Conscious leadership is so much more than tossing around buzzwords of the moment, adding another inspirational image to your Instagram, or tweeting a motivational quote.
The journey of conscious leadership can be thought of as a deep, continual process that ultimately brings the best of your inner self out into the world of form so that you can create the greatest impact as you inspire those around you.
Conscious leaders know that as we expand our understanding of who we are and what our unique purpose is, we’re better able to deepen our impact as our powerful authenticity unfolds, radiating from within out into our sphere of influence.
Here are 5 practical strategies to help you become a more conscious leader:
Knowing your personal “why” is key to your own development. You might be surprised at how many people go through the motions of each day (focusing on the “what”) without truly having an understanding of the “why” behind what they’re doing.
One of the most effective ways to get clear on your own “why” is to craft a personal purpose statement. This is just for you – there are no rules to follow, no specific guidelines you must meet – let your creativity flow and use this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the visions you have for your future.
2. Cultivate a self-care practice.
Far from being selfish, self care allows you to reenergize you so you can bring your full presence into all that you do. After all, none of us can give from an empty cup.
When it comes to self-care, you don’t really have to “do” anything – there is no special practice to follow, no app to download, no seminar, workshop, or training to attend. Your self-care routine can involve anything that nurtures and soothes you – listen to your heart here and allow yourself to spoil the inner you.
This is the beginning of a virtuous circle around you: the kinder you are to yourself, the kinder you will likely be to others. The more they receive kindness, the more they can give it to themselves and others. And so on. Think about it: it all starts with you.
Think BOLDLY: Today, I encourage you to expand your concept of self-care by taking a few moments out to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished on your journey. And, contrary to what some of you may be thinking, this is not blah-blah. Even HBR has researched and written about how acknowledging our achievements is a form of self-care (“Acknowledging Your Achievements Is a Form of Self-Care”).
3. Focus on the “we” – not the “me.”
The most impactful organizations aren’t solely focused on employee perks. In an article on Inc.com, Glint CEO Jim Barnett takes the concept of conscious leadership a step further by reminding us how conscious leadership can create conscious organizations.
He explains, “The vision behind my conscious leadership style stems from wanting to bring awareness, authenticity and caring to my leadership role. This means I bring my whole, authentic self to work and try to lead from a place of trust, responsibility, curiosity, integrity and ease. I work hard to create an environment with no drama, a focus on “we” not “me,” and where we believe in creating “wins for all” vs. win-lose scenarios.”
So, you see: self-care does indeed fit into the greater concept of a whole conscious organization. When we’re willing to take good care of ourselves first, we lay the foundation to bring our best, most authentic presence into all that we do. Thus, we lay the foundation necessary to inspire others to do the same, resulting in a cumulative positive effect.
4. Encourage feedback.
Many leaders find they’re more focused on giving feedback rather than receiving it. Truth be told, many leadership articles focus on how to effectively give employee feedback. And rightly so – constructive feedback fuels the growth of an organization by bringing attention to what needs to change while highlighting what’s already working. This same concept can deepen your capacity to lead with far greater ease.
Inviting others to share their honest feedback with you is a win-win situation – you gain valuable insight and perhaps the chance to better recognize your blind spots that could use attention. Plus, you enjoy the opportunity to cultivate trust and deepen your relationships.
One caveat here, though: remember to balance developmental feedback with feedback about what makes us great. All of us exhibit greatness. And, as humans, all of us – at all levels of the organization – need to be reminded of it and know others see it as well.
5. Be inspired every single day.
If you’re not fully grounded, it can sometimes be challenging to navigate the often turbulent waters of life. A quick visit to Facebook, Twitter, or any conventional news outlet often yields a whole lot of drama.
Let this motivate you to find inspiration in everything. When you find that a situation seems discouraging or downright disturbing, ask:
- What can be learned from this?
- Is there a way I can positively contribute or serve others?
- What might be happening beneath the waterline, that is, just below the surface of human perception?
It’s so important to know that conscious leadership is an ever-evolving process of growth and deeper understanding – not a once-and-you’re-done task.
Gain more practical tips and easy-to-implement strategies to help you transform into a more conscious leader…sign up for my free Weekly Bold Moves right here, delivered fresh to your inbox each week!
Colleen Slaughter Raue, Managing Partner of Authentic Leadership International
Colleen is a transformational leadership coach who guides international leaders as they attain the clarity, courage and self-confidence necessary to realize higher levels of productivity and fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives.
Her purpose is to facilitate her clients’ transformation from limiting beliefs and self-doubts into a deeper, more powerful knowingness of how much they – and what they envision for themselves – truly matter.
Colleen’s perspectives were recently featured in an article on the International Coach Federation’s website here.