Being a conscious leader is vital amid challenging times. What I mean by that is someone who is leading from a place of self awareness and is therefore able to manage their response in a way that is not only authentic but is also not taking advantage of the crisis nor damage our wider natural ecosystem.
I have found strategies from my NLP toolkit super helpful amid the crisis to continue my mission to create a community of conscious leaders. If you want to know a bit more about what NLP is you can read my blog ‘What is NLP Coaching?’.
How can these tools help you become a conscious leader?
I am a firm believer that in order to succeed in business you have to first work on your own mindset. To lead in a conscious way not only enables you to set the example of leadership coming from within but also to model ways of being and doing business that work in harmony with our ecosystem at large. When you are in the right ‘frame of mind’ you think clearly and creatively no matter the circumstances and are able to move in flow.
NLP strategies are based on a set of ethics and guiding principles. Here are three of those guiding principles that I know will be useful for you right now to thrive as a conscious leader. You can implement these simple tools into your daily life right now to get you into the resilient mindset needed to survive these turbulent times.
#1 Mind / Body Connection
How you hold your body has a direct effect on your mental health and wellbeing and in my opinion it is impossible to be a conscious leder without being both physically and mentally aware. Leadership from this place will in turn have a huge impact on you and your business and it’s ability to survive. Just as stress, anxiety etc manifests itself in physical illness if left untreated, your posture and how you show up in a physical way will also have a huge impact. Mind / body connection if not aligned will impact your output at work, your wellbeing, your health and in turn your relationships (at home and in business).
Don’t believe me? There is a really simple exercise that demonstrates this, try it now….
Slump in your chair (or stand) with your head drooped, shoulders rounded in and repeat out loud in a downbeat tone “I feel awful”.
What do you experience?
Now stand up and take a power pose. Try saying “I feel awful” in the same down beat tone.
What was that like for you?
Finally, keep the power pose but confidently repeat “I am a super hero, I feel awesome”
What do you experience?
For most of you you will have felt the difference in your mind and body as you adopt the different poses and tonality. You can bring this into your daily life…. Our brains don’t know the difference between real and fake so it is super easy to fake yourself into whatever state would serve you best at that time.
Fake it until you become it
Indeed many use the power pose technique as a tool before going into a meeting or an interview to get them into a confident state. It can be used in so many ways though. If you are noticing that you are slumping, feeling anxious or overwhelmed then get yourself into a power pose and give yourself the super powers you need to get through your day. Let go of feeling silly and give it a try… do it in front of a mirror for maximum effect! Then take those super powers into your leadership and consciously create a path to get you through the crisis.
If you have suddenly found yourself working from home and not having that drive to get you up and out to work, having a routine to get up and do some ‘I am a super hero, I feel awesome’ power poses first thing in the morning can really get your day going. Of course I dont need to remind you that daily exercise and / or yoga are vital in times of enforced lockdown. Get your body moving and the mind will follow.
#2 Embody Flexibility and Think Outside the Box
Right now, there is a very real risk of businesses ‘failing’ or ‘folding’ or things not working out how you planned. Reminding yourself that all failings are really an opportunity to learn can be useful, even though it probably won’t come naturally! Amid the uncertainty is an opportunity to think creatively, to reconnect with your authentic self and to connect with what your clients and customers need from you. From this place of conscious connection you can lead the way and shine a light through the darkness.
Remembering that nothing in life or in nature is permanent and that all things eventually come to an end is useful. To reconnect with the fluidity of our natural systems you can start to understand how you can also embody fluidity into your leadership. If you can see your ‘failures’ as a success that has come to an end earlier or not in the way you anticipated, this can help to let go of the fear and anxiety these uncertain times may create and help to clear your mind so you can think clearly. Clarity and level headed thinking are vital in these times of rapid change.
Mindfulness is also a hugely beneficial tool at times like this, and I know that all successful conscious leaders and gurus have some form of mindfulness practice. A blog about the benefits of mindfulness is coming up soon!
There isn’t crystal ball you can look into to see all possible outcomes at the start of a project and so no one could have predicted the global impacts of the pandemic. You can make your best guesses and indeed that was a huge part of my role as a transactional lawyer, to anticipate potential risks and advise ways to mitigate them. On the flip side, wouldn’t it be dull as hell if you did know everything that was going to happen before it did?! Life is designed to keep you awake and alive…. However our modern technology is for the most part designed to keep us locked into habitual patterns and unconscious, unquestioning routine.
Now is the time to look at what you have learned or gained and how you can move to go with the current climate and survive. There is always a lesson to be had, something to improve and a way to create what you want in a different way.
Einstein’s definition of insanity was ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result’
The systems you used before were serving you in a different world. Whether that world was the right one or not is irrelevant right now. What is vital is to adapt, to innovate and to think creatively – if what you are doing is no longer working ask yourself what could you do differently? Be conscious about your decisions and lead from a place of compassion and authenticity.
It’s also important to ask yourself if there is a really reason why you cant carry on if that is something you are considering? I see some businesses closing only because they feel the fear of carrying on. It may well be possible to keep going with minor changes. Are you allowing fear to take over?
Flexibility is the key to success and so if what you are doing isn’t working it’s time to do something else even if it is hard and means that you have to face your fears. Right now, I have zero bookings for my Airbnb so I have put it up for rent on longer terms, my friends in the outdoors industry are delivering groceries and stocking shelves instead of guiding wilderness trips, Dyson are making ventilators, cafes are turning into shops….think outside the box!
Water flows down a river and hits rocks all the time. The river doesn’t stop… it finds a way past. We are faced with a tidal wave of change at the moment. We can chose to battle against the tide if we like. I’ve tried that in my kayak on the River Severn before… I can tell you now – it didn’t get me very far and drained me of all my energy and resources in the process. As soon as I let go and allowed the tide to take me with its flow, I could think clearly again. I found a safe place to haul out and made a new plan.
Where are you in the river of your life and business at the moment? Are you trying to paddle upstream or are you finding new ways to go with the flow?
#3 Try a new perspective
We all experience the world in different ways. We wear different lenses that have been tinted and shaped according to our life experience, heritage, environment and our beliefs and values. My experience of the current dynamics are different to yours, different even to the man that I live with. My lenses are more rose tinted with bamboo frames and my partner’s are more grey / blue and wrap around. To experience his world I not only need to take off my glasses…. I also need to put his on.
With that in mind, if you see someone doing something you wouldn’t do or saying something you wouldn’t say – bear in mind that their lenses are not the same as yours. You cant see what they see nor what has gone on in their life and their day up to that point. We are all under pressure and stress right now; let go of judgement and adopt compassion and understanding. Know that everyone has their shit to deal with.
So if you are at work and someone explodes at you for seemingly no reason, let it go. If someone says something that hurts, try to see what their positive intention is in what they are saying by trying on their glasses for a moment. Once you can understand what others see you can address reality rather than your interpretation of it.
Another perspective can also help you to see some creative solutions that you might not previously notice. Imagine looking at your current situation (life or business) from the position of a fly on the wall. What would you see through the fly’s lenses? How does that help you gain persective and see the bigger picture?
This is a useful tool in all life and business. I find so often with my clients that often what they think is the issue – isn’t, and when they step into someone else shoes and look at a situation from a fresh perspective they get a whole new insight and understanding.
Next time you notice that judgement bubble up, stop…. pause…. reflect and see the interaction through new lenses. How does that change it? Can you see and understand the positive intention behind their actions? How does that change how you respond?
I have lots more tools and tricks to help you to become a conscious leader in these tough times. Please reach out to me if you need guidance and support to help you and your thrive. You can book a free clarity call with me below to talk through your biggest concerns right now. I know that I can help you through this and that now is the best time to seek support and accountability BEFORE you allow the overwhelm to move you into inertia.
Much love xoxo