedules and to-do lists in addition to my own. But with some unexpected twists and turns in my life lately, it’s been hard to stay on track. So how do managers manage themselves?
Here are some helpful tips and insights I’ve found that have helped get me back on the right path.
1. Managing Yourself (With Life Coaching)
Sometimes, you just need someone to tell you what to do. That’s okay.
The 9 Clouds team was fortunate enough to have a session with life coach Lisa Kuzman during our annual retreat back in October. As a team, we worked through how we can grow and improve together with actionable steps going forward.
After we returned from our retreat, we had one-on-one sessions with Lisa to drill down even further on how we can help the team as individuals. It was so helpful to have someone on the outside take the pressure off coming up with a plan.
Fast-forward a few months, when I felt as though I was floundering and dropping the ball at home. I was losing sight of that work-life balance that is so highly coveted.
At the perfect moment, Jenny Slacked me with a simple question: “Would you be interested in another session with Lisa?”
The stars aligned. 🙌🏻
I just needed to make a plan for my day-to-day life. When to work, when to work out, when to take breaks, when to eat, etc. (You get it.) For me, the simplest tasks can be the hardest to manage. I needed the reminder that it’s okay to ask for help.
2. Managing Your Team (With Quarterly Reviews)
One of my favorite things about 9 Clouds is our three-month reviews. This not only gives our fearless leader Sarah an opportunity to check in with her team, it also gives us a chance to check in with her.
During these reviews, we can help align what’s working, what’s important to us and the team, and how our goals can align with that.
For me, the best part of the review is the team feedback we receive. From this, I learn areas in which I can improve and get reassurance on things I’m doing well.
One comment from my last review that really stuck with me was that I was “generally operating in a very not-Catherine state lately.”
That’s how I’d been feeling! Stuck in a rabbit hole, feeling responsible for everything. I just needed to reach out to my team for help and delegate. (Are you sensing a theme here?)
I just needed to check in. I just needed to ask.
3. Managing Your Time (With Helpful Resources)
Luckily, the project manager team here at 9 Clouds has some advice on steps to take before you even need to ask!
Here are some great posts for keeping yourself (and your work) in check:
- “3 Project Management Skills to Benefit Even the Most Unorganized People”
- “4 Efficiency Hacks for Project Managers”
- “Not ‘Worth Your Time’? Why Budgeting Your Minutes Makes Sense”
Take Yourself Out of the Equation
Sometimes, the solution is as simple as managing the day-to-day rather than the whole kit and caboodle at once. If you step back and look at your life from the outside, would you let your teammate carry on in such a frantic way? No, you wouldn’t.
So why do we let ourselves do that?
It’s an age-old question without a real answer . . . but that’s why management matters so much.
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