Happy New Year!

With only two business days under your belt, how’s it going so far?

Many of you know that at the core of what motivates and drives Mary Anne and I to do what we do is the desire (passion) to increase self-awareness and self-observation in the workplace. In leadership and sales, these are vital skills that accelerate success yet every employee and hence, the organization as a whole, benefit from learning these skills. Self-aware and self-observant individuals bring a level of intentionality to what they do and how they impact others. Workplaces change drastically when these two skills are embedded into the culture, encouraged, and rewarded by leadership.

One of the first ways to increase self-awareness and self-observation is to teach the practice of 3-Centered Awareness. Each of us has 3 centers of intelligence – the head, heart and body. The head is logical; develops strategies, goals and plans; thinks through alternatives, options; and engages in comparing, making judgments and assumptions, obsesses over little(and sometimes, big) things, and is very active. The heart holds our emotions and feelings; it informs our thinking yet often overwhelms us or is not accessed because it is just “too much”. The body is the center of instincts and sensations. The body is the vehicle through which we move and operate in the world and it is sending us information all the time yet too often we don’t listen to the body (our gut instincts), rather we let our head and/or heart rule. The goal is to access and be in alignment with all 3 Centers.

Whether it’s a daily practice of checking in with all three centers or a more intentional practice when making a decision or planning an interaction with a co-worker or client, the practice is as follows:

  1. Check in with your head: What are you thinking about? Where is your attention right now and what thoughts are active in your mind? Are your thoughts about the past (what you could/should have done?) or about the future (what you need, want, have to do?) Notice the presence of worry, judgments, assumptions, or comparisons. These can get you into trouble!
  2. Check in with your heart: What’s going on in your heart? What feelings or emotions are active or are you not wanting to let in? How are these feelings/emotions impacting you right now?
  3. Check in with your body? What is going on in your body? Is your body tense, achy, energized, tired, etc.? See if you can scan your body and tune into what’s going on. Check in with your gut. Take a few minutes to listen to what, in this moment, is going on for you.

Now let’s try to practice as you consider your goals for 2014.

  1. Head: What are your thoughts about 2014? What goals/plans do you have for 2014? What assumptions/judgments are you making about 2014? What thoughts will support you in 2014?
  2. Heart: How do you feel about 2014? Is it going to be a good year or are you feeling unsettled and anxious about it? What feelings/emotions will support you in 2014?
  3. Body: What does your gut tell you about 2014? What specific actions will support you in 2014? How will you “know” (gut instinct) that you are on track and achieving what you want to accomplish in 2014?

We encourage you to try this practice as you kick off 2014. Don’t just do it once, but incorporate it into your day, every day. A quick check in with your 3 Centers is one way to stay healthy from the inside out!