Vulnerability and empathy, the trademarks of natural leaders.
Lately, it has become easier to discern leaders at heart from those who are merely bosses. It’s been fascinating to witness how true leaders are exhibiting the qualities that make them so effective at leading: vulnerability and empathy.
Obviously, team members need guidance on how to work in this new environment, but the focus on the “how” should not preclude the time that should be spent in allowing them to express how they truly feel. An emotion that is expressed, heard and validated promotes emotional healing; the foundation for being empathetic.
As far as vulnerability, which some mistakenly perceive as weakness, is the trademark of a natural leader. Sharing unsettling feelings about the current context, admitting to not having all the answers, accepting shortcomings, recognising mistakes, and confessing feeling overwhelmed, are all examples of emotional exposure. Some might not be willing to take that risk, but those who do will forge deep connections with their team members, and will undoubtedly help them and the team to thrive in the new normal.
I’d never thought that I would recommend people to pretend, but today I’ll glorify the art of pretending.
The commute to work has always served as a good mental transition. During this transition from a place of rest and leisure to a full-on work environment, our mind has had the benefit of a commute to create the psychological shift required to properly focus on work.
If you are occasionally working from home, it is important to know that working in bed and/or working in pyjamas doesn’t really set us up psychologically to be at our best. Our brain has a strong power of association, so mixing signals of indulgence (bed/pyjamas) whilst working, creates a sluggish, indecisive, and somewhat careless state of mind.
If you are working from home, after you wake up, pretend that you are going to work. Carry out your morning routine (meditation, exercise, breakfast, shower, etc.) get dressed as if you are going to work and then start your workday. Although your transition from bed to desk will be shorter, pretending that you will leave your home most likely will get you in the right state of mind to achieve your ideal performance state.
It is with a great deal of excitement that I announce the recently formed partnership between myself and Mindfulness Peru, an organisation led by expert psychologist Ana Loret de Mola and internationally renowned chef and coach Brisa Deneumostier.
Ana is a highly-regarded psychologist who is now pursuing a master’s degree on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at the University of Oxford. MBCT has proven to be very effective form of therapy to treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions which include depression, chronic fatigue, pain, and several types of disorders.
Brisa is a master chef, environmentalist, communicator and a coach conscious coach. She studied in the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and she has had formal training in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) in India. Brisa has worked in a string of world-class restaurants such as Noma in Denmark and resorts in the Middle East and has also taken her cooking talents to monasteries in Asia, the Canary Islands, Europe and many other parts of the world.
I have already incorporated Ana’s and Brisa’s experience and knowledge into the corporate programmes and personal coaching sessions that I now offer. Our hope is that our joint work can bring balance, joy, peace, creativity and ultimately happiness to those whom we are fortunate to serve.
Scientific research on how to achieve total wellbeing clearly states that in order to have a thriving life, we need to nurture 5 key aspects of our lives. Find out what these 5 key elements are and discover easy and practical ways to attain maximum fulfilment in all of these areas. This is the Art of Happiness