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Category: Embodied Leadership

Embodied leadership means you bring out the best in yourself and others, as you’re always fully aware of what your mind and body are saying to you and them.Embodied Leadership involves the way you speak, the language you use, the way you position your body, the harmony you feel by being fully present, and the calming and reassuring messages you convey to others. When you practice embodied leadership you’re able to value, motivate, and bring out the best in yourself and others.

Embodied Learning – A Lifelong Practice that Leads to Excellence and Mastery

Embodied learning means there’s a harmony between your intellectual thoughts, emotional state and body organization as you learn to model the life you want.“By my actions teach my mind.” ~ William Shakespeare

Learning doesn’t stop when you finish your schooling. As the world has become more connected we are required to continually learn new skills and adapt to change. This takes great flexibility in our thinking. Yet this raises an important question: Is thinking enough to achieve mastery and excellence? No, and here’s why…

Do you really know ‘how to learn’?

Perhaps your style of learning has been to memorize facts intellectually until you take a test or do a task, and then you quickly forget it. Or perhaps you “know” a topic but never put it into practice, let alone master it.

Honestly, would you book Carnegie Hall for your daughter’s piano recital if she had only looked at a music book? No, a master pianist has years of practice to train the mind (to gain the skill), the body (to gain the dexterity) and the spirit (to gain the confidence) to cooperate together harmoniously. Mastery, through embodied learning, requires all three – the mind, the body, and the spirit.

Learning with the Mind. The educational system traditionally teaches the mind. As a result, many people stay stuck because they theoretically know what they should do, but they feel overwhelmed or are distracted by the next “bright, shiny object” that comes along. There’s too much information for any of us to process. We’re moving at a speed that demands immediate action.

In order to master a skill, it’s vital to stay connected as you embody your higher purpose and remain focused on what’s important. This requires…

Learning with the Spirit. Over time we establish a characteristic mood. People can see us as cheery or brooding, positive or negative, and helpful or closed-minded to give a few examples. People will either be repelled or attracted by our mood.

Emotions, on the other hand, come and go as situations change. However, if you’re not skilled in resolving your emotions they take on a life of their own and become a mood. For example, if you don’t effectively deal with your sadness and loss, it may become a mood of depression.

Your emotions and moods shape the way you learn. If you’re negative, and self-defeating, your learning and productivity will suffer, regardless of how skilled you are. On the other hand, if you’re open and curious you’ll be receptive to learning and increase your creative and innovative skills.

Learning with the Body. To manage your own emotions (not repressing them or becoming victims of them) you must approach them from a somatic perspective. How you organize your body produces certain moods and emotions, both positive and negative.

The body never lies. You may say you’re ready for a presentation to a room full of clients, because you know your material inside and out. But when you stand in front of them and you stammer and stutter and forget key points, your body is telling the truth – that you aren’t ready emotionally.

Embodied learning means there’s a congruency between your intellectual thoughts, emotional state and your body organization. And you only achieve this harmony through practice. For example, when you learn to model confidence behavior, you’ll feel confident. And as you repeatedly practice it, you will become confident. You will have learned this new skill so well you embody it in all you do. It will come to you easily. As you perform these actions in a graceful manner, people will see you as a master of your craft.

Are you seeing areas in your own life that can benefit from embodied learning? I would be pleased to partner with you as you discover how to become more mindful and aware in your approach to life. Please contact me and we can schedule a time to work together in person or via Skype.

What is Emotional Intelligence and Why Do You Need It to Succeed?

What is emotional intelligence and why do you need it – answer this question and you can hone your EQ skills and become a leader who excels in any field.One of the things I love about my community of women leaders is their passion for finding (and sharing) new resources that help them pursue personal excellence. One of the most important resources you’ll ever find is defining and improving your emotional intelligence quotient. What is that?

Firstly, let me ask you…if you had to pick one over the other, which do you think are the more important skills you can have – learning the “how to” technical skills or the “why do they do that” emotional skills?

While, many people think that having a high IQ (intellectual smarts) is the most essential skill set for excelling in business and life, successful business leaders are proving to be those who nurture their EQ – Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence. This applies to the solo entrepreneur and the leaders of huge corporations – emotional competence is twice as important as purely cognitive abilities.

Why is emotional intelligence so important? Being in business means you’re dealing with thinking, feeling people not inanimate objects. And if you want to motivate a person to do something, you need to make an emotional connection, not necessarily an intellectual connection.

What we’re taught in school about business and leadership is incomplete. They left out the more important skills, which are often termed people skills, soft skills, character building, or personality development. In today’s business world, these skills are now considered the new measuring rod for success. The higher a person’s position is and the more responsibility he or she has, the more emotional intelligence becomes crucial.

But what is emotional intelligence exactly? Happily, it’s a set of skills that anyone can acquire. It’s an essential ingredient for reaching and staying at the top in any field.

“Emotional Intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”

This quote is how Daniel Goleman, who coined the term emotional intelligence, defines it. I’ve just finished reading his book, Working with Emotional Intelligence. I highly recommend it to you. He uses real life case studies of star performers to compare the importance of emotional intelligence with intellectual, technical competency. Here are some major takeaways from this book that you can apply immediately to your own life…

Understand how the brain works. Daniel Goleman explains that intellectual intelligence is based on the neocortex, the most recently evolved parts of the brain. This prefrontal area gives you the ability to pay attention to, remember and apply vital information when making good decisions.

Emotional intelligence occurs in the lower or inner brain, the more primitive sub-cortex, specifically the amygdala. Here is where our emotional, preprogrammed “primitive” impulses, “gut feelings” reside. It also stores our accumulated life experiences.

What this means for you: When the mind is calm everything works normally. Your prefrontal lobes introduce your power of reason, judgment and appropriate social behavior and, at the same time, control your emotional impulses. However, when a perceived threat arises, the central, more emotional part of the brain takes over. Worry, panic, frustration, anger, or irritation can kick in.

If you don’t have a high level of self-awareness, these powerful emotions can hijack your rational mind and cause you to explode in ways that you typically wouldn’t. Like when you lose it and yell at your spouse or children. Or you get stage fright so badly you can’t give your presentation. Out-of-control emotions can make the smartest people act crazily.

But the good news is, when you understand how the brain works, you can learn to control your emotions. How?

Researchers are discovering that people who are excelling in leadership roles today have a high level of non-judgmental self-awareness, which leads to controlling their emotions. This is such an important topic I’m starting a series on how to deepen your emotional intelligence. Be sure to visit my website each week so you don’t miss out on any of the articles.

Would you like a head start to honing your EQ skills? I’d love to give you one-on-one support as you fully discover your personal emotional intelligence. Please contact me and we can set up a convenient time for both of us to start working together.

Read related information on Emotional Intelligence:

Women in Leadership Who Excel Have High Emotional Intelligence

Which of These 25 Emotional Intelligence Competencies Will You Master Next?

How to Use Emotional Intelligence Training to Be an Influential Leader

Develop Leadership Skills in Women Who Want to Make a Difference

Learn five ways to develop leadership skills in women who can make a difference in our quality of life as they learn to apply embodied leadership techniquesToday women in leadership roles are shaping a better world. As nurturing and empowered women, we are becoming a local and global force for good. However, due to the lingering negative perceptions from the gender gap, women often work twice as hard in order to achieve the same recognition as men. That’s why I’m so passionate about this subject! Now, more than ever, it’s vital to develop leadership skills in women – both in ourselves and the next generation of leaders.

Women, particularly business owners, are innovating new pathways and contributing to society in countless ways. They’re more likely to reinvest their profits in education, their family and their community. Since these are differences that fly under the radar, traditional ways of measuring economic development and business performance don’t capture transformational benefits such as these. Yet, don’t you notice a more open and supportive spirit in today’s business world?

You may or may not consider yourself a leader. But you will benefit by strengthening your leadership skills so that you can confidently step into your role as a mentor and role model for younger women.

Here are five ways to develop leadership skills in women that you can use to improve your quality of life and make a difference in the lives of others…

  1. Ongoing education. Beyond a standard education, young women need to be trained in leadership skills such as, public speaking, writing, negotiating, conflict resolution, and networking.

In addition, an embodied leadership education teaches you to be self-aware, self-regulating and self-confident under the high stress demands of your newly acquired position.

  1. Broadened experience. With the world becoming increasingly interdependent and communities become more integrated, exposure to other cultures and ways of thinking is vital. Women must become willing to go beyond what’s comfortable and seek solutions in unfamiliar settings and experiences.

Through awareness, you can develop the ability to see opportunities everywhere. You can then seize these opportunities by creatively solving problems and innovating new paths.

  1. Mentors and role models. Instead of independently going it alone, women seek out supportive mentors and coaches that help them progress through the different stages of career development.

Look at the top 100 powerful women and you’ll find role models who can inspire you to greater things. Learn to embody the kind of people they are through cultivating greater emotional intelligence and admirable characteristics such as generosity, courage, and integrity. If they can do it, so can you.

  1. Shift attitudes. From an early age, girls need to know they’re capable of doing anything they want. And boys need to learn this message, too. Over time, even the most closed society or culture can make this mindset shift.
  1. Build relationships. Rather than competing out of ego, women who embody leadership graciously advance and support the efforts of other women and men. Making an impact on the lives of others allows women to live with purpose. Rather than one person at the helm, women form a network, showcasing the unique talents of each member.

It’s never too late to pursue your heart’s desire. Maybe you don’t want to change the world, but you dream of doing something more fulfilling and meaningful. Please, don’t settle until that dream is realized. I would love to partner with you through this transformation. Contact me and we can work together in person in Ashland, Oregon or via Skype. Your possibilities are endless.

Women in Leadership Who Excel Have High Emotional Intelligence

Women leaders who excel all have high emotional intelligence, enabling them to manage their own emotions and understand and relate to others’ emotions too.While traditional gender biases still put men in leadership roles and women in supportive roles, in today’s economic climate this concept is being turned upside down. Leadership roles throughout a company’s organizational structure – from executive to supervisors to team leaders – are benefiting greatly from the unique style women leaders bring to the table.

To demonstrate that women certainly have the skills needed for leadership positions, a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review ranked women significantly higher than men for 12 of the top 16 competencies in which leaders must excel. This was so, despite the preconceived notion that men would typically perform better.

The leadership qualities they ranked are:

  1. Takes Initiative
  2. Practices Self-development
  3. Displays High Integrity and Honesty
  4. Drives for Results
  5. Develops Others
  6. Inspires and Motivates Others
  7. Builds Relationships
  8. Collaboration and Teamwork
  9. Establishes Stretch Goals
  10. Champions Change
  11. Solves Problems and Analyzes Issues
  12. Communicates Powerfully and Clearly
  13. Connects the Group to the Outside World
  14. Innovates
  15. Technical or Professional Expertise
  16. Develops Strategic Perspective (This is the only one where men outscored women significantly.)

Do you notice that most of these skills are related to emotional intelligence? This means they encompass an ability to 1) identify and manage one’s own emotions, 2) identify and understand someone else’s emotions, and 3) relate well to others personally and professionally even under the most stressful situations. This requires that a person be self-aware, self-regulating and empathetic. These relationship-based skills are ones wherein women certainly excel.

Practicing embodied leadership accelerates the attainment of these qualities. Mindful awareness allows you to really feel and identify your emotions, so you can express them in a constructive way. A leader who embodies these qualities will manage stress and enhance the cooperative spirit of her team. She’s able to keep the lines of communication open as she soothes her own ruffled emotions and those of others. She’s able to “read” what the body language of others is telling her.

Emotional intelligence is twice as valuable as IQ in the business world, since the emotional health of the team directly impacts productivity, motivation, engagement and loyalty. An embodied leader who is emotionally intelligent will be able to:

  • Restore calm out of chaos
  • Express emotions not squelch them
  • Have conversations not confrontations
  • Diffuse tricky situations
  • Negotiate calmly
  • Listen without becoming defensive
  • Benefit from criticism
  • Keep a positive, resilient attitude despite setbacks
  • Inspire respect and loyalty
  • Build trust and rapport
  • Be a self-starter who delights in accomplishment not position.

The best way to learn is by following the example of others. Would you like to read about women who have excelled in their leadership roles? I highly recommend the book, Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life.

Even though women have these exemplary skills, they often do lack one thing that men, by nature, exude. They lack confidence in themselves and their abilities. Because women are often more concerned about keeping their home life together, or are afraid of being viewed as unfeminine and aggressive, or they’re reluctant to reach out because of discrimination, they aren’t using their skills to the full. If you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone so as to embrace a more fulfilling lifestyle, I would love to partner with you. Contact me and we can work together in Ashland, OR or via Skype.

20 Amazing Benefits of Applying Embodied Leadership Principles to Your Relationships

: Learn why the principles of embodied leadership are a great foundation on which to build you coaching business if you want a fulfilling and meaningful life.Over the course of the last few weeks we’ve been discussing various aspects of embodied leadership for women. It’s not something you do – it’s who you are. The way you speak, the words you choose, your body positioning, all reflect the harmony you feel by being fully present.

People follow leaders because they’re inspired by their presence and way of being, not by how smart they are or what position they hold. When you become an embodied leader who lives the life that you teach, you’ll build trust quickly and inspire others to achieve excellence.

Remember, embodied leadership results from collaboration between body, mind and spirit – the whole YOU. An excellent leader provides a model that embodies the good that others want to achieve in all areas of their own lives. Let’s recap what this means…

Body: To lead others, it’s important to model how to be physically fit. An awareness of what you’re body is telling you and what it’s revealing to others is essential to creating a presence that inspires confidence. When your body is congruent with your mind and spirit, you’ll be able to control the physiological responses to stress and you’ll feel at peace even under the most trying situations.

Mind: To lead others takes mental discipline. Developing emotional intelligence increases your ability to concentrate and focus, observe and release negative self-talk, calm your emotions, see the possibilities as you visualize positive outcomes, and be fully present in and accepting of difficult situations.

Spirit: To lead others, your passion must shine. When you’re firmly grounded in your own spirit, you never need to feel challenged or defensive, but you remain open and accepting. You’re able to hold onto your own values while helping your clients achieve what is most important to them.

When you embody or truly live what you believe, people can see that you’re balanced and centered, and they want that for themselves. This is what creates an authentic connection with others.

What are some other benefits to you and your relationships when you excel at embodied leadership skills? You’ll be able to:

  1. Improve physical, emotional and mental endurance, strength, and agility.
  2. Increase your self-confidence and composure by remaining centered.
  3. Keep your compassion through awareness of others.
  4. Sharpen your concentration, focus and visualization.
  5. Be organized and goal oriented so you achieve your best life ever.
  6. Stand out in your industry as a thought-leader.
  7. Stay committed to your goals in the midst of complexity.
  8. Use body language to clearly communicate your core beliefs with conviction.
  9. Read the intentions, motivations and abilities of the people around you.
  10. Have honest, courageous conversations about the most difficult subjects.
  11. Enhance and support your own mind/body/spirit and that of others.
  12. Resolve conflict as you learn to let situations unfold without resistance.
  13. Build trust as you listen carefully and proactively provide solutions.
  14. Act decisively while maintaining important relationships.
  15. Anticipate and address potential problems rather than reacting to them.
  16. Create opportunities for effective action in emotionally charged environments.
  17. Increase your own accountability and that of others.
  18. Enable people to self-correct by giving well-chosen feedback.
  19. Motivate and influence others to take action.
  20. Fine-tune your awareness as you see what others need and desire.

Coaching is an investment you make in yourself to create the life you truly want. Meaningful results require a commitment. Please contact me to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via Skype, so we can explore our coaching partnership.


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