I believe that the process of learning to lead well can help us become better humans. By growing to meet the demands of the call to leadership, we’re presented with a chance to finally, fully, grow up.Jerry Colonna, Author of Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up.
When we ask the leaders in our Conscious Leader Forums what they notice in themselves as they progress in the Forum, many tell us they are astounded by changes in their personal lives as well as in their leadership. One leader in a Forum recently said that things had dramatically improved at home with her partner simply because she was practicing listening, getting curious and dropping the need to be right all the time.
Certainly, deeper listening and curiosity can lead to connection and better results at home and work.
But what is really changing the game for this leader is her new ability to dip in in any given moment to check her context (Short video here).
She has learned to ask herself “Am I coming at this issue from threat or trust? Am I trying to win my point or I am willing to be curious?”. When she is able to slow down enough to dip in for a moment, she can often smile and give herself a breath of acceptance (for wanting to win, be right, etc.) without changing anything else. And remarkably, her relationships and results are improving.
I do this dip in many times a day.
More often than not, when I check in, I am feeling contracted, frustrated, judgmental, and/or scarce of time, energy etc. But at least I know. And then I can slow down for a moment to shift my posture, breath and see if I can accept myself for whatever I am feeling.
For example, it’s normal that I would feel a little nervous when a client says they want to book a meeting to give me feedback. Years ago, I would have made up all kinds of stories about what might be coming. And I likely would have roped colleagues into creating stories with me, as a strategy to “be prepared”. Oh and I would have lost sleep over it too.
These days I can notice I feel scared, accept myself for having that feeling, and get curious about what the fear is here to tell me. Then I can put it down and return to whatever I was doing!
Like the leaders we work with, I too am growing up in our Forums. I feel my backbone stronger and my heart more open. I experience joy more often. And when I see that striving girl in me who still has trouble slowing down, who still does some things with exacting standards, and who still looks often to the outside world for her approval, I can smile warmly at her and invite her to accept herself and get curious about what she can learn.
All that…simply from a willingness to dip in.