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Correctional Supervisors – Managing Yourself
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 10/20/2014

Managementweb One of the most important things we are cognitive of in our lives is our ability to manage others successfully and learn how to control our work environment within a designated span of control. Needless to say it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to accomplish such feats and it takes its toll on those around us as well as ourselves. Our lives are dictated by events and sometimes tend to spiral out of control if you do not maintain control of your own ability to manage yourself.

In order to be successful at your challenges and endeavors you have to maintain a balance between your professional life and your personal necessities. Many people have become great managers in their external worlds and have become quite successful because of it, but without proper inner management, many come to suffer from their success in a personal manner some often fail to address until it’s too late.

This is very sad because success in this world does not come easily. Your professional effectiveness is often in a need to be balanced by your self-awareness that everything you are engaged in is in good working order and not neglected in any way as it may impact your conscious and subconscious decision making at any time of your career and relationships with your management team and your family members.

As a correctional supervisor or manager your influence on the environment impacts everything you do greatly but it is important not to sacrifice your personal relationships along the journey. Promotions often carry with them heavy responsibilities and commitments. It is important that before you accept such a position you share your time with your family and honor their presence with an honest appraisal of how this new position will impact them and you. Set your priorities for family first. Don’t sacrifice needlessly and offer them what is important to you so they understand your motivation to accept this new job.

Communicate honestly and openly and let them know how your schedule is going to change and that you will never be off the clock like before. Let them know you will not forget them and make plans to make time for them so you can remain a close knit or togetherness as a family. Remember that work is not your life and that family comes first all the time. Learn how to schedule quality time and not necessarily quantity time as one is much more appreciated and remembered than the other.

Determine how much information you are going to share with family when it comes to the job. Decide how much they need to know and how much to tell spouses and family about what goes on inside the institution and balance that delicately and deliberately. It’s important to be open and honest but too much information may create a set of fears that could be eliminated if they only know so much of what you really do.

Make boundaries and keep commitments. Don’t dwell on relationships from work and balance them with family time and events. Keep your promises to your children and do what you can to attend those life changing moments such a birthdays and graduation so they know you care for them and willing to leave work to be there with them at the time of the celebration or event.

Remember that if you don’t have an inner personal management plan for the outside world then you will eventually end up with a life that has no real meaningful personal relationships. Balance your professional world and make a conscious effort to balance everything you can in your environment for if you fail to do the things that are important to those you care for and love, you will fail your role as a family member and suffer consequences that were created on your own inability to manage yourself.

Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:


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