Leadership Insights by Linda Allen-Hardisty
How do you prepare for an opportunity that requires your best self?
Athletes use ritual, a tried and true practice.
As a professional coach, I also have a regular practice to ensure I am the best coach possible for the leaders I work with: Daily dog walks.
- Presence: Dogs totally live in the now. When I am walking my dogs, they keep me in the now and present in the moment. Research shows that being able to focus on our thoughts without judgement and allow ourselves to be open to these thoughts and feelings can help remove tensions about the situation we're processing to the point that we can perceive it in a different way. In my case, clear my mind of other situations so that I can be present for the leader I am about to coach. The dogs actually hold time for me to just think and prepare me to hold space for the leaders I coach.
- Energy: Dogs can’t communicate verbally so they need me to pay attention in other ways like being observant of their energy. Dog behavioral experts say that dogs can sense our energy. I see how this also translates to human-to-human interactions. I routinely ask myself, What energy am I observing in the leader I am coaching? What are they not saying? What energy could I be emitting to the leader I am coaching? Notice. It isn’t about fixing it. Just notice.
Coaching really is an inside job. It meets you where you are at; therefore, being present in the moment is absolutely critical for both the leader being coached and the coach.
Walking dogs is my daily meditation where I can cultivate presence and strengthen my 'pay attention' muscle.
The Winnie the Pooh cartoon says it best:
“What day is it today?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favourite day.” said Pooh.
Linda Allen-Hardisty is an optimistic senior leader who integrates people and perspectives to create progressive relationships that responsibly provide regrowth and optimism for future generations. Learn more about Linda here.
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