Throughout our lives, we’re often choosing between two extremes such as, are you going to go right or left, or do you want this or that?

However, I’d like to propose that it’s between the polarities – in the middle – where we can find the best results and pleasures in our lives and professions.

Incorporate different modes of thinking.

Systems thinking is a holistic approach that focuses on how system parts interrelate and the links that connect the whole of that defined system. According to systems thinking, behavior results from the effects of reinforcing and balancing processes within this system.

Furthermore, systems thinking uses your left and right brain processes. By tapping into both, you can integrate your learnings and honor different perspectives by analyzing the details and experiencing the depths and emotions of all involved.

The term ‘self-leadership’ emerged from Charles C. Manz, who defined it from an organizational standpoint as:

“a comprehensive self-influencing perspective that concerns leading oneself toward performance of naturally motivating tasks as well as managing oneself to do work that must be done but is not naturally motivating.”

When you’re self-led, you shine a light on your significance within a larger system. By knowing yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you can embrace what sets you apart and showcase your value on a team so you can all excel together. Your insight puts you in the power seat to make decisions that align with your career desires. Through genuine and effective leadership, you minimize placing false expectations on others to care for your best interests.

Owning your career feels good.

To shift into a self-led systems perspective, assess how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and how you want to act and what these assessments mean in terms of your environment, team, or organization. If you feel stuck in a vicious cycle of always doing or noticing that you’re being rewarded for what you dislike, try out these five Ps for career alignment.

Once you’re centered and in control, you can:

Connect with others in a more meaningful way.

When you’re in a healthy state of mind, you’ll automatically be more open and compassionate to engage with others and foster stronger relationships. As you build trust, you can reveal how you’re feeling, be vulnerable, and ask for help if needed. Everyone wants to be listened to and understood, so meet others where they are. Ask for input and work together to find new ways to collaborate for a win-win solution. Please remember that you must be secure in where you’re headed before involving others, as they can mirror back to you any uncertainty you’re feeling. Here are some additional things to be aware of when connecting with others during change.

Communicate more authentically.

Effective dialogue is a delicate dance between the messenger and receiver. Join discussions to listen and contribute. As you listen, notice nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, facial expression, and posture. Gauge whether the other person needs more time to articulate their thoughts before jumping in and sharing yours. As you speak, make eye contact, and match your tone of voice and intensity appropriately. If you’re someone who easily gets lost in thought, organize your thoughts around what is relevant for them to know based on the purpose of the conversation. You can also keep a note with the acronym W.A.I.T. (“Why Am I Talking”) to remind you to hold space in between thoughts. Check out this article to keep your communication approach in check.

An integrated approach to activating your best.

Self-leadership is all about getting to know yourself better and applying that knowledge to how you act, think, and feel. A great way to uncover your core motivation, hidden triggers, preferences, and expressed wants and needs is through the Enneagram, MBTI®, and FIRO® assessments. If you are interested in ways to improve your communication, manage your career, handle stress, and make effective decisions, reach out to me to learn more.

Share This