Welcome to Week 47 of the Authenticity@Work Leadership Tool-kit! My intention for this series is to share a quick tool each week to help you lead with more authenticity, adaptability and inspiration so we can together create workplaces where we bring the best of ourselves and inspire others. So grab a journal and an accountability partner to make these practices even more powerful for you!
In last week’s post we talked about the courage to face a difficult emotion. Did you recognize times when you suppress your emotions?
A big part of authenticity is the practice of dancing with the dream. It’s about taking purposeful action toward what we’ve determined is the right course of action. In a rapidly changing environment, leaders today need to make decisions without having all the facts.
The practice of courage is simply to learn how to breathe through the experience you’re having without avoiding it or resisting it. In the practice of courage, our bodies are among our biggest allies. When our bodies are strong and our chest space is open, our body language conveys that courage and determination to others.
STEPS TO PRACTICE COURAGE
- Intention—This stage is critical. You’ve decided and committed to a course of action. Set your intention to be courageous. What’s more important to you than your fear? Who will you be? What allies will you call upon? What posture will you hold to keep you in that place of courage and authenticity?
- Preparation—If you have the time to prepare for your act of courage, visualize yourself having the difficult conversation, while relaxed in your body. If uncomfortable feelings come up in the visualization, feel them fully, breathing through and overcoming them. Practice visualizing returning to calm. Apart from visualization, we can also practice with a role-play with a trusted friend or colleague.
- Action—The next step is to use your “just do it” muscles. This is the most important step, because without this, there is no learning.
- Adaptation—We plan to adapt to what happens in the moment. We know that being human, there will be times that we will want to fold, times when courage will leave us. We learn how to keep coming back to our posture. We know that each second more that we stay with our discomfort and breathe through it, we become stronger. The key here is to stay. It is to be aware of what’s happening with the other person and in our environment.
- Learning—We capture what we learned. We celebrate taking action regardless of the outcome. We go back to step 1 and repeat the cycle.
This Week’s Tool:
Find your courage ally. Is there a person who reminds you of great courage? What would that person do?