Given your DMs about my last blog post, “How To Create A Healthy Company Culture,” I wanted to offer some additional guidance, if you find yourself struggling to regulate your emotions and set the tone of your organization by leading in a more conscious way.

How Do You Become A More Conscious, Inspirational Leader?

Conscious leaders hold themselves accountable to the same, if not higher, standards as their team.

They speak with integrity, lead with authenticity, and earn your respect and loyalty. 

They listen with the intent to understand, rather than just respond. 

They shut up and listen, rather than shut down, the people around them. 

Think back to the last problem you and your team had to solve. Did you shut up? Or shut down? Were you a generous leader, building up those around you? Or were you quick to remind them why you’re at the top?

Who do you want to be?

We’ve all had that boss that makes you excited to be on the team. You work harder for them. You finish your work and leave for the day feeling energized and having accomplished more, just having been in their presence. Don’t you want to be that boss? It starts with listening to understand and leaning in with compassion.

Here’s what leaning in and listening with compassion looks like, try it the next time someone on your team comes to you with a problem:

  • Stop what you’re doing and make eye contact, allowing them to feel seen.
  • Lean in and nod along.
  • Ask them for suggested solutions, as a positive outcome typically depends on their input and buy-in.
  • Thank them for sharing their challenge with you.
  • Then go and work together, identifying an appropriate path forward and asking how you can best support them.

So why don’t leaders everywhere use these simple tools to build more creativity, loyalty, and resilience in their organizations? Because they don’t know how.

They don’t teach you how totune into yourself and those around you, or how to hold space for your team at Harvard, or any other Ivy League institution for that matter. But this is the deciding factor. This is what allows the cream to rise to the top. And anyone can do it. You just have to have the courage to be honest and open to other possibilities and perspectives. The courage to examine yourself. The courage to work through your shadow spots, rather than denying or defending them. 

Collaborative & Supportive Leadership

While initial results of a bully & blame-style of leadership—managing by force, control, or coercion, and focusing on “what’s wrong,” “what’s broken,” and, potentially, “who or what is to blame”—may look successful, this approach will ultimately fail, as the effort expended to live and act with this constant unhealthy energy will drain you and those around you.

So the next time you encounter a bully, choose compassion rather than take it personally. Know that this behavior will only get him so far, and then he’ll hit the ceiling of his capabilities and management skills.

And, if you are that bully, see if you can’t begin to recognize your triggers and, instead, consciously choose to engage as a more collaborative, supportive leader.

For the benefit of all involved. Yourself included.

Don’t wait until you hit your ceiling. If you want to lead in a sustainable way. Change your behavior now.

You don’t have to wait for something to be wrong. If you want to shift your unhealthy energy, and better balance your intensity with your desire to perform with compassion for your employees’ needs so that you can lead in a more collaborative, supportive way at work and at home, shoot me an email and we can talk.