Discover How Embodied Leadership Empowers Positive Change in Yourself and Others
Of the countless ways to be a leader, which leadership style do you think is the most effective for creating positive change? Perhaps you think the best leadership style is based on an appealing personality. Consider this…when you’re called to make the tough decisions, aren’t you going to need something more than a good personality? As the best choice, we’d like to recommend that you embrace the power of embodied leadership.
What is a leader? The dictionaries define leader as – “someone who guides, directs, controls, manages, or supervises a group of people or an organization”, but that puts most of your focus externally.
Embodied leadership is based on an internal focus – the way you speak, the language you use, the way you position your body, the harmony you feel when being fully present, and the empowering messages you convey to others. Ultimately, it’s about the quality of your presence and your way of being. When you practice embodied leadership you value, motivate, and bring out the best in yourself and the people around you.
One who practices embodied leadership develops the ability to affect his or her physiological responses to stress. Otherwise as stress arises, your body is more likely to go on automatic pilot. Because you’re only thinking with your conscious mind of doing things you know good leaders do, your body will revert back to neural patterns formed by a lifetime of habits.
In other words, you may want to look calm and collected, but inside you’re a quivering mass of nerves that cause you to sweat, shake, stutter, or forget, and this will show on the outside. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it”, but faking it isn’t a sustainable way of being. Your façade of confidence will start to crumble and people will see who you really are. Just “knowing” how to be a leader isn’t enough. It’s vital to tap into the power of embodied leadership. As Pete Hamill so aptly stated:
“We don’t need leaders who know about leadership. We need leaders who embody the capacity to lead in the midst of ambiguity and complexity.”
Your habits live not only in your memories, but in your tissues and cells. The body remembers. Embodied awareness lets you hear what your body is saying. It helps you watch yourself from an outside perspective. It prompts you to engage in practices that develop your ability to take more effective actions. In time, you develop a new embodied memory that lets you do things you couldn’t have done before, whether it’s being calm amidst chaos or being an assertive introvert.
What can embodied leadership do for you that other leadership styles can’t?
- It supports you as you make steady progress toward a strong self-understanding.
- You know your mind/body/spirit connection.
- You learn how to be present in the moment of stress in a relaxed, dispassionate way through techniques such as mindfulness, centering, somatic exercises, breathing techniques, and NLP anchoring.
- It gives you time and the skills to slow down, to be fully mindful as your actions reflect a peaceful state of mind.
- You make decisions from a more resourceful place because you have enough self-awareness to know what actions support the things you view as important.
Embodied leadership isn’t something you do – it’s who you are. Even if you feel powerless at times, when you connect authentically with yourself, you release the most important power any leader can have – the power to build rapport and empower others to make positive changes.
How can you develop your embodied leadership potential? Clear your calendar on March 27th to 30th. We’re going to be showing you how to deepen your professional practice and make yourself even more outstanding and valuable to your clients at our Professional Development: Somatics & Spirituality. Please sign up for the IPL newsletter so you keep up-to-date on the details.