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Self-Leadership and Regulation: An Introduction to Centered Leadership

Leveraging Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been an important topic of conversation among leaders and teams over the past ten to fifteen years. We know from research the extensive benefits that stem from enhancing EI in the workplace. Now, in conjunction with EI enhancement, we’re seeing a new brand of leadership emerging; one that cultivates personal growth and insights, enhances productivity, and helps maintain a balanced flow of energy (& emotion) throughout the workday. An approach that focuses on enriching the connection we have with ourselves and with those around us. So, what is this new approach to leadership? It revolves around effectively managing the most complex component of human hardware, the Central Nervous System (CNS). We call it Centered Leadership™.

What does our CNS have to do with leadership? Our bodies continually provide us with data, offering cues about what we need, how we feel, and what to prepare for. Often, especially in the workplace, these cues go unnoticed. When the cues go unnoticed or disregarded for long enough, the body responds. It may respond physically (e.g., a small ache in the temple becomes a headache, then tension headache, then eventually a full-fledged migraine which takes us out of the game), emotionally (e.g., we’ve had several difficult conversations and by the third one, we’ve lost our ability to contain and we fly off the handle), or cognitively (e.g., we stare at our to do list and aren’t able to prioritize because we’re foggy or frozen.) These responses are often not just the body notifying us of stress (or distress). They’re often related to perpetual stress, which can leave us in a constant state of fight or flight and lead to an increased risk of health-related illnesses. It can also leave us short on focus, critical thinking skills, motivation, and emotional intelligence. 

So, at The Lumin Group (TLG), we believe that CNS awareness and regulation are foundational components of leadership, team building, and organizational success. The ability to manage one's nervous system means the ability to stay intentional, proactive, objective, strategic, and relational. And not only do we see the ability to understand and regulate energy and emotion throughout the day emerging as a silent force shaping leadership trajectories and organizational cultures, but ROI on leadership development initiatives, too. Why? Leaders across all levels invest significant time and energy exploring methods to enhance their leadership abilities and people skills. But without exploring the role the central nervous system plays in our abilities to learn, retrieve, and apply skills, we are often left repeating our old, perhaps less productive, patterns at work. (Just think of it like trying to learn chess while stuck in rush hour traffic.)

Our Centered Leadership™ programs focus on helping leaders at all levels create stable, healthy work cultures, engaged employees, and higher levels of trust and commitment. We reach those outcomes by helping participants harness the wisdom that brain and body science provides, quiet the mind, and discover energy management techniques that enhance physical, cognitive, and emotional wellbeing. Our programs also help bridge the gap between learning/knowing and actually doing and often lead to these outcomes:

  • Increased emotional awareness and regulation

  • Enhanced Emotional Intelligence

  • Lower burnout rates

  • Better employee retention

  • Fewer sick days across teams and the organization

  • Improvement in both physical and mental health and wellness

  • Lower risk for stress-related diseases (IBS, migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, chronic pain, etc.)

  • Improved engagement and trust across the organization 

  • Increased confidence in leaders and teams

  • Reduced/eliminated anxiety, fear, and phobias related to the workplace

  • Improved communication at all levels

“Burned-out, stressed-out, and frazzled leaders foster organizations that experience high turnover, low employee engagement, steep healthcare costs, and dysfunctional teams that often work against one another. The current models of leadership require organizations to motivate their people largely with fear and extrinsic rewards. Though no one argues that these forms of motivation can produce short-term results, they are usually accompanied by distrust and cynicism in the workplace, which have long-term negative consequences.” — Jim Dethmer, 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership


Drop your email below and we'll send you a free guide with some simple techniques for slowing down and centering yourself.


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