Conscious Leadership

with Diana Chapman

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Commit to practice

Diana Chapman

Master Trainer, Conscious Leader, Co-founder, Author

Lessons Learned

Shifting your perspective takes time and practice, just like training your physical body.

Spending time in drama costs companies.

Conscious leadership affects your bottom-line, engagement, and recruitment.


Lesson: Conscious Leadership with Diana Chapman

Step #8 Proficiency: Commit to practice

I would say that the reason why I got to the place I am is because I practiced more than almost anybody I knew. I went to school with lots of other people, and we all got it together, but there were a few of us who went away and changed our lives by practicing daily. Literally, I got two other women. I was living in Michigan. Another one was in Vermont. Another was in L.A, and we all recognized each other as wanting to practice. So we were so committed. We all moved to Santa Cruz, California within a couple of blocks from each other to practice together.

We probably spent seven years practicing almost daily in one area or another, and I got so good at it now that I can teach other people from my own experience. And from having now supported so many thousands of people over the last decade and shifting, that I know what works and what doesn't work, what practices really seem to stick and which ones don't.

It really has everything to do with how willing you are to want to be more self-aware. To the extent that you're genuinely willing and you've got your whole being willing, then you'll incorporate these practices. It just starts to happen, just like the body will start to change form over time. It doesn't happen right away. One of the things we say is, "Don't give yourself a grade for about a year," just like you wouldn't want to give yourself a grade about your body physically changing for some time.

But you'll start to notice. What people get individually — the pay-off — is there's a deeper sense of calm, peace, freedom inside of themselves, more loving acceptance of themselves, more empathy and compassion for others, a closeness to others, more aligned with who am I and what are the gifts I have to give, and the confidence that I can go create a life in which I can give them, and be paid well to take care of myself and whomever else I'm taking care of.

Also, there's more creativity in the thinking mind. So there's more innovation there, more ability to stay focused, more of a choice of which behavior do I want to do at any moment. So do I really want to eat that candy bar, or is that actually not really going to bring my energy to a place I want it to be? I'm just going to pay attention to how things affect me and affect others.

Then, as a team, one of my favorite things to see is to watch teams get more, I would generally say, like heartfully connected to one another. So that when I come to work, it's like, "Oh, you guys are my family too." There's such a different feeling to walk in that door with just some co-workers that these are people I care about, who care about me. If there's something in the way of our relationship, we'll take responsibility to clean it up, and I can trust that they would do that as much as I would. It gives you a really different experience of co-creating together that I love watching that transform on a team.

If I know a little bit about your personality and where you might get stuck and why. The Enneagram system is really helpful for that, for those who don't know Enneagram. But if I know you're a Type 8, and I know that you can get scared when you feel like you don't have control and you can get a little bit tough, I can go, "Oh, she's just getting scared." I don't have to get defensive or think I have done something wrong. That changes the way we interact so that we don't spend so much time in drama. All that time in drama costs companies. It costs you and your ability to be effective in what you're doing.

So we tell companies, "This is going to affect your bottom line in several different ways. One is you eliminate drama, you're going to get more engagement. You're going to get more innovation. You're going to get people actually who are healthier." To be living below the line, you actually have to hold your breath just a little bit, and oxygen is this big source of our well-being. So if I'm not having full access to my oxygen, I'm likely going to have some disease. We know that many, many diseases are related to a lack of oxygen.

Health care costs go down when people are living above the line. Certainly, in my life, I am so much healthier. I used to be a pretty sick person, got the flu two or three times a year. I just rarely ever get sick anymore. Health care cost . . . really being engaged both physically, and mentally, and emotionally into the job, less drama of us having to spend time nay-nay-naying about things. Also, because we have a culture that people enjoy so much, we attract much better talent. We're spending less money on costs for getting good talent in.

Asana is one of the companies that I'm working with right now. They're a really cool company anyway, but people are really excited about, "Oh, Conscious Leadership Group is a big part of the culture here." That's interesting to know that, "Wow, some of the bigger companies might give me some benefits, but you guys are really living and practicing this stuff. I'm likely going to have a more enjoyable day-to-day experience, and that might be worth more to me than some of those extra goodies I get from a larger company." Especially for a startup, I think that can be a big game-changer and being able to demonstrate that we're practicing this stuff. So you're going to have a different experience here.

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