In this episode you’ll learn a powerful model that will help you master your mindset and better lead your team. Learn the 3 key steps to use the model with others as well as the best environment to incorporate the model. So, get out of your head, into your heart and let’s talk about the conscious leadership model.
Hey, it’s Julie and welcome to the Corporate Yogi podcast. I’m curious, have you ever worked with someone who was really difficult, and always thought they were right, always thought their ideas were superior, and was never ever wrong or made a mistake, no matter how wrong they actually were. Do you know someone like this? For most of us, we’ve run into these people at some point at work, or maybe you’ve come across them in your personal life, either way, they can be really frustrating. Let’s be honest, admitting that you are wrong, or made a mistake is never really fun, and I know this is something I’ve struggled with too, BUT it is a muscle that can be built and over time, with a lot of practice it does get easier, trust me, and it stings a lot less. I think what is really helpful is diving in to admit you’re wrong right away, before the concrete sets, so to speak. And rather than putting your energy into finding loopholes to prove that you are right, in some way, just surrender and admit you’re wrong, immediately. I had a client share a story recently of how he dug in when a bunch of friends called him on some factoid he said that was clearly wrong. He confessed to me that he spent 4 hours online doing research and trying to dig around and find a loophole to prove that he was right. He wanted to save face, but deep down inside he knew he was wrong. One thing I have to cop to is combing through email to prove that in fact I actually DID send something. I’m always really intentionally about my communication and when someone says, Oh I didn’t know that or Oh I didn’t get that email. My Stickler Saboteur takes over my brain and says, OH yes you did and I can prove it. Then I would proceed to waste copious amounts of time to comb through my email, find the original email I sent them and re-send it to them to prove that I was right. Yuk. I have to confess to doing that, a lot. Not so much any more – because I don’t have colleagues – but yeah that was definitely something petty I would do. It felt like my entire integrity was being held in question over whether or not I did actually send the email, and that would activate my Saboteurs into overdrive.
What about you? Do you have an instance where you felt the need to defend and uphold your rightness? Have you ever gone on an email witch hunt trying to track down a rogue email and uphold your integrity? Well, the theme of this episode is about being attached to being right…. And how that’s not necessarily a good thing.
So, here’s a look at what you’re going to learn today.
So, get out of your head, into your heart and let’s dive right in, shall we?
So a few years ago I read the book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, written by the folks at the Conscious Leadership group, and I loved that book.I highly recommend it, especially if you are a people manager. It was brilliant and I did truly align with everything they teach. And one of my favourite parts of the book was learning about the Conscious Leadership Model, and being above the line or below the line. Learning about this model and using it with my clients was a total gamechanger for me and I keep a printed version of it close to my computer whenever I’m on a client call. There are many different models I use – the Zones of Genius, the Conscious Competence learning model, Grow model, circle of influence, but this one, the conscious leadership model is hands down my favourite – for a couple reasons. First, it’s simple, and even if you’re talking to someone and don’t have the tools to visually share it with them, bc let’s face it, not all teachable moments conveniently come when a white board and markers are handy. But I also love it bc it’s highly impactful and doesn’t leave anyone any wiggle room to argue with the model. So let me explain what I mean about the simplicity, and I will walk you through it right now. First you start with a horizontal line, so take a second to visualize that, it runs left to right. Then there are only two other components in the model. You can be above the line, or below the line. That’s it – 3 simple elements in the model. The line, operating above the line and operating below the line. OK, here’s where it starts to get good, when you are operating above the line, you are committed to growth and learning, which is good, right? This is when we’re being our best selves. We’re open minded, we’re thriving in our growth mindset. We’re learning and growing. And when you’re operating below the line we are committed to being right. Yes, committed to being right. We’re stuck in our opinion, our perspective, doing things our way. We are not being our best selves, we are not in a growth mindset. So those are the 3 different aspects of the models, the line, being above the line and being below the line. And the thing is, you can never be in both places at once, you can only ever be above the line OR below the line. And this is exactly why I love the model, because there isn’t really any grey area for people when they look at it. And of all the different tools I use, I would say this model really elicits the most honesty, and the most silent reflection, you know the kind of silent reflection where people are considering what you just said and they’re processing the information, either slowly processing it, or furiously resisting it and trying to find a loophole. But to this day, no one has found a loophole out of this model, which is why I love it so much. In fact most people say, oh that’s really good, I’m going to keep that by my desk. It’s basically irrefutable. If you want to have a better visual of the Conscious leadership model I did post a visual of it on my Instagram, you can check it out there @thecorporateyogi
Ok now that you fully understand this model. How do you use it. Well, I’d suggest using it in two different ways. On yourself and on others. First, burn it into your brain. There isn’t really a need to carry around the model, because there really isn’t anything to memorize. You just basically have the line, above the line is where you’re committed to growth and then below the line where you’re commitment to being right. I do have the model on the brain and whenever I find myself feeling resistance to a certain situation, idea or person. I simply ask myself, am I above the line or below the line right now? It instantly gives me the answer I need and helps me administer my own tough love medicine.
The other way to use the model is to introduce it to others and use it as a tool with a team member, peer, colleague or anyone in your personal life. I use it all the time, and generally find that people really respond to it. I use it with clients all the time, and here’s a couple steps that might help you use it with great success. 1 – ask permission. Hey can we take a second to look at the conscious leadership model, I think it would be really helpful here in finding a perspective. And never, in more than 10 years of coaching has anyone said NO when I ask permission for people to explore something. It is a biased situation though, bc people come to me when they are ready to learn. So asking permission is really important as a starting point. Then the second step to do is to walk them through it, explain above the line means we’re in a mental state of being committed to growth and below the line we’re in the mental state of being right and rigidly attached. Then the third step is to ASK THEM where they think they are right now. This is an important step, bc sometimes we may feel the urge to want to TELL them they’re below the line, but that sort of violates the nature and essence of the entire model, bc then that is us slipping into our pattern of being right. So with this last step, this is a great opportunity to use the lens of curiosity, and be a little playful and a lot open-mined. I’m really curious, where do you think you are right now in this model. Now I’d say in 95% of cases people will own that they are operating below the line. Sometimes people have a bit of resistance and try to say they’re actually being in both, which actually isn’t how this model was designed. You’re typically meant to be in one or the other. But if you do find them having a hard time owning “being right” then you can use the 2% truth tool. This is simply done by saying, What is the 2% truth that you are committed to being right here in this situation. By downgrading the ownership here, it can be helpful for people to own a smaller percentage. What we really want to avoid though is us telling them that they are below the line, bc that will just agitate their Saboteur.
So remember the steps, ask permission, explain it, then be curious and let them plot themselves as above or below
OK now that you understand how to use it, WHEN do we use it? The most common example for me is when people are in an unconscious state and they are being rigidly attached to their idea, their perspective or their way of doing things. Also when they don’t want to accept that they made a mistake, that is a really good time to use the model. Then another common use is when they’re in a really strong narrative and recounting a story with other people of how this other person was wrong, so wrong and it was there job to point how just how wrong this other person was. This is the most ironic situation of all, but the truest, when we are most angered by someone else being wrong, we’re usually really attached to being right, and these are the situations where the model comes in the most.
So those are the most common examples of when I use the model and like I said earlier, most clients just love it and they get it right away, bc it is really simple and straightforward.
And one other tip you may want to use is to introduce the model before you actually need it. And this can be part of your relationship design you do with your team, or it could be a workshop you introduce or even as simple as part of your weekly team or development meeting. Hey, I came across this really interesting podcast and model, this is how the model works, and this is a tool that I’m definitely going to use regularly to check in with myself, especially when I’m feeling really stuck on a topic. Then you can open it up for discussion, and maybe even share an example of when you’ve operated below the line. You’re welcome to use my example – and talk about this coach who would waste untold amounts of time sifting through sent email boxes to track down and prove that she had in fact sent out an email to communicate something. Go for it. Then open up discussion to see if anyone else has a scenario or a pattern they want to confess to. I find it is always optimal to introduce these tools and models when we’re in an uncharged or neutral state, bc we’re more likely to understand them, be less defensive and be honest about our unconscious behaviour.
OK it’s time to wrap up this episode on the conscious leadership model.
Let’s recap what you are taking way from today:
You learned what the model is – a horizontal line, above the line is growth, below the line is committed to being right. We can only operating above or below. So if we’re below, committed to being right, then we’re shut off from learning, which is so sad isn’t it.
When using this model with others, follow these 3 steps and ask permission, explain the model and ask them where they think they are right now.
And when to use. Ideally introduce it in a non-charged state, before the teachable moment happens, but you can also use it when you notice people are stuck, in a state of blame towards others or not owning a mistake they made.
And, please let me know how it goes when you start using this model with your team, I would love to hear any feedback you have about what did or didn’t work, or answer any questions. You can always get a hold of me via my website, or via Instagram or LinkedIn – those work too.
Thanks for tuning in today. If you enjoyed this episode, I would please share it with someone who really needs to hear it. When we’re introducing a specific tool like this today, it’s a great conversation starter to send around this podcast and have everyone on the team listen to it. I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday for another great episode and remember, that any fear or resistance you hold deep inside of you, is simply your greatness in disguise.