Do you want to be a better leader? Leaders, coaches, and therapists often get stuck and frustrated by their clients’ resistance to engage and take action, which can happen in the absence of embodied leadership. When experiencing a coaching client who is resistant to change, even experienced practitioners can fall into the trap of thinking that people are just stubborn, stupid, or lazy. This can happen when leaders, coaches, and therapists forget to use their intuition and practice embodied leadership.
By focusing on yourself, you can help your clients overcome resistance to change using a few approaches. This article focuses on three main topics to help you focus on yourself: somatic awareness, embodied leadership, and intuition.
Use Somatic Awareness to find Compassion
Find compassion. But not just compassion in your thinking, but more importantly in your body. When trying to help someone in fight, flight, or freeze, their conscious mind is generally overwhelmed by their subconscious responses. Most leaders, coaches, and therapists try to rationalize or convince their clients to why they should change, and even when done with the best intentions, it will push the client away even further. Using somatic awareness to relate to your client instead of logic will help bring them closer to change.
The secret is for leaders, coaches, and therapists to know how to communicate their own subconscious mind with that of their clients so that they can build trust and connection. Because the subconscious mind runs our body, our hearts, lungs, and nervous system, the body is the most obvious place to start. This is where somatic coaching comes in. When leaders, coaches, and therapists can learn to focus on themselves and shift their own body states toward a sensory experience of compassion, then they can help their client release the fight, flight, or freeze response and lead them to effective action.
Step into Embodied Leadership
People want to be led from the inside out rather than the other way around. Embodied leadership is an approach that starts with awareness of one’s own body and emotions in order to lead effectively as well as create sustainable change in others. Somatic coaches aim at this same goal by working with people on their physical sensations which often have strong emotional connections.
When you can sense changes in your body effectively, you can make decisions and take action using an embodied approach, instead of reactivity. Reactivity will push your clients further away, but embodiment will lead your clients to overcome resistance to change.
As embodied leaders, we recognize that nature lives within and outside us as an unparalleled primordial source from which we access vitality, life force, power of nurturing, and self-healing wisdom. When you are truly practicing embodied leadership in this way, your clients will follow your lead. You might find that with this empowered influence may decrease the amount of clients you see who are resistant to change.
Use Your Intuition
We all have three brains: the conscious brain that operates on judgment and logical thinking; the mammalian brain that deals with social constructs, memories, and our feelings (and most of us don’t even realize it’s there); and a reptilian brain. Together the mammalian and reptilian brains make up our “emotional” brain, which in charge of survival instincts like fight-or-flight responses as well as sensory input from different parts of your body. When we are faced with an emergency situation or any other threat, this more primitive brain takes over until the threat resolves – during which time many people remain stuck emotionally and disempowered as their logic and reasoning skills are offline.
This is where intuition comes in. When you practice using your intuition, not only can you connect deeper within yourself, you can connect with your clients. When we stay connected to ourselves and others rather than operate primarily from autopilot or reactivity, this is when real change happens.
As embodied leaders, we recognize that nature lives within and outside us as an unparalleled primordial source from which we access vitality, life force, power of nurturing and self-healing wisdom.