Leadership is Embodied
For many of us Leadership is most obviously needed in formal situations – presentations, team meetings and appraisals. For example, when presenting we probably spend a long time ensuring that our slides are really slick and that we know exactly what to say. Unfortunately, most people will not take much notice of all of this preparation. What they’ll be noticing is whether they find you credible, convincing and compelling. They’ll be making this judgement, not based on what you say, but about how you say it and who you are while you’re saying it! This will also be true of all of the informal conversations that you’re having as well.
When we can combine our thinking, our emotions and our body into a cohesive whole, we are able to Embody Leadership. Our thoughts determine how we respond to a situation and the emotions that result. Our emotions determine how our brain behaves in terms of what chemicals it releases in to our system. These chemicals can be positive or negative, for instance of we think about failure, we might become fearful, and this will release our ‘flight’ chemicals. If we think we’re under attack in a meeting, we may feel angry and this will release the ‘fight’ chemicals into our body. These chemicals have physiological impacts and change the way we sound and look. Both of these situations can lead to feedback loops that inhibit our ability to perform at our best.
What is less well-know is that how we hold our body, also has an impact on the brain. Our posture and our breathing, both have an impact in how we feel and how we’re perceived. For example a recent scientific study measured how certain postures reduced the amount of cortisol (hormone often linked to feelings of stress) released into the system by 25%!
When we are physically centred, upright and aligned we feel and look our best. This positive posture is a means for you to be authentically and uniquely you. This body, when combined with a skilful and consistent way of thinking and behaving will enable you to be an effective leader in your organisation, no matter what the role.
|… is not a position in the hierarchy||… exists at every Level in the organisation|
|… is not about authority||… is everyone’s responsibility|
|… is not about delving into the negative||… is about exploring what’s possible|
|… is not about telling people what to do||… is about painting a picture of success that you and your team can contribute to|
|… is not about reductionist thinking||… is about connection and exploring the ‘adjacent possible’|
|… is not just about formal events||… should flow into every conversation|
|… is not about cold facts||… should tap into the emotions of your people|
|… is not about blame or witch-hunts||… is about finding stories that demonstrate the values, purpose and vision of the team or organisation|
|… is not just about the message||… is an embodied reflection of how you think, feel and behave|
We’d love to hear your thoughts…..