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:



Much love, from Singapore.


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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.