Lead the Way: How to Lead with Greater Compassion and Well-Being

4 min read
As a leader you carry greater responsibility to face important issues and to make good decisions about those issues; all while taking care of and managing others.

Whether you are a leader in your organization, a leader in your community, or a leader in your family, now more than ever you must build and work on skills that will increase your capacity to weather the storm. With any storm there is typically worry and fear. As a leader how do you face your fears and worries and put others that you lead at ease? How do you become the calm?

It starts with self-care; working on yourself first so you can care for and manage others with clarity and compassion.

Over the past year and a half, we have faced a variety of storms with so much unknown, uncertainty and confusion. For majority of the population, both the workplace and the family dynamic have been disrupted. Regardless of who you are, the effects of the COVID pandemic along with other recent events ignited fear or anxiousness in every individual in some way. Now is a perfect time to reflect on how you handled these things as a leader, parent or coach.
How well do you personally handle fear and worry as a leader? Fear can be contagious and so very damaging for groups, organizations and communities. Giving into fear can lead to poor decision-making. Fear and worry ignite a stress reaction in the body. This will typically put an individual into that fight or flight response. When you were in this stressed state, it is the worst time to make important decisions. Keep this in mind if you are finding yourself leading with anger, frustration, and impatience more often than calm.
 2“You can dance in a hurricane, but only if you are standing in the eye.” -Brandi Carlile

Fear is contagious, but so is calm. Think of fear as a hurricane. The exterior of it causes damage, flooding, destroys lives. But think about what happens in the eye of the storm. We know that is where the calm is. There is a moment of peace before the storm begins to hit again.  With all this fear and worry around you, how do you become the eye of the storm? As a leader how do you lead with calm?

Practice Self-Regulation and Self Acceptance

A good leader is one who can manage both the inner and outer game. It must start with self-regulation. Being aware of your own feelings and emotions and learning to better control and manage those. Mindfulness, daily reflection, and meditation are some of the best ways to do this. This should become a part of your daily self-care. Without self-acceptance, how will you lead others to greater improvement and growth?
Self-acceptance is the awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses, the realistic (yet subjective) appraisal of one's talents, capabilities and general worth. You must increase your capacity to accept discomfort and to accept yourself. You have likely experienced a great deal of recent change and there will be a need for even greater change moving forward. As a leader, you need more kindness and calmness. That must start with you first treating yourself with more calmness and kindness. With compassion, for yourself especially, you are able to better face your fears and worries. When you are able to be truthful with yourself and face your emotions, you begin to learn to let go.

Great leaders need great mentors and a network of support.

leadership (1)Those in leadership roles need support and mentorship too. If you are responsible for leading or parenting, recognize that you need to have someone to turn to and lean on. A great leader acknowledges the need for growth and knows when to admit when they are wrong or cannot go at it alone. Seeking support or help should not be viewed as a sign of weakness. Instead, it is an opportunity to learn from mistakes, grow and become a stronger, steadier leader.
Who inspires or teaches you to be a better leader? If this is currently lacking in your life, consider hiring a counselor, business coach or health coach to keep you focused on your own success and well-being. With a core focus on personal well-being, you will grow and thrive as a leader. You naturally become more of a role model and mentor to those around you without having to demand it.

You can grow and learn from challenging times by working on sharpening these emotional skills. With this work, you will discover that navigating through difficult situations is a much smoother sail. If you grow and change with self-acceptance, compassion and mindfulness, you will begin to naturally lead with these important characteristics as well.

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