How to improve leadership development using whole-body intelligence

An intuitive and holistic approach to leadership development, based on whole-body intelligence, can be remarkably effective in bringing about sustainable change

An intuitive and holistic approach to leadership development, based on whole-body intelligence, can be remarkably effective in bringing about sustainable change for executive and leadership teams which need to operate at peak performance, writes Craig Donaldson

There are a raft of leadership development programs on the market for organisations, which vary in both their approach and effectiveness. Most such programs are fairly cerebral in their approach and rely on traditional tools and processes such as psychometric assessment, 360-degree feedback surveys and IQ/EQ tests (or variations/combinations thereof) to help participants understand themselves, how they impact others and strengths/areas for improvement.

One of the more uniquely effective leadership development programs currently available has been developed by Australian-Dutch company PresenceAtWork, a leadership development consultancy which specialises in collective leadership and applies systems principles to help inspire leadership teams to collaborate and innovate together more effectively.

PresenceAtWork does this through using an intuitive and holistic body-centred leadership assessment called the Leader Being Strength Indicator (LBSI), which taps into the intelligence of the whole body (heart, head and solar plexus – not just the brain) to assess nine areas that are considered important for leadership teams, as well as the challenges that they may need to work to overcome.

“Not only is this process faster than most paper-based assessments, it is also more accurate as the body cannot lie “

In developing the LBSI methodology, PresenceAtWork has researched current disciplines in neuroscience, together with philosophies that are both old and new, Eastern and Western. Medical and neuroscience research has found that there are powerful neural networks that form intelligence centres in the chest and abdomen areas as well as in the brain, and the LBSI methodology is able to measure this whole-body intelligence for a more holistic and accurate reading of an individual.

The body-based approach of an LBSI assessment works with posture and focus of attention, and participants are guided through a process – one-on-one with a facilitator – in which they experience for themselves how they are noticeably stronger (yet relaxed) in some postures than others. This process directly tests the strength of nine power centres in the body (which are linked to nine different areas of leadership) in a more intuitive manner.

Not only is this process faster than most paper-based assessments, it is also more accurate as the body cannot lie and PresenceAtWork’s facilitators can quickly and easily assess a participant’s preferred leadership style(s) and how they can be leveraged to maximise overall team performance.

While individual assessments are valuable for increased self-awareness, personal insight and leadership development, the methodology is particularly effective when practising executive and leadership teams can come together, to gain valuable insights into each other’s strengths, characteristics and contributions.

“It is uniquely and remarkably effective in effecting profound and sustainable change for executive and leadership teams which need to operate at peak performance”

For the team as a whole, LBSI also provides a common language to share insights and experiences, builds understanding and appreciation and provides a team lens and structure that is much more effective in enhancing collaboration. LBSI also harnesses some of the key ideas of systems thinking to achieve results, and for a leadership team, the process can help create better visibility into systems, with new insights into team dynamics and how to improve leadership development and increase personal and team effectiveness.

With thousands of participants globally and clients including BOC, IBM, Marriott Hotels, The University of Sydney and Schneider Electric, PresenceAtWork runs a range of programs for individuals, teams and organisations, including a collective leadership development series which incorporates a 3-retreat schedule. This series covers leading from one’s authentic self (focusing on foundational skills in self-awareness and leadership impact), followed by leading from your collective whole (focusing on self-discovery in relationships and co-creation with others) and ‘leading from the emerging future’ (which deepens the awareness of the collective field and unfolding future).

For executives and leadership teams which are in a dysfunctional state, the process can be uniquely helpful and bring about real and sustainable performance improvements (though there must be a willingness on their part to be flexible and work together). This is where the LBSI methodology excels for organisations, as it is uniquely and remarkably effective in bringing about profound and sustainable change for executive and leadership teams which need to operate at peak performance.

For more information on LBSI PresentAtWork has a whitepaper available for download. More information is also available online at www.presenceatwork.com.au or by calling 02 8231 6665 or emailing info@presenceatwork.com.au. Image source: iStock