Last week I was coaching a new client who was facing a personal leadership challenge. Promoted from a technical to management role, he was becoming increasingly frustrated. Not having yet learned the skills to make this easier, he found himself becoming more short-tempered. Not surprisingly, this took a physical toll as his blood pressure spiked.
Does this sound familiar? If so, you may need a re-charge to your leadership battery.
Isn’t it strange that we have entire set-ups to re-charge our technological devices nightly, at home and on the move. We face battery drains at our own peril; out of reach, out of touch, unable to complete tasks and communicate in real-time.
Apply the metaphor to your leadership battery. Are you learning the competencies to keep it from getting drained? Are you re-charging it daily?
Many of us were fortunate to have gotten a bit of a summer break, whether it was near or far. We believe that vacations are the re-charge for our batteries. While they are often effective at doing that, we simply cannot afford to wait that long.
Why is taking a vacation not enough?
The human body was designed to be at “homeostasis.” We have the ability regulate our physical, emotional and mental processes if we learn and practice.
When we are in our conscious, waking state, we activate the sympathetic nervous system. This helps us get things done. The problem comes when this is our ONLY state of being. We require the balancing of the parasympathetic nervous system; the part where we access our deeply relaxed state of brainwaves; alpha or perhaps even delta or theta. Access to this deeply relaxed brain-wave state allows us to experience creativity, synthetic thinking, intuition, visualizations, etc.
Activating the parasympathetic nervous system can be done daily through a breath practice.
Learning (and practicing) allows your mental, physical and emotional states to “re-charge.”
1. Make a commitment (preferably to someone who will hold you accountable)
2. Set aside time in your calendar to create a routine. Intend to turn this into a habit
3. Practice belly breathing, just a few minutes at first, gradually working up to longer periods.
4. Notice what you observe in your body, state of mind, emotions
5. Write it down in a journal or notebook; remark on patterns and what changes for you.
Remember to give as much care to re-charging yourself daily as you do to your electronic devices.