We believe that leadership effectiveness is anchored in self awareness. Self-awareness produces mindful action, and therefore creative outcomes. However, what often gets in the way, is the amount of energy s/he spends in what we call reactive tendencies.
As leaders it is important to understand that our emotions are driven by neurological impulses. Although these neurological impulses are beyond our control, the resulting emotions don’t have to be. When the pressure is on and emotions are running high, it can feel like something is taking over us – but that situation can be skilfully managed. The leadership competency called self-regulation is an important characteristic of emotional intelligence that frees us from being hostage to our impulses and thus allowing us to fully express our creative leadership.
Our vertical approach to leadership development coaching enables the leader to raise his/her level of awareness, and identify the underlying assumptions that drive moment-to-moment decisions or reactions. Imagining that behaviours are like the tip of the iceberg (above the waterline), underneath exists the factors that motivate action or inaction (also known as competing commitments). When a leader exhibits a behavior in its most optimal expression, it is driven by vision, purpose, passion and proactive action. When a leader falls into the pattern of the above-mentioned reactive tendencies, it is because s/he is in response to a perceived threat. If fear is the governing emotion (as an example), it limits his/her leadership effectiveness.
There is good news! Latest studies in neuroscience tell us that through the phenomenon of neuroplasticity, it is possible for our brain to create new neural pathways, and change our habits at ay age!
This said, to change behaviours is not as simple as a following a 3-step process combined with a couple of pep talks, but rather it requires attention and work. It requires to 1) identify what lives below the waterline (thoughts, belief systems, paradigms, assumptions, projections, needs and desires), and 2) then observe how these manifest in our day-to-day reality.
The guiding principles in our developmental coaching practice includes 4 distinct phases:
- Witness/Wake up