Importance of Waking the Observer

Presence is becoming a popular phrase in leadership development. Leadership coaching firms are searching for coaches who have expertise in this arena. Experts have discovered that there is more to leadership than dotting i’s and crossing t’s. There is a seemingly unexplainable way in which some people have the ability to lead while others who are equally smart and experienced, struggle.

We have been curious about this phenomenon and have spent many years studying leaders and helping them develop a strong presence that comes from the inside, something the poet David Whyte calls an internal spaciousness, leaving the burdens of the outside world, uh, outside.

Waking the observer is the language we use to describe the initial phase of developing presence, bringing consciousness to the way that we impact others and support ourselves in the pursuit to bring our gifts to the world. At times, we have struggled ourselves to wake the observer as consciousness is not an easy path. It can often mean taking a good look at ourselves, which dredges up regret and remorse for situations from the past that we handled in a similar way with less than stellar results!

I had one of those experiences the other day. I reacted to a situation where I drug the parties involved into my personal drama without needing to. This brought up memories of this same pattern of behavior times from my past but I was seeing these experiences through a new lens. Thankfully I have a lot of practice with those old habit patterns of my mind that would have scolded me for being so stupid or told me I was a bad person or gotten defensive and ignored the feedback. This time, I observed my body and mind working together to move through the uncomfortable feelings I was experiencing by reacting. When I didn’t react, but simply felt, I was reinforcing new neural pathways that allow my psychobiology to have a new choice and leave the burden outside and spaciousness inside. Tough, but totally worth it!

This internal spaciousness that happens when we wake up our internal observer and give ourselves space to be human yet not react to our humanness is a component of what we teach at our leadership workshops. We feel that if we can learn the language of our inner experience and be able to speak about it in a way that helps other people learn about themselves then we are not only developing our own leadership presence but that of the people around us.

We have dedicated our lives and work to creating a place where people can learn about themselves in a safe yet challenging place and practice skills which help elevate their baseline capacity to thrive in day-to-day life through an increased ability to be focused and present. We want you to be the best leader you can be, so we pooled all of our resources to offer a few courses that will give you the intellectual context: models, language, tools and skills as well as a way to physically shift into feeling better in your body as you apply what you learn in the world. Come join us, invite perspective. Here is the link to the workshops: Leadership Presence 2014 Schedule –