Embodied Leadership: The Key to Maximum Results

As leaders, we often search for new tips and techniques that will finally unlock our true leadership potential. But focusing on new leadership tools is not the answer. The key is to leverage the ones you already have, starting with your body. Join us for The Language of Leadership and learn how to use your body to unlock your leadership potential.

Leadership transformation happens from the inside out, and it’s most effective when it moves beyond just perspectives and actions, to include an embodied shift — the purposeful awareness and adjustment of the body itself.  If your current leadership development plan doesn’t include understanding how to create that shift in your body, you may be overlooking the key to maximizing the change you seek.

In today’s culture where we put such high value on intellectual and mental competence, it’s easy to dismiss the idea that the body can be a primary tool for effective leadership.  After all, what kind of a difference could the body really make in increasing leadership results?  Yet, we’ve all heard that body language is the highest percentage of actual communication and it trumps the actual words we say.  And we all know that if someone is saying one thing, but their body language is telling us something different, it’s the body language that we most listen to.

Each of us has a unique leadership way of being that embodies our beliefs, language, thoughts and emotions. Our language, thoughts, emotions and moods all live in our body. And our body impacts, and is impacted by, our thoughts and emotions. Try this brief experiment:  think of sucking on a lemon.  Notice what happens in your body?  You start to salivate!  This is an example of how your thoughts impact your body.  When you take a moment to observe yourself, you can also notice how your emotions —both positive and negative —impact the body. For example, have you ever caught yourself blushing as you remember an embarrassing moment? Or noticed a warm sensation as you reflect on one of your most proud or successful events?

Leadership must be embodied for it to be effective in the moment, which is where true leadership always occurs.  A leader who learns how to be receptive through the body has a much greater advantage than a leader who practices receptivity only as a mindset.  Leaders who understand the power of including their physicality in their leadership way of being tend to have greater intuition, access to more options, more effective communication and increased skills in “reading” and responding to their environment and situations.

So how can we begin to maximize the tool “right under our noses?”  It begins with paying attention to your body and creating small shifts that are aligned with your stated desires.  Start to observe what happens to your posture and your breathing during challenging situations. If you notice that you’re constricting your body and limiting your breathing, shift your posture to be  upright and relaxed and focus on taking slow, deep breaths.

Join us for The Language of Leadership training and coaching program that begins on February 7th and learn how to identify your optimal leadership way of being and how to use your body to unlock your leadership potential.

Click here to download a PDF version of this article.

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About insightleadership

Managing Partner for Insight Leadership
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