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A practical playbook on self-management for young professionals

A new workplace demands that you take charge of your anchors. It challenges you to pay attention to the aspects that drive your behaviour, attitudes, perceptions, and emotions. At the same time, recognising the motives, needs, and emotions is imperative for personal leadership. This will help you hone your collaborative instincts, and in embracing diversity and engaging effectively in a professional setting.

"So, first things first, ask yourself how good you have been in leading yourself in the past. And if you think you are self-aware already, my next question to you is - how aware are you of yourself to know if you are self-aware? In simple words, are you self-aware enough, or confused, or right," asks Payal Anand, an Assistant Professor of organisational behaviour at IIM-Kozhikode in "Mastering Behaviour - Managing Self and Others".

"Leading oneself is about taking charge of your anchors. It is about personal leadership. It is the ability to define a direction for your professional and personal life and move in that direction with consistency and clarity. Leading the self indicates taking responsibility to understand what drives your behaviour, attitudes, perceptions and emotions," Anand writes.

"It is about knowing yourself what you want, your strengths and weaknesses, and how others perceive you. Note that it's okay to have negative qualities or traits that we might not be very proud of. All of us are unique somehow, and when I say unique, I include both good and bad qualities.

"The first step towards self-awareness is knowing who you are. Understanding your personality, the right areas and the critical ones, to a great extent, solves issues surrounding your concept of the self and knowing oneself better. Personality can be understood as relatively stable patterns of your attitudes or behaviours," Anand writes.

Based on the author's experiences and her interaction with others, "Mastering Behaviour", published under the SAGE IIM-Kozhikode Series for New Managers and edited by IIM-Kozhikode Director Debashis Chatterjee, explores the hinterland of behavioural insights.

Applying popular psychology theories, the book helps in tackling difficult interpersonal and behavioural issues at work, such as personality clashes, stress, handling difficult interactions and workplace loneliness. With technological developments changing the way we connect, the book will provide insights to the real-world challenges of developing greater trust, engagement and collaboration within their teams and the organization.

Announcing its release, Anand says: "We all have been through difficult situations in our respective workplaces. Believe it or not, workplace encounters are more negative than positive. And most of the conflicting issues pertain to behavioural differences and misunderstandings.

"Bosses and peers are the two most important and useful resources at work. And the book discusses issues such as personality clashes, stressors, extreme emotions, low confidence, a feeling of loneliness, the art of taking feedback from peers, etc. in great detail."

Fun and engaging, the book involves interesting illustrations, experiential activities, a collection of original emails from my students at IIM, 80+ interviews of industry professionals, and some flavour of humour. It is written for students who are about to intern or get final placements, first-time managers, employees who have just changed jobs, and managers who deal with young working professionals at both private and public sectors. Anand says.

Anand has been affiliated with IIM-Kozhikode since 2019. She has also taught at IIM-Raipur and FLAME University, Pune, at various levels. She has been awarded her PhD from IIM-Indore. Her research interest mainly includes workplace loneliness, personality traits and emotions.

Her work has been appreciated by the international journal of repute such as the International Journal of Human Resource Management and Journal of Knowledge Management. She is a recipient of the prestigious 'The Michael Poole Highly Commended Award for the year 2019'. She is a certified personal profile analysis practitioner.

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