Self leadership is the modern version of Socrates command to “Know thyself”. Self leadership is Neo taking the red pill and exercising choice rather than being controlled by the matrix.
Self leadership as having a developed sense of who you are, what you can do, where you are going coupled with the ability to influence your communication, emotions and behaviour on the way to getting there (Bryant, Kazan 2012). Another definitions is, “the process by which you influence yourself to achieve your objectives.”
Self Leadership Competencies
Self leadership equates to the leadership competencies of Self Observation and Self Management but most importantly Self-leadership impacts all aspect of your life, your health, your career and your relationships.
For Self leadership to occur we have met our survival needs of food and shelter and begin to look for meaning in our lives. The first skill of self leadership is to STOP and STEP BACK from the things that trigger us to react; because when we react we are being controlled by the trigger. The second skill is to consider our INTENTION. Intention is what is important to us, our values and what we are trying to achieve. By being intentional we can start to live a life of choice.
Intention precedes any behaviour (action). Actions have effects which we evaluate via feedback. A difference between the expected outcome (intention) and the feedback causes us to feel emotions. The meanings we make of these emotions can reinforce, reduce or distort our intentions.
To make sense of this in your own life, consider something you are trying to achieve right now such as getting healthy, increasing your wealth or developing a relationship.
Start with translating your intentions into appropriate actions.
– What is it you want to achieve?
– What actions do you need to take to achieve this?
Once action has been taken it is necessary to be receptive to the feedback that the world will give in response to your action/s. The quality of the feedback is essential – the sooner you receive it, the sooner you can make adjustments. Beware your conditioned filters that might cause you to interpret feedback as criticism or to be selective about what you take notice of.
– What are the results of your actions?
– Is this feedback accurate?
– Am I filtering the feedback?
The feedback we receive causes us sensations/emotions from which we make meaning.
– What am I feeling?
– What does this mean?
– What else could this mean?
By asking these self coaching questions you pave the way for a rapid feedback loop that will enable you to make the adjustments required in your communication/behaviour to achieve your outcome. If problems arise start first by checking your intention, then your behaviour, then the feedback and finally your emotions.