The Inner Game Matters

Written by Shelby McDonald

When it comes to conscious leadership, it’s an inside-out game, says Chandler Coaches founder Lisa Chandler. 

“Our clients are already very competent leaders, but many feel outpaced and overwhelmed, especially these days,” she says. “It doesn’t make any sense to add more “to do’s” or “how to’s” to their toolkit before helping them get more present to what is going on for them.”  

Conscious leadership coaching focuses on a leader’s context–how they are being with whatever is occurring– and accepting themselves for feeling scared, angry, or sad before addressing whatever the leadership issue is.

“We cannot shift what we cannot even accept,” says Lisa. 

It’s vital to figure out whether leaders are coming at whatever their situation is from one of two places: trust or threat.

Lisa practices this often in her own life. 

“I check my context often. Am I “above the line in trust” or “below the line in threat,” says Lisa. “Most often, like most others, I am below. Then I use shift moves like curiosity, sorting the files to decipher between fact and story and what’s in my control and what is not.” 

These tools help Lisa move past the drama and righteousness happening in her head. She admits it’s not always immediate. “When I am ready,” she says with a smile.  

Leaders often have an extensive toolkit of skills they use daily. Like goal setting, delegation and prioritization, but without a mature inner game or foundation, they cannot truly leverage them. 

“As coaches, we are there to help leaders get clear, see what they want, what is possible and to hold up a mirror to help them grow, to champion them,” says Lisa. 

While conscious leadership practices truly help strengthen a leader’s inner and outer game, it is the leadership community that provides jet fuel for growth.

“Leaders are craving deep support. They know they can do better when they’re not alone,” says Lisa. “With a coach and a supportive community of other peers, they feel less overwhelmed and more confident.” 

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