Leading Transformation From Within

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Original Date: November 17, 2016
An organization cannot evolve beyond the level of consciousness of its leaders. Outdated ways of thinking and leading are not up to the challenges of global and organizational change. They do not address the level of interdependence and complexity we currently face. To address these challenges, our consciousness needs to shift and we have to be open to managing change in an integral way addressing both inner and outer transformation.
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Transcript

McRae: Well, I’d like to welcome everyone here. Welcome to this webinar on Leading Transformation from Within. This is one of the series of webinars where we connect for about 30 minutes to bring to life the challenges many of our clients are facing and some suggestions about what to do about them. During this session, Michelle Hollingshead is our expert on mindfulness. She’s going to guide us through a discussion on organizational development inspired by the next level of human consciousness. Here she’s going to help us understand why an organization cannot evolve beyond a level of consciousness of its leaders, the stages of development in organizational consciousness, and what helps us to consistently operate at a higher stage. We’ll host a Q&A at the end of this session, but during and any time throughout sort of on your right-hand side there there’s a place where you can plug in questions. Go ahead and enter them any point. I will pick up the mic again at the end, and I will lead us through the Q&A session. Until then, I’ll hand it off to Michelle. Michelle?

Michelle H.: Thank you, McRae. Hi, everyone, and welcome. I’m Michelle Hollingshead, and I’m really excited to be here with you today to share my experience, as well as the research that I’ve been doing around personal and organizational transformation. An organization cannot evolve beyond the level of consciousness of its leaders, and most of us are experiencing major change in our world, and this is happening very rapidly. Just for a moment, just think about yourself arriving here right now and just the number of things that you’re responsible for in your world, whether it’s your career, your relationships, perhaps it’s caring for someone who is sick in your family or aging. It also could be technological advancement, just opportunities that are available to us consistently to be connected to one another.

I have the joy and privilege of working with people from organizations all over the world, and one of the things that is amazing is watching what they’re aspiring to and doing. The consistent theme I hear from people though when you get the chance to speak with them one-on-one kind of behind the scenes and they open up is that all of this experience of rapid change creates a sense of overwhelm, and I myself feel it a lot underneath the surface, even being very passionate about what I’m up to.

Outdated ways of thinking and leading do not address the level of interdependence and complexity we are currently facing. The way that we were taught growing up did not prepare us for these challenges. Our consciousness must shift, and so we need to be open to managing change in an integral way. What this means is that we address both inner and outer transformation consistently. As I share this information with you today, I invite you to think about: Are you yourself willing to go through the fundamental shift of mind and heart that you would want for your organization?

What I have noticed in working with all different levels and sizes of organizations in different parts of the world is that change efforts fall short when we don’t attend to personal and cultural change. In order to be successful and sustainable, we have to attend to those dimensions as well. This dilemma happens where we think, “Well, do I focus on the external, or do I focus on the internal?” In Axialent we have a model called three dimensions of success. In the “it” dimension, this is where we’re focusing on the results, on achieving our business objective, and it’s where we tend to focus our energy. The “we” dimension is the dimension of culture. It’s where we embody the best of organizational culture, we work together effectively, and the “I” dimension is where we welcome and cultivate each team member’s different talents and creative space where people can make a meaningful contribution.

Because of the way our brains function, we tend to, especially when we’re on overwhelm or we’re feeling challenged, we tend to want to pick one of these because that seems like an easy out, and so we’re in this false dilemma saying, “Well, I just need to focus all of my energies in one of the dimensions.” What we propose is that for exceptional sustainable results, we actually need to be focusing on each of the dimensions. The purpose of today is really to talk about the recent research and the work that’s happening in both the “I” and the “we” dimensions.

The internal and external causes us to look at this question as sort of the foundation for this work, and so if I’m starting in the dimension of self, I’m questioning, “Who am I?” When I think about the individual internal for myself, this is what’s my internal reality, what’s the language which I’m seeing the world, and am I engaging in a process of growth and development to challenge some of that? The individual external is still where we tend to focus from organizational development when we’re working with people. It’s cultivating skills and behaviors for peak performance. Then individuals in organizations make up the collective, so an organization is just a group of individuals working collectively toward a common goal, and so when we start to think about the collective, we ask, “Who are we as we work together? What are our collective beliefs, assumptions, purpose, and culture?” That’s what we would describe as the collective internal.

Our collective external would be, “Okay, so how do we get things done around here? How do we work together? What are our systems, processes, and practices?” I’m supposing that organizational change really goes beyond skills and structure. At the foundation, it’s about our identity and worldview. For the level of change that our challenges are requiring to be will, we have to be consistently on a journey of personal transformation, willing to transform ourselves.

I started my career in education, and I actually studied human development at that time as part of my master’s work, and what is really interesting is I’m going to be sharing some research with you that came out in the last 20 years. This wasn’t even available. This context wasn’t available when I did my master’s work. Up until about 20 years ago, we believed that we stopped developing in about our early 20s. This is really exciting that we’ve made this breakthrough and that we now understand, through the work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, they’re both out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, that we actually do continue to develop and grow throughout adulthood.

Just for some context, these are the three levels of adult development. There are levels prior that I’m just going to group as the egocentric self that we would begin with from birth up through adolescence, and just so you know, what the research is showing is that 15% of adults actually don’t make the transition into the socialized mind, which is the first stage of adult development. They consider to operate in the world as their egocentric self. If you think about leaders that you’ve probably worked with, a leader who shows up desiring to be very controlling, sort of embodying the my way or the highway attitude would be someone operating out of that egocentric stage, and employees operating out of that stage tend to go to either a victim or a rebel role. I just wanted to set that for some context.

Let’s think about how we learn and mature on this sort of journey. If you see here, we have an over time and the level of complexity actually requires that we have a higher level of thinking and development to approach those challenges. What we’ll typically do as we’re on a practice of development is we might make a jump, a breakthrough to a new level, and we’ll plateau for a while. It might even be that we have a little bit of a backslide, and then that’s the time for us to integrate and prepare for the next stage. This is how our learning journey happens. Just to tell you a little bit about the socialized mind, this really is I in my role. When I’m in the socialized mind, I’m defined by the outside in, and so I’m looking at others to tell me what to do. I get my value by being socially acceptable, and so leaders at this stage are kind of operating as a benevolent parent and they can be humane in their interactions, but they probably are lacking the capacity to broadly share power. They still govern and lead a lot by maintaining power.

The self-authoring mind, the research by Bob and Lisa shows that about 25% of adults complete this level of development. What this means is I begin to find my own path, which requires risking some failure, it requires contradicting some of the norms in society potentially, and my actions start to become an expression of my inner purpose and my values. It also means I begin to let go of my value and worth being tied to my role or what I do. The shift that we see for leadership at this stage is leaders begin to share power. They realize that they need other people and they don’t feel threatened by that.

The last stage is self-transforming, and the research right now is showing that about 1% of adults are at this stage, and 14% are in transition. This is a complicated leap because from here I move from the belief that I’m whole and complete coordinating with other people who are whole and complete to acknowledging, “You know what? I’m not whole and complete. I have a lot of different aspects of myself, and there’s parts of myself I ignored or developed, and how do I hold all of those?” Leaders at this level become very community oriented and values tend to focus on sustainability and long-term common good.

I shared this with you so you have an understanding of your own path through development as an adult, and so I hope as you’re thinking about this you begin to think about, “Where am I?” What’s interesting about development is once we have evolved to a stage of development, we can operate from that stage, but we might fall back into a previous stage depending on the level of challenge or if we’re feeling overwhelmed.

Now, we’d like to share with you recent research in organizational development, so how we’re working collectively. This is actually from a book, Reinventing Organizations by Frederick Laloux, and he has used colors to code different evolutionary breakthroughs in how we work collectively, how we collaborate. Red represents constant exercise, a power by the chief to keep everybody in line, and so it’s highly reactive, it’s short-term focused, and the guiding metaphor would be like a wolf pack. The key breakthrough in this level of collaboration is a division of labor and command and authority, and some examples of this could be street gangs, organized crime.

Amber is the next evolution of human collaboration. Amber is described as highly formal roles with a hierarchical pyramid, top-down command and control. Future is a repetition of the past, and so the guiding metaphor for this is the army, and the breakthroughs here we have formal roles, there’s stable and scalable hierarchies, and we have replicable processes. Some examples of this are our military and most government organizations, including public school systems, are still operating collectively at an amber level.

The next evolution is labeled orange. Here, and actually from my perspective believe a lot of the organizations I work with are at this level and maybe merging into the next level that I’ll share with you, but the goal here is to beat the competition and to achieve profit and growth. We manage by objectives, and so you’ll see here there’s still command and control over what we’re going to do, but give our people the freedom to figure out how. The metaphor is a machine. Some of the breakthroughs here, the key breakthroughs are innovation and accountability, and so some examples of this would be investment banks and charter schools.

This is the shift that I’m most excited to be a part of, and this evolution is green. I really think conscious capitalism, the conscious capitalism movement, conscious business are examples of movements that are happening around this level. The focus here is on culture and empowerment to boost employee motivation, and stakeholders replace shareholders as primary purpose. The metaphor is the family, and some of the key breakthroughs are empowerment, like let’s empower our people, and we have a stakeholder model that focus on partners, customers, shareholders, employees. We’re valuing what everybody brings, and businesses that are known for idealistic practices are examples of green organizations. Businesses you probably recognize such as Starbucks, Zappos, Ben and Jerry’s.

The next and final evolution I’ll share from the work of Laloux is teal. Teal is described as self-management replaces hierarchical pyramids. These organizations are seen as living entities oriented towards realizing their potential. The metaphor is the living organism, and the key breakthroughs are self-management, wholeness, this is bringing all of yourself to work, and evolutionary purpose. An example of a company you might know would be Patagonia. That was founded in 1957. That’s an example of a teal organization.

I share this with you because each stage is we are required to have a new worldview to operate in that stage, as you can see here with the key breakthroughs. The system itself cannot organize beyond the medial level of consciousness of its people and its leaders. I want you to consider this idea. Now that you have a foundation of adult development, evolution of organizational development, there is nothing inherently better about being at a higher level of development, just as an adolescent is not better than a toddler. However, the fact remains that an adolescent is able to do more because he or she can think in more sophisticated ways than a toddler. Any level of development is okay. The question is whether that level of development is a good fit for the task at hand.

I want you to consider this: What is our task at hand? We talked at the beginning that we’re facing what has been called the VUCA environment: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity. Things are moving more and more rapidly. Things that we used to be able to make sense we’re not able to make sense of, and these are some of the things that characterize a VUCA environment. Today’s challenge, our leadership challenge is one of conscious evolution. How do we ourselves as leaders facing this challenge remain awake at the wheel? If consciousness is in the driver’s seat, how do we keep ourselves awake? As a leader is doing the work and transformed into a higher version of himself or herself, then the system and culture of the organization can transform into a higher version of the old system or culture. The evolution of both is interdependent. An organization cannot go to a higher state of consciousness than the leader, and until the system organizes at a new level of order, it actually can hinder the development of individuals in the system.

As we know, and I’ll just speak from my own experience, transformation of my own personal journey, takes many years to unfold, and a lot of times we have some sort of challenging what I call a disorienting life event that will challenge us, challenge our core beliefs, and challenge us to look at things differently. Mine happened actually when I lost my brother unexpectedly 10 days after 9/11. That I would say thrust me into a totally different place of looking at my world and asking questions I had never considered before. That’s one way that actually we can get thrust into the beginnings of a different developmental stage.

The other way is to practice, and what the research has shown is that practices are what can help us to shift from one stage to the other. Without practices, shifts from stage to stage do not happen. What allows us to operate consistently at a higher stage are the practices we’re willing to engage in. I want you to think about yourself like your own learning laboratory. All of us are different, and studies are great. Research is improving daily, and our current design of studies is better than studies of the past. And you are the expert of yourself. The best results will come from what you’re willing to experiment and try out on yourself. You’re your own learning laboratory, and as I share the practices with you based on research, I want you to think about which ones would you be interested, curious to test out.

The key to practice is consistency over time. I’m going to just give you a quick overview here of three practices I’m going to be talking about and the research and my experience with these. Some developmental practices for the self, the three I’ll be sharing with you are mindfulness, 4D, four-dimensional self-mastery, and dialogue. How did I get interested in this? In 2008, if you remember what was happening, many of us were impacted by the downturn in the US economy. My husband and myself were some of those people. In fact, for part of that year, we were both without work. It was a very challenging year, and this is when I got interested in yoga and meditation, primarily because I was dealing with so much uncertainty and ambiguity and just the anxiety I felt around that and how I noticed it impacting myself and my relationships. I started to look for tools for things to support in this period.

What happened is when you’re in this overwhelmed and stressed state, our brains literally shut down and we revert back to our primitive reactive brain centers, and so we’re kind of in this consistent state of fight or flight. Our level of functioning actually when we’re on such a high state of overwhelm can actually be consistent with someone who is intoxicated. A lot of times what happens to people is they just start to shut down, to cope. We go into a state of dissonance, and so the great news is that research strongly suggests that meditation if you were to try nothing else as your capstone or keystone habit, will accelerate your development through the stages that I introduced to you, stages three to five of adult development.

We can through meditation actually train our minds and change our brains so that we can more effectively deal with a challenge. This is the whole foundation of a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is really just that you probably heard this word a lot. I have been tracking mindful leadership I think for about five years on my Google alerts now, and it’s been amazing to me just to watch the rise in mindfulness and how it’s come to the mainstream. Mindfulness as the definition is intentionally being present and attentive. If I’m going to go for a mindful walk, just as an example, I would be engaged in the present moment, looking at the trees, looking at the flowers, noticing cars, noticing who I’m with rather than being in my mind thinking about my to-do list or other things, like my grocery list. There are over 10,000 research papers to date on mindfulness and its application, from business to all sorts of healing work.

Here are some of the things that mindfulness is not. It is not tied to any certain religion. It’s not new age. It is not just emptying your mind, and it’s not achieving relaxation. Really the goal of a consistent meditation practice is to develop mindfulness so that we can be more present and connected with our self and connected with what’s happening in our environment. Neuroplasticity is the process that we train our minds and change our brains, and what happens is that we’re constantly cultivating qualities and states of mind. This is either happening through mindless habit or it can happen through intentional discipline. What they’ve found is that through repeated practice, we can actually reshape and rewire our brains. Certain tendencies and our capacities grow stronger and more natural.

Research has shown that in just two weeks of disciplined mindfulness practice, there’s measurable changes in the number of connections between neurons and thickness portions of the brain related to increased self-awareness, greater self-mastery, and higher mental processing. The reality is that this potential is only realized if we are willing to have the discipline to engage in the inner work.

Victor Frankl, he is an Austrian neurologist and psychologist who endured over three years in concentration camps. He wrote Man’s Search for Meaning. This is a famous quote that says, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” This for me is what a consistent meditation practice has done. Begin to cultivate that space within myself to not be as reactive, to be able to create that pause and remember that I’m at choice in responding to what is happening in my external world. That was our first practice. The first practice is mindfulness, which can be cultivated through a meditation practice.

The next practice I would like to share with you I’m calling four-dimensional self-master. Human potential includes these four dimensions: bodily, rational, emotional, and spiritual capability. As we move throughout our development in our life, we are consistently focusing on these different areas and bringing them into balance and then going out of balance. When we’re in our egocentric stage when we’re young, we’re really in our bodily intelligence. That’s our primary focus. The body is our physical energy. As we move into adolescence, our emotional intelligence begins to emerge, and I would call this the heart dimension. It’s our emotional well-being. We also have our mind, which is our mental focus, and our soul, which is our spiritual meaning, and what happens in our growth is we begin to move away from our bodily and emotional intelligence as we move into the social lifestyles, and we begin to rely much more on our rational capacities and less on our gut and heart. Part of this journey of developing and moving into higher stages requires that we get back in touch with our bodily and emotional intelligence.

Spiritual intelligence, or the soul, the spiritual meaning, really is just being on a journey focusing on transforming these dimensions. It’s literally being in the practice of transformation. I’m going to share with you four current research in each dimension. It’s going to be somewhat light an assessment. It’s just going to give you an opportunity to sort of rate yourself and see how much attention you’re giving to that dimension. I would love for you to grab a piece of paper if you have one close by and a pen. I’ll give you a second to grab that.

Okay. Our first one you’re going to rate yourself on a scale of one to five, and so, for example, these are areas that you would be practices for the physical body in creating physical energy. For the first one if I look, I regularly sleep seven to eight hours and wake up feeling rested. What am I going to rate myself? A scale one being low, five being the highest. You can go ahead and just give yourself a rating and note that down. I eat minimal sugar and processed foods. I exercise regularly. I rarely get sick. Then our last one for the most part, my physical body is the same or better than it was 10 years ago. Then you can just give yourself a total score for your body. As you’re doing this, you’re just hopefully starting to notice, “Well, hmm, what am I doing well, and maybe where are areas of opportunity for me to pay more attention?”

Let’s move onto mind, which is the area of mental focus. We’re going to use our same scale of one to five. I spent time each day resisting distractions and focused on one thing. I keep a master to-do list, look at regularly, and each day choose the most important thing to accomplish. I have an email strategy. I regularly take breaks to relax my focus and let my mind wander. My physical space, desk, home, garage, etc., is clear and uncluttered. I’ll give you just a second to tally your score there.

Then let’s look at the dimension of heart, our emotional well-being. The majority of my life is spent in a mood of peace and ambition. I know that I, not events, control my mood. I have a deep sense of gratitude and regularly make lists of all I am thankful for, mental or written. I express appreciation regularly to the people around me, and I know what to do to feel relaxed and joyful, and regularly make time for those things. All right, so go ahead and tally up your score there.

Then we’ll look at our last one, soul which embodies spiritual meaning. I have a deep sense of meaning in my life. I have access to and feel guided by my intuition. I have given considerable thought to what I want in my life, and my life is a reflection of that. I know who I am at my best and make it a practice to live my values every day. My career is a reflection of what I do best and what I most enjoy. I’ll give you just a second to tally those up. Hopefully, like I said, you begin to notice some areas where you’re really doing well and some areas of opportunity. If you want to total up your four scores from each dimension for a final score, we have a scale here that just can point to 85-100 really you’re doing excellent. 75-85 you’re probably feeling like you’re surviving and not thriving. 65-75 we’re kind of getting into the danger zone, and 65 or less is an emergency. Encouraging you if you’re below there to really look at some areas that are probably you’re noticing need deeper attention.

We talked about mindfulness. We’ve talked about four-dimensional self-master, and the third practice I’d like to share with you is dialogue. Individual transformation, as I’ve been saying all along, is essential for organizational transformation. It’s not enough. We still have to find ways that we can work together. I’m on my transformational journey. You’re on your transformational journey. A way that we can do that is dialogue. It’s a way that we come into higher-order relationships and discover higher-order systems. In a dialogue practice, some of the pieces of a dialogue practice are suspending judgment, listening deeply to another person, and balancing advocacy and inquiry. These are skills that we teach in Axialent called authentic communication.

Ways these can be practiced. They’re practiced in one-on-one coaching, cheer coaching, mentoring, group conversation. What makes it a place of dialogue is practicing the non-judgment, listening deeply, balancing advocacy and inquiry. In this space people share truth and listen to the experience of others, and the deeper we go into these conversations, the more assumptions and beliefs that we are willing to look at as part of our collective reality and potentially re-examine those. Because individual and collective transformation is interdependent, dialogue is a tool for both personal and collective transformation. That will lead us into our collective practices.

In summary, I’ve shared for the development of the self the practice of mindfulness, four-dimensional self-mastery, and dialogue. The practices I’m going to share with you here, these are some developmental practices for the collective. They’re from the book I mentioned earlier by Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey, who’s actually on our advisory board of Axialent, called An Everyone Culture. This book was released in March 2016, so it’s really recent. What the research has shown around high-performing teams is that three conditions need to be in place: psychological safety, leader vulnerability, and then turn taking. Actually, what you’ll see with some of these practices turn taking is just practices where all voices get heard, so it’s practice of inclusion and valuing and making sure that we create space so that people speak up.

I’m just going to share a couple of those. I want you to think about them in these two categories: regularly schedule and in the flow of work. I’m not going to talk to each of these, but here are some examples of developmental practices that are regularly scheduled. Here are some that happen in the flow of work. I’m going to talk about this one I found fascinating called talking partners. Talking partners is practiced at a company Next Jump. It’s sort of a tech meets culture, and they’re creating a lot of tech to help support a culture transformation. They have a practice where everyone in the organization has a partner, and they meet for five to 10 minutes each day to do what they call an unloading exercise where they just kind of vent and clear out whatever toxic [inaudible 00:36:20] could be getting in the way. That is part of the way that they work together. An example, so they would have a scheduled time with their partner to do that, and so that’s what we mean by regularly scheduled.

In the flow of work, these are happening throughout our day, and so I’ll give an example of one that we teach at Axialent. It’s actually a mindfulness practice. It’s called the check in, and it’s a way each time we come together, maybe even informally or formally to meet that we just take a pause and really think about myself in that moment. How am I feeling? What’s my intention for this interaction? It’s an opportunity to get to bring my whole self. Maybe something happened that morning on my way to work, and instead of just jumping into the meeting it’s really important. I actually had this happen in a development program where I was teaching the check in that the person shared, but they’d been in a car accident that morning, and because of the check in practice that was actually revealed to us, and we knew that that was happening, versus many times things like this that have happened to people and we jump right in. We have no awareness of what’s going on or could be keeping people from being fully present, and we’re wondering, “Why are they distracted?” or, “What’s happening?”

Those are a couple of examples. If you have any interest in talking about more of those, that would have to be another webinar, which I would actually love to do because it’s quite fascinating the work of practices, collective practice. I would like to leave you with this final thought that your choice has the power to transform. Choice follows awareness. I invite you to think about what is your current development goal. Do you have one? If you don’t, to consider identifying one and making a commitment to yourself. Albert Einstein famously said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it,” and this is our task. Our task is to evolve our individual and collective levels of consciousness so that we can rise to the challenges of our organizations and society. Thank you.

McRae: That was great. Thank you, Michelle. Man, that Victor Frankl quote. Every time I see it and hear it, it’s really powerful. Powerful. Then closing us up with Einstein, way to go. Along the journey I’ve had some questions coming in here that I’m going to start rattling off to you here. Anybody who is listening, please feel free. There’s a question area there that you can find and punch in your questions. I’m going to ask one here that just had popped up earlier in the beginning. I guess the question, you had talked about this a little bit but it was around, is everyone ready for this type of journey?

Michelle H.: That’s a great question, McRae. My personal philosophy is meeting people where they are. I would say in my experience that typically if you can find a way to meet someone where they are, then they might be ready to start the journey. A dialogue is a great way of that happening. I will say a lot of times I’m brought in to do coaching engagements, and initially it might appear, the assumption is someone is not ready to take the journey, but then through this process of dialogue conversation awareness starts to generate and openness starts to happen and there is more willingness. I also have been in situations where someone is not ready or desiring to take the journey, and this isn’t about forcing or pushing or shaming or coercing. This is really, first, I believe I’m getting yourself on a journey, and then inviting other people into that process as well.

McRae: Great. Thank you. Another one that’s popped up here: How does one measure success? I assume they probably mean either individually or as a group.

Michelle H.: Yeah. That is a great question as well. What I was sharing toward the end there that I’m really excited about in that everyone culture, if this is something that intrigues you, this idea of practices, there’s actually a new assessment out specifically around practices. It’s awesome because it would give you a baseline for here’s how we’re doing now with our practices, and then you could do that same assessment maybe at least I’d say a minimum of a year later and be able to really identify and track your progress. For individuals, I would say you need to, it’s a little more nebulous. The research they can show you by scans of the brain the gray matter and the connections, so you can actually see that. Obviously, it would be very expensive for someone to go and pay for that, so a lot of times that’s where that learning laboratory metaphor comes in when you’re developing yourself. Let’s speak to the body dimension, though.

If I’m in a regular practice of caring for my body, I would be able to see a result and experience a result over time, but the collective is where we’re actually, have a great assessment to measure that.

McRae: Wow. They’re really starting to be able to measure just about anything these days, yeah?

Michelle H.: Yes. That assessment is called DDO, a deliberately developmental organization is that culture assessment, so thanks, McRae.

McRae: I have one here. This is asking about the when you brought up the Victor Frankl about creating space. Do you have any tools or techniques, you had shown a list there, ways to create space?

Michelle H.: The most simple one that’s always with you is your breath. I use it a lot myself. When something unexpected happens or maybe I feel extreme challenge and I can notice that I am triggered, and so a couple of things that I will do is actually just ground my feet down, so I kind of center myself. You can just even feel an immediate difference in your body, and then taking a four-count inhale. No one can see you doing this. A four-count exhale, and so just taking a couple of deep breaths to re-center yourself.

McRae: Yeah. I even see the new, I think the new Apple iOS system now comes with some kind of breath monitor, or I think the Apple Watch or something. It reminds you to take those kind of breaths, so that’s really becoming a best practice, period. No matter where you are.

Michelle H.: Yes. Actually you saying that, McRae, reminds me of a tool called the Mwave that is about $200 where you can actually see your state of coherence with your regular breath pattern. Over time, you can cultivate being in a higher state of peace using your breath. If you’re someone who likes to see the science behind it, I do recommend the Mwave as a tool for that.

McRae: The Mwave. Nice. Great. Okay. I got another one here. How do I start something like this at my company?

Michelle H.: That is a great question. I would say first it’s finding a sponsor or a champion who themselves have probably has some level of interest or experience with some of these practices and would be willing to do a pilot of a program with a group of individuals, and, like you said, track the results. The four dimensions of self-mastery that I shared, that’s actually a two-day program that we have recently developed and are sharing within organizations focusing more on the dimension of the self. I think it’s incredibly important from a business case to use the model where we show how it’s integral and it’s interconnected. That would be my recommendation for how to get that conversation. You definitely need a champion or sponsor who is open and has experienced the benefits of some of this themselves and is willing to pilot a program.

McRae: Great. Okay. That’s all the questions we have here, so thank you, Michelle. That was really an enjoyable presentation. I didn’t tell you this, but in the questions area there were a lot of people who had said thank you and nice job and that they learned a lot, but I only ask the questions as a way to engage with you. Then everybody on the line, thank you for joining. We’ll have another webinar coming up in December in around innovation and also the connection between healthy culture and sustainability, so looking forward to connecting with you. Have a wonderful day.

Michelle H.: Bye everyone. Take care

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