Mood Management For IT Managers

Don't let your stormy mood interfere with your management ability
Don’t let your stormy mood interfere with your management ability
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I’d like you to think about a traffic light for a minute. When you approach a traffic light you automatically take a look at it to determine what color it is. If it’s green, then you’ll keep going. If it’s red or amber, then you’ll start to press on the breaks and prepare to stop. It turns out that IT managers are a little bit like a traffic light to the rest of their department. One of the IT manager skills that you need is the ability to be aware of your mood and the impact that it can have on your ability to manage your IT team.

The Impact Of Your Mood On Your IT Team

As IT managers we all need to be aware of the fact that we can become moody — sorry, there’s no IT manager training for this. Things that are going on in our personal life can follow us into work. If this was a perfect world, we’d be able to build a wall between our personal life and our professional life and we’d never have to worry about the two mixing. However, it’s not a perfect world and more than we’d care to admit it, our mood can affect the way that we manage.

In order to deal with this situation, the first and most important thing that you can do is to admit that you’ve got a mood issue. Once you’ve acknowledged this, you can start to deal with it. Since your team will be able to tell that something is going on, your best approach is to be straightforward with them: tell them that you are a in a bad mood and ask for their understanding.

Keep in mind that you are like that traffic light that we discussed. All too often I talk with IT managers who are convinced that they can “hide” their moods. However, this never happens and thinking that their team can’t tell how they are feeling ends up making a bad situation even worse.

How An IT Manager Can Manage His / Her Mood

As an IT manager, it’s your responsibility to attempt to keep yourself even-tempered – you don’t want to go to extremes. However, you are not a robot. This means that your team is expecting you to show emotions and so if you present them with a blank face at all times, then they’ll quickly start to distrust you because nobody is never not subject to mood swings.

Moods have a tendency to get the better of us. If you are in a bad mood and then things start to go wrong at work, it may quickly start to become too much for you. However, this is the time that you need to stay in control of your emotions – keep your cool.

What all of this ultimately comes down to is that you are a human being. As a human being we can all get into moods that we may bring to the office. When this happens, you need to realize it and then ask your team to help you deal with it. By showing this side of your personality, you’ll build bridges to your team and they’ll see you as being a real leader.

What All Of This Means For You

What you are feeling on the inside can have a significant impact on your management style. Your IT team will be aware of your mood and it will determine how they choose to interact with you. This means that in order to be an effective IT manager, you need to take care to manage you moods.

Admitting that your mood is going to have an impact on your management style is the first step in addressing this issue. What this means is that if you have emotionally charged tasks that need to be addressed, perhaps you need to put them off until you are in a better mood. You are ultimately responsible for you mood and this means that you always have to keep your cool.

Our mood colors how we see the world. Our friends and our family probably have the ability to detect what our mood is and they stay clear of us when we are in a bad mood. Your IT team does not have this luxury and so it’s your responsibility to manage your mood. No amount of IT team building is going to solve this problem for you. Master you moods and you’ll become the IT manager that you’ve always wanted to be.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you find yourself in a bad mood for multiple days, what do you think that you should do?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As an IT manager it can be very easy for us to focus on the tasks that our IT team has been assigned. We’ll study the schedule, create work breakdowns, assign tasks, and double check to make sure that the work is being done on time. However, it can be all too easy to forget that we’ve got another job that we need to be doing at the same time: building up the self-confidence of the members of our team. Just consider this to be one more of the must-have IT manager skills.