What it really takes to be a Conscious Leader

I’m often asked “What is Conscious Leadership”? How do I know if I’m a conscious leader or not, so I thought I’d shed a little light on the topic.

The difference between these two styles of Leaders:

  1. Conscious Leader – A leader that is making decisions and is fully aware of how their decision or behavior is potentially going to impact others.
  2. Unconscious Leader – A leader that makes decisions completely unaware of how their decision or behavior is going to impact others.

I’m sure we’ve all worked with leaders and team members that lacked self awareness – If I’m honest sometimes I am quite jealous of people who are blissfully unaware…for a minute or two, then the reality hits home, that it’s actually not as great as it appears.
But it can be incredibly frustrating working with a team member or leader who lacks self awareness. I came across this diagram – I can’t take credit for it, but it’s a perfect example of how when you have people in leadership roles or in a team with various levels of self awareness how challenging work can become.

Let’s start with those that are not self aware (the bottom right hand quadrant). When a leader and employee both lack self awareness, chances are it’s the blind leading the blind. They’re operating in a pretty reactive state, nothing is really being achieved, there is probably a culture of blame, victim mentality and well it’s not at all engaging. It’s chaotic.

Now, lets move to the employee being self aware and working with an unaware or unconscious leader (top right hand corner) – Hello frustration. Did you know that frustration with a direct leader is one of the biggest causes of employees resigning from their roles? It can be quite hard to try and have an impact when you’re working with someone who is unaware of how their behaviour and deiciosn are impacting the team.

However, when a leader has self awareness and an employee does not (bottom left quadrant) – there is an OPPORTUNITY for the leader to develop the employee. To mentor, coach, stretch them to think differently, ask questions, and start to unlock that self awareness within. This can be via feedback, coaching, a DISC Profile or opportunity to be exposed to new projects to challenge what they currently don’t know they don’t know.

Where the magic happens is when you have a self aware leader and self aware employee. Hello potential. With self awareness comes someone who truly knows themselves. They’re honest and upfront about where the excel, what they need help with. You can cut through the BS, have more honest conversations about what is best for the business and each other, build greater rapport as there is no confusion about the part they are each going to play in achieving success.

Pretty simple hey?

Self awareness – definitely one of the most valuable asset leaders and employees can have. Do you agree?