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Cultivating your inner place to develop your leadership skills for change

The success of our actions as change makers depends on our  inner place, which we can cultivate in our leadership skills

As leaders of change, we know that sometimes our teams and clients can only go as far as we are ready and brave enough to go ourselves.

Quote: the success of our actions as change makers does not depend on what we do or how we do it, but on the inner place from which we operate. Otto Scharmer, Leading from the Emergent Future

It's summed up by this quote from Otto Scharmer, a senior lecturer at MIT.

It prompts the question, how do we cultivate this inner place from which we operate, as leaders, change agents, and facilitators for change?

This recent post from @HelenBevan, and the article, Leading Change May Need to Begin with Changing Yourself, by Narayan Pant in @HarvardBiz, outlines an interesting four step process to help change behaviour with leaders and teams.

An inward focus for the courage to lead

There is, I believe, an outward, and an inward focus, to these four steps, which we can bring to the development of our leadership skills.

The outward focus, looks out, to bring awareness to how the change is perceived by others, and to make commitments that allows us to be held to account.

The inward focus leans towards building inner awareness of our sensation and response, and supports the development of "the inner place". As we find the trust in our intuitive self, so we grow our courage to lead.

Develop leadership skills through embodiment and movement

Through body movement and mindful physical awareness, we can learn from the body, and practice building embodied awareness of our habitual responses. We can try out new and different ways of responding.

We are cultivating a richer, deeper, more resourceful inner place.

Step 1 - increase your self awareness as leaders of change

increase your self awareness as a leader of change

Narayan Pant suggests that leaders can increase their self awareness by seeking feedback on how they are perceived. They can notice their own thoughts and feelings, particularly on feedback that they don't want to hear.

There's more to be gained too, by tuning inwards, and bringing embodied awareness to sensation and movement.

Open attention to how you stand, notice how you turn, feel where in your body is tight, where is loose.... We can bring mindful awareness to our feelings and emotions, and find learning in noticing what comes up. A leader of change can learn to use all their intelligences - body knowing, emotional intelligence, and thinking mind.

As a leader of change you can embody your leadership.

Step 2 - make a commitment

Narayan Pant invites leaders to make a public commitment, to others, for increased accountability.

You can also make a private commitment to yourself, to allow movement and body sensation into the foreground, so that you can access more of your body intelligence. The authenticity of your inner commitment ripples out, is visible and impacts the other.

Step 3 - overcome interference

Narayan Pant suggests that you can "defuse" your thoughts, and bring awareness to thoughts that can get in the way of your intention.

Embody, feel and move with your thoughts - emotional intelligence

In movement, you can bring a friendly curiosity to your thoughts, notice where they are stuck, and where they might flow.

Moving more fluidly with your thoughts, you allow an inner dialogue in which your thoughts can move and grow. You invite body, feelings and intuition, and include a wider, maybe wiser, perspective.

Step 4 - Practice, to develop your inner place, your courage to lead

"Successful change usually arises from trial and error, which takes deliberate practice." Narayan Pant.

Cultivating your inner place requires practice too. You can bring a playful curiosity about your body sensations, your movements and responses, into a deliberate practice where you learn by doing.

Facilitator Edge - blend body, mind and energy into real-world executive presence

Facilitator Edge is your opportunity to practice, to let go of words, to tune into your intuition, that you can bring back into your day to day work.

It is a unique blend of creative embodied awareness and movement practices, where you will be facilitated to slow down, and tune into yourself in a different deeper way.


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