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Way of Being Framework

A transformative approach to leadership development

At the heart of Ian’s approach to growing leaders is the idea of Way of Being. This concept and the somatic neuroscience behind it can powerfully transform your approach to leadership.

What is Way of Being?

A persons way of being is the combination of their overall mood and the possibilities they see at any point in time. Way of Being shifts and changes throughout a persons day and week. As Alan Sieler, the author who developed this framework describes it; " Our Way of Being silently and invisibly informs us how to observe and engage with the world".

A person's Way of Being is made up of three dynamic, interrelating elements; Language (the little voice in your head), Mood/Emotion (how you are feeling) and Body (the shape your body takes to express your way of being).

Let’s take a look at an example. Imagine a person approaching the place where they work on a Monday morning. They are feeling anxious because there has been a lot of sudden meetings of the senior leaders over the past week and this person has a feeling that something is about to happen. As they walk along the street, the little voice in their head is saying "you know you are probably on the list of people they are going to get rid of. You know you haven’t been really been getting on top of things lately." Their gut starts to tighten up, their jaw hardening and now their shoulders feel heavy like they are slumping under a weight.
"Our Way of Being silently and invisibly informs us how to observe and engage ith the world." - Alan Sieler

Why does Way of Being matter?

The key thing with this idea of Way of Being is that all three components (language, mood, body) are in constant interaction to create a person's Way of Being. This Way of Being is the filter by which an individual interprets their experience of the world. In the example shared above, you can understand how Way of Being is limiting the range of possibilities a person can see. In this mood of anxiety, Way of Being can lead a person to act defensively to protect themselves against this threatening world. There is no chance of creativity or innovation and there is a strong chance that energy spent in this Way of Being will also reduce the person's productivity.

Let’s ramp it up further. Let’s say this person is in a leadership role. Perhaps they lead a division of an organisation going through significant change or perhaps they lead a smaller startup of a team of six. What do you think the impact of their Way of Being that Monday morning will be on their team?

Chances are high that, unless they know how to observe their own Way of Being and adapt it, they will spread their own mood throughout the team during the day. Sometimes in the first five minutes. Have you ever noticed how difficult other people are when you are in a bad mood?

The centre of influence of leader starts with their Way of Being. The model is a great starting point for leaders to become better at observing themselves and to be able to consciously and actively manager themselves and their impact on others.

Acknowledgment: The idea of Way of Being was developed by Alan Sieler of the Newfield Institute http://www.newfieldinstitute.com.au/

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Please leave your details below so I can get back to you to answer your questions and arrange a time to connect. Thanks, Ian.

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