Conscious Leadership – Building Collaboration The Facilitative Way

For years, I studied and practiced group facilitation. What really turned me on to group facilitation was being able to give people a voice in the process of change. Over the years, I got to experience how important this step was for building commitment and leading successful change.

You are hearing it today, in the public arena of politics, during an election. The politicians emphasize the fact they are getting out and listening to the people. Being conscious and aware of the needs of their people to be happy, healthy and productive. Finding out what things are most important to them. This is the kind of leadership I am referring to.

I know how people feel when they are given an opportunity to think and share their valuable ideas. They love it! To feel heard! This is the kind of leadership we need in our organizations. A leader who will spend time with their people, building connection and trust-based relationships, actively listening to employees, understanding and showing compassion for their concerns.

I call this Conscious Leadership.

It’s the recognition that meeting your people’s needs is what is going to make their organization thrive and survive. This starts by building a collaborative organization with facilitative leadership.

Here are the eight elements are required to build a collaborative organization:

  1. Leadership: Visionary, empathetic leadership, managers facilitate, encourage innovation;
  2. Skills: Managing group conflict, balancing work and leisure, with a partnership style;
  3. Values: Vision, accountability, risking collaboration, seeing parts of the whole, generativity;
  4. Communication: up, down, and sideways, information shared freely with everyone;
  5. The worker: creative self-actualizing, self-starting worker takes ownership and responsibility;
  6. Mission: quality of impact by the organization on society and communities;
  7. Preoccupation: enabling evolution of the organization, getting all the parts working together to increase creative solutions;
  8. Structure: lattice organization, cross-functional teams and projects, great structural flexibility.

The values I’m specifically speaking about are C.A.R.E ing values of: Compassion, Authenticity, Relationship Building, Empathy.

Tell me, what do people feel and do, when you show them how much you care about them?  They care about you, and maximizing your profits.

When you use your profits to take of the planet, this is what I call:

Conscious, sustainable, leadership that is good for the planet.

We are living in a time when good leadership is critical, because the planet and our way of life need it. But we can’t impact the planet until we start by making the right decisions, and doing the right things, for the right reasons.

This can take a mindset shift in values for many leaders, and encouraging what I like to call “Enlightened Self-Interest”. Leaders are attracted to transforming their workplace culture because they believe it will positively impact their bottom line.  However, after doing the work, and bringing the organization together, creating a sense of “good for all”, they begin to see the positive impacts it is having throughout the organization.

People are more engaged, their demeanour is more positive, and morale is higher. All these elements increase the life force energy, productivity, and employee retention in the work environment.  Which have a very uplifting impact on business results.

Programs we offer to develop Conscious Leadership include:

  1. For Leaders: making the time to listen to all stakeholders, not just the shareholders.
  2. For VP of HR: giving people a voice in the process of change by mapping and measuring workplace culture.

It all begins by shifting your mental attitude to:

 

Being the best for the world,

not just the best in the world.

 

Much love from Ottawa, Canada

Joanna

Be sure to visit our Free Resource Center to get access to free e-books, worksheets and other valuable leadership development resources.

Our Signature Keynote – Awakening the Heart of Leadership Potential

To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

To learn how well aligned you are with your workplace culture and what is impact performance, contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.

Learning to Fly and Soar with Conscious Courage

For the past 16 years I’ve learned how to fly and soar with courage, thanks to my spirit teacher H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Last Tuesday was a day of celebration, where we thank our gurus and the lineage of gurus, for being on the path of spiritual wisdom.

This is both a personal and professional path of self-development, because I don’t think you can separate the two. One affects the other.

We all have these special people in our lives who make a difference. Whose guidance and impact have changed the course of our lives for the better. Our mothers and fathers, big brothers and sisters, teachers, coaches, colleagues and managers.  Each have left an indelible mark on our lives.

Last Tuesday the senior teachers in the Art of Living Foundation were asked to go on stage and share how our spiritual teacher has positively impacted their lives. We were asked to keep the sharing short and to the point.

I wanted to present my story, but as I had a volunteer job that needed attending to, I didn’t present mine. However,  I would like to briefly share with you now how the past 16 years in the Art of Living have transformed my life.

It came to me as I was driving home from the Montreal Ashram, passing many beautiful homes built along the Ottawa River.  It reminded me of the home my husband and I built along the Gatineau River in 2004.  Having a home and paying off the mortgage, like many people do, we were growing roots which gave our family stability.  And yet in 2014, we sold our home and moved to Asia, uprooting the family stability. Everyone in our family and community of friends thought we were crazy. All, except our daughter, for whom we had made the decision to move to Singapore.

How could we make such a huge change in our lives?  This isn’t normal behaviour. There aren’t many people who would leave the comfort of home for an adventure of this  kind, and move to the other side of the planet, without a job or sustainable income to rely upon.

Art of Living International Center, Montreal, Quebec

Simply put, I had learned to fly and soar with conscious courage.

The courage to believe with confidence that I had the capabilities required to make a difference.

The courage to not let fears get in the way of living our dreams.

The courage to trust that the universe would provide the support necessary, in return for hard work, one pointed focus, and giving our 100%.

Art of Living International Center, Montreal, Quebec

Where did this conscious courage come from and how was it formed?

From the Art of Living Happiness Program and teachings of H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.  I have him to thank for 5 years of wonderful memories; living in Singapore, travelling throughout Asia, being with my daughter, and seeing her young family grow up. My heart is filled to bursting with love and gratitude at the wonder of this achievement in the later years of our lives.

The Art of Living Programs deliver more than mindfulness. They awaken the heart, connecting us to the core of our beings, our true potential, and what truly matters in our lives.

For corporations, there is the TLEX Program, (Transformational Leadership for Excellence).  Awakening the corporate soul and building connection and trust.

For schools, there is the YES Programs (for Youth Empowerment Seminar), and many more programs delivered by the International Association of Human Values (IAHV).

Thank you Guruji, for your enlightened wisdom. I continue to feel immense love and gratitude for a life that is filled with new adventures every day.

Jai Guru Dev (Victory to Higher Consciousness).

 

Much love from Ottawa, Canada.

Joanna

Be sure to visit our Free Resource Center to get access to free e-books, worksheets and other valuable leadership development resources.

Our Signature Keynote – Awakening the Heart of Leadership Potential

To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

To learn how well aligned you are with your workplace culture and what is impact performance, contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.

Coming Home – Listening to Our Inner Voice

It’s time to return home to Ottawa, Canada. My inner voice has been calling me home for over a year now. There are family concerns, work related opportunities, but most of all, my intuition is telling me it’s time. I know it’s a calling from my soul and something I cannot, and should not ignore. The same happened to me last summer when I decided it was time to get certified as an Equine Facilitator and develop a program working with horses in conscious leadership development.

Listening to our soul is the same as listening to our inner voice. The voice of our authentic selves. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the courage it takes to do this. We are so used to listening to the voice in our head which tell us:
– “The time is not right.”
– “You’re not good enough, smart enough, rich enough, or strong enough.”
– “You don’t have the right credentials.”
– “Who do you think you are?”
– “If you don’t do it right the first time, you don’t have any business doing it at all!”

If we listen to this voice of self-deprecating doubt, how can we ever reach for and achieve our dreams? Where do these voices come from? And why do we let them make the most important decision in our lives?

Our authentic inner voice comes from a place a strength. A place of goodness that wants the best for us. Sadly, what happens from an early age, is we hear these voices from those around us who have a huge influence in our lives. Instead of listening to ourselves, we let others define who we are and what we are capable of.

The same happens in organizations. Every person in your organization has a voice. What are they trying to tell you? What would they be saying if you gave them a voice? What are their hopes and dreams for the company and what it could achieve if you listened to them?

One of the reasons I love being a professional group facilitator, and focus on cultural transformation with the Cultural Transformation Tools from the Barrett Values Centre, is they give people a voice in the process of change. It is in the process of dialogue on the results from the assessments, when inner transformation happens. And inner transformation precedes outer transformation.

The assessments are very simple and yet very profound. Simple because they ask only 3 questions. Profound, because the answers identify the corporate soul. In reviewing and reflecting on the results the group makes meaning of the assessment by giving voice and developing a common understanding for the values they selected. Those things which are most important to them.

The most powerful and impactful benefit of sharing values, people build a deep sense of connection and trust. Why? Because our values are the language of the heart, and the heart does not lie. Trust, loyalty, respect, where do you experience these in your body? Your head or your heart?
How are you giving voice to your inner self to achieve the dreams you have in life? How are you giving voice to your people in a way that could help you evolve and realize the full potential of your organization? Self-leadership gives us the power to make good choices for ourselves, because a happy inner life leads to a healthy mind and body.

The same is true for organizations. As leaders, we need to stop and actively listen to our people. They are the corporate life force, the human spirit filled with positivity that has wisdom which can give the best guidance in times of change.

Yes, it can be scary, not knowing what the future will bring. The same was true 5 years ago when we left home and ventured to the other side of the world. We had no idea what would be in store for us. How would our message be received? Would we find work?

In not listening to the voice of self-doubt, my husband and I have had the adventure of a life-time. We’ve met the most incredible people, and yes, leaving is bitter-sweet. But we know, it’s important to listen to the calling of our souls. Now, it’s time to come home.

Good bye Singapore with love. And thank you for all the wonderful memories.

Joanna

 

Be sure to visit our Free Resource Center to get access to free e-books, worksheets and other valuable leadership development resources.

Our Signature Keynote – Awakening the Heart of Leadership Potential

To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

To learn how well aligned you are with your workplace culture and what is impact performance, contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.

Tuning Into Leadership: How to Become a Conscious Leader by Listening

At this moment in time, I believe the greatest challenge we have as human beings in the 21st century is learning how to collaborate effectively.  What got us here today is not going to get us there tomorrow. So how do we need to change in order to innovate and solve our greatest challenges?

 

If it’s true, and psychologists say it is, the power speech is only 7% of the communication process. To become consciously effective at leading collaborative organizations, we need to learn how to tune into each other by developing our non-verbal communication skills, the other 93%.

 

Collaboration takes social intelligence. It’s made up of our IQ X our EQ.  What this means is … if you’re an intelligent leader, as most of you are, but your EQ is not something you’ve consciously developed, in all probability, your collaboration skills are not going to be the best role model for others to follow. Am I right?

 

Developing collaborative power involves socially aware leadership.  Being able to tune into another person using our empathy, compassion, and intuition.  Taking the time to perceive what is going on with the people you’re working with.

 

We’ve all have bad days. You get up on the wrong side of the bed, have an argument with your spouse, and leave the house in a rotten mood.  We’re all human, and yes, we do have bad days. You walk into work, and being human, it’s not possible to park these negative emotions at the front door. You have to bring them into work with you. Now, that morning you have an important meeting to attend that is going to discuss and make some critical decisions for the company. My question is, how great would it be if the person leading that meeting first did a check-in process to find out where everyone was at? Asking people how they are feeling?

 

This is leadership that is tuning into and listening to the non-verbal information in the room. It would give you a chance to share your mental and emotional state of not being at your very best. At this point, it’s up to the leader to decide if it’s wise to proceed, or wait until a better time without shame, blame, power plays, or sarcasm.

 

This is an example of social intelligence in action. Tuning in and listening to the unspoken cues in the room.  It’s taking the time to pause and follow you intuition. Facial cues and body language all tell us something if we are paying attention.  It also means you’re focusing on building relationships with your people so you know when someone is having a bad day.

 

Sometimes taking a pause and checking in can help transform negative emotions into a positive state of mind because you took the time to show you care about them.  It gives people an opportunity to check-in with themselves as well, and develops self-awareness of their feelings and those of others.  It creates the human connection that is vital for successful collaboration.

 

When you show people you care, they will care what you know.

 

If you would like to develop your social intelligence and that of your team, come and participate in our next weekend retreat May 31 – June 2. Learning with horses how to develop your Conscious Leadership, the Path to Awareness and Well-Being

 

Here’s what one psychologist had to say about her experience on our most recent retreat:

https://youtu.be/8902PyMVOaM

 

Much love, from Singapore.

Joanna

Be sure to visit our Free Resource Center to get access to free e-books, worksheets and other valuable leadership development resources.

Our Signature Keynote – Awakening the Heart of Leadership Potential

To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

To learn how well aligned you are with your workplace culture and what is impact performance, contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.

Knowledge is Empowerment

I’m currently in the process of my own personal transformation. It’s definitely an uncomfortable place to be, because of the feelings of uncertainty in my life. As I sit and reflect on all the emotions I’m feeling, being able to identify why I’m feeling this way, and what I need to make myself feel better, I can sense my confidence returning, and I’m able to make decisions with greater certitude.

When was the last time you felt uncertain about a decision you were making? How much time did you take to reflect on the emotions you were feeling and the beliefs about yourself or the situation you were in?

Authentic empowerment is knowing who you are, your preferred communication style, and way of processing information. This is a critical step on the journey to developing greater self-awareness and making better decisions in your life.

How comfortable are you with your ‘power’?

What beliefs do you have about your sense of being ‘powerful’?

What is one thing you would do differently if you felt ‘empowered’?

 

Horse is the archetype for ‘POWER’. Working with horses on the ground, safely and effectively helps individuals become aware of and own their ‘power’. I think we can all do better at being responsible for our mental, physical, and emotional selves.

What self-beliefs do you have that limit or promote you sense of ‘power’?

Most of us are unaware of our beliefs. They operate beneath the surface of our awareness, much like our personal values.

Working with horses on the ground, they help us to see and feel our beliefs in action because they mirror our internal landscape.  Being animals of prey for thousands of years makes horses ultra-sensitive and tuned into their surroundings.   They can sense our internal feelings better and with greater awareness than we can!

How would you like to become aware of your beliefs and what they are doing to support you in achieving your full potential as a manager, mother, husband, sister, child, or friend?

The simple fact is people who make responsible choices for themselves are healthier and happier. People who feel empowered live in peace and harmony with themselves and others.

Working with horses on the ground is a reflective experience mirroring our personal and interpersonal relationships.  The interactive exercises develop communication skills, promote teambuilding, and contribute to being responsible for ourselves.

At the heart of what we do is give permission for people to fully feel and express their feelings. Giving voice to emotions and thoughts that are attached to feelings.

Our next human evolution is interconnection. We need to develop skills in cooperation and collaboration for healthy interdependence.  It all begins with self-awareness. Knowledge is empowerment.

 

As within, so without.

 

Developing our ability to make conscious choices in service of our hearts.

Developing our ability to choose behaviours and change feelings with conscious awareness is authentic empowerment.

 

Allowing. Listening. And trusting the process.

 

Much love, from Singapore.

Joanna

Be sure to visit our Free Resource Center to get access to free e-books, worksheets and other valuable leadership development resources.

Our Signature Keynote – Awakening the Heart of Leadership Potential

To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

To learn how well aligned you are with your workplace culture and what is impact performance, contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.

Conscious Leadership – The Path to Awareness and Wellbeing with Horses

The decision to become an Equine Facilitator and learn how
to develop conscious leadership through co-facilitating with
horses was born out of my passion for horses which began as a
teenager in Northern Ireland. During the two years I spent in the
United Kingdom, I learnt stable management, veterinary skills
and became a certified British Horse Society Riding Instructor.
However, as a young adult I could not see a future for myself,
servicing someone else’s luxury and earning just £50 a week
after room and board was deducted. I returned to Ottawa,
Canada, went to university, and left the horse world behind.
My soul cries every time I remember this life-changing decision.
Clearly there is a message here!
Fast-forward to two years ago. A colleague in the field of
organisational development introduced me to Equine Facilitated
Wellness and Learning (EFL). From this moment onwards, my
inner world transformed. I had found the coaching modality
I wanted to use in my leadership development practice.
WHY IS THE HORSE/HUMAN CONNECTION SO
POWERFUL?
It has been said that a person can achieve more personal
transformation working with a horse in two days than they
can achieve in months of talking therapy. Having now led
several EFL workshops, and been witness to several participant
experiences, I can readily support this statement.
In working with horses as co-facilitators, I have discovered
another level of impact that I refer to as ‘magical’, (the
description of an emotional experience which is very difficult to
put into words), which happens using the invitational approach
to working with horses. When we see, feel and think about
horses as sentient beings, when we ask instead of tell, and
facilitate instead of command, the result is a deep sense of inner
connection, a healthy positive life-affirming attitude, and greater
self-responsibility.
Canadian leadership consultant and global speaker on Conscious
Leadership Joanna Barclay describes a new coaching modality,
co-facilitating with horses. Known as Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL),
this technique can help create a workplace culture of human connection.

HOW DOES ALL THIS HAPPEN?
Horses connect to humans through the energetic field of our
hearts.
Working with horses is a journey into heart energy. A horse’s
heart is five times the size of the human heart and creates an
energy field that is pure, vulnerable and authentic. Horses are
a medium to our self-awareness. They see past all our baggage
and help us to connect with who we really are, our authentic
selves. When we a have clear vision of ourselves, the world takes
on a whole new perspective. We make better decisions, which
has a positive impact on the world around us.
When we work with horses using an invitational approach, one
of the things they respond to most effectively is our level of
congruence and authenticity in how we show up. If we aren’t in
sync with ourselves or others around us, the horse demonstrates
this lack of coherence by not responding to a simple request
such as walking together.
Working with a horse on the ground may be the first time in our
lives we have experienced inner balance and heart coherence.
Barbara K. Rector’s research on heart-rate variability shows
that equine-facilitated learning increases heart rate variability,
immune system functioning and improved self-esteem in all
age groups. This inner balance and heart coherence is literally
a heart-felt experience. It is a pathway to connecting to a place
where we experience pure happiness, joy, connection, and
peace.
Experiencing these feelings by being with horses allows us to
bring the same experiences into our lives at work and into our
relationships. Thereafter, when we aren’t living in alignment with
what is most important to us we know the difference because we
have had the feeling of connection and wellbeing ‘with horse’.
Equine Facilitated Learning fosters these qualities by bringing
leaders on an inner journey to explore the conscious leader in
themselves, connecting to their inner self, others and nature.
It builds skills in compassionate and aware leadership EFL,
mindfulness, and coaching on values, through the lynchpins of
self-expression, connection and contribution.
During the groundwork with horses, participants often
experience the fears which are blocking and holding them
back from realising their full potential. Horses show us what
is possible through heart connection, love, and trust. With the
help of the horses, participants self-discover how to move past
their fears to a place which offers them greater possibility and
self-responsibility.
Horses are perfect for this, being role models of servant
leadership. They are both vulnerable and powerful, loving
and strong, controlled and free. All it takes is our conscious
invitation to be mindful, fully in the present moment with them,
and experience the relationship ‘with horse’.

Participant Quote
“The point about horses helping leaders to be
more authentic and real is ‘spot on’ and we see
great potential for integrating this practice into
leadership development. As the world is getting
more dependent on technology, I observe that
we humans need to reconnect with and learn
from nature and rediscover who we are. Trying
to exercise more dominance and control over
our environment (both in and outside of work)
is taking us humans in the wrong direction and
rarely works. My husband worked with horses
with his management team and observed that
those members of the team who displayed
dominating and controlling characteristics really
struggled with building rapport with horses and
couldn’t get them to cooperate. In my limited
interactions with horses I sensed this energy but
did not realise there was science to it. I guess
this is a great point for those who like facts and
figures.”
OLGA GRYGIER-SIDDONS
CEO, PWC, CENTRAL EUROPE

 

(Posted in Association for coaching, January 2019.)

Much love, from Singapore.

Joanna

Be sure to visit our Free Resource Center to get access to free e-books, worksheets and other valuable leadership development resources.

Our Signature Keynote – Awakening the Heart of Leadership Potential

To find out what your personal values are that empower you to higher performance and productivity, take a Free Personal Values Assessment.

To learn how well aligned you are with your workplace culture and what is impact performance, contact us for an Individual Values Assessment

To learn how to map, measure and manage the culture of your team or organization with our Culture Value Assessment for Teams and Organizations.

Joanna Barclay, Global Speaker, Published Author, and Thought-Leader on Cultural Transformation. 

With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.