Over the last few months I have had the pleasure of being a witness to change. I have offered five sessions on Leadership Presence, with more to come, and I have grown from them as much as the participants have. I have been especially inspired by everyone’s willingness to take risks. By taking new approaches to relationship, each participant has been able to discover new outcomes for themselves. When we take those personal risks, we let in a slew of new possibilities we may never have imagined. We expand our mind’s ability to see. As we adjust our perceptions, we are able to connect differently with ourselves and others, opening us to more productive relationships and experiences.
I knew this work would be powerful, but even I have been surprised by how much people have been able to shift. The biggest insight I have had from these workshops is that people are ready. All they need are some pointers and skills and they are off and running.
When we become stuck in our habit patterns of relationship, thinking or emotion, we may believe we are far more limited than we really are. We may feel unable to engage in difficult experiences such as conflict. But really we are just letting an old part of ourselves lead the way. We have all developed new capacities and skills, but we have a hard time trusting them. A sensation-driven narrative dictates our capabilities. It locks us into skills and approaches we may have learned as toddlers!
So what the heck is a sensation-driven narrative? It is an inner story buried in the cells and tissues of our body. It constrains the way we see and interact with the world. Before the age of two we have no ability to write memory. Our hippocampus, where we store the mp3 file of our life, does not fully form until after the age of two. Everything we learn is stored in parts of our brain and body. But it cannot be accessed as something remembered. Think about it: language, movement, what is safe, what’s not, how am I soothed, who am I connected to. As children we learn how to sense first, without the foundation of judgment or experience. Our sense organs deliver information exteroceptively from the outside world to our brain, and we derive meaning from this physical experience.
By the time we are adults, we have adapted and added many more layers of interpretation and judgment, but those fundamental lessons we learned as small children remain, buried deep. Most often they are vital and helpful. But sometimes they hold us back. When we work as adults to explore this unconscious subject matter, we have the opportunity to create a new way of being in our body, and reshape the judgments of our mind. We encounter a new and better world.
In every Leadership Presence workshop, I’ve seen people becoming liberated and confident; able to take on a potentially threatening or anxious experience in a whole new way, and experience new results and satisfaction.
In the fall I have three more Leadership Presence sessions, covering generative conflict, deconstructive feedback and decision making. Each is a new opportunity for profound change and growth. We will learn ways to have productive conflict; how to offer feedback in a way that will open, not close a conversation; and how to make decisions without all of the hemming and hawing. Our groups are welcoming and supportive. It doesn’t matter if you made it along to previous sessions or not. Join us at the Access Leadership Lab in downtown Seattle for some innovative and fun learning. Expand your leadership presence and find the change that you are ready for.