Regardless of the type of organization you operate and your preferred leadership style, becoming a conscious leader can support your organizational goals and create a cohesive team. But what exactly is conscious leadership? Quite simply, it refers to someone who leads with authenticity and integrity.
Conscious leadership requires total awareness and a proactive approach, rather than a reactionary one. A conscious leader is someone who actively listens to their team and strives to create an organizational culture that nurtures inclusion and trust. There are several commitments conscious leaders make each day and many ways to improve those qualities in your own leadership style.
First, being a conscious leader requires self-awareness. Any good leader needs to understand not just the problems in their department, but personal pitfalls. Personal issues can get in the way of progress toward your goal. In turn, practicing self-awareness requires an understanding of not only your strengths and weaknesses, but also your motivations, thoughts and feelings. Once you are better aware of yourself and your weaknesses, you will be better able to regulate yourself. This will be beneficial to teammates who may be struggling at work because you can focus on helping them.
Assess Your Circle of Influence
You may know and interact with hundreds of people. However, you probably have only about five people with whom you interact most often. That inner circle can have a significant influence on your character, personal philosophy and accomplishments. Spend some time considering the attitudes, behaviors and character of those individuals. If you aren’t satisfied with your main influencers, it may be time to reassess your inner circle.
We usually are influenced most by the people closest to us, which can make it hard to understand others we may not know. By increasing your inner circle, you can gain better insights into different people. This can help you become a more conscious leader to those with opposing views or traits.
Adopt the Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz is a doctor by profession who has made it his life’s work to help others strive toward spiritual enlightenment. He is most well-known for his Four Agreements, which are perfectly aligned with the mindset of conscious leadership. The Four Agreements are*:
- Speak with integrity: Avoid gossip and speak your mind with compassion.
- Don’t take it personally: The actions and words of others should not be taken personally, as they stem from another person’s reality.
- Avoid assumptions: Assumptions lead to misunderstandings. Instead, ask questions and strive for clear communication.
- Strive for nothing less than your best: If you continually strive to do your best, you can avoid disappointing yourself and your team. Note, however, that doing your best may look different from one day to the next. If you are feeling ill, for example, it’s acceptable to lower your standards.
The Four Agreements help to organize a strategy for your personal growth and improvement in your leadership. Many other authors have identified the same, or similar, traits in order to improve management.
Applying conscious leadership better enables companies to handle changes in an ever-changing world. Conscious capitalism in a business setting means that companies should act ethically in practice. Even though profits are needed to run a company effectively, it is important to look past financial incentives and for the good of customers and employees. By applying the commitments of conscious leadership above to your company, managers and executives, you can help improve the productivity of your team and the quality of your workplace environment.
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Retrieved from The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, February, 1997
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.