Teaching people how to ‘embody’ leadership competencies is my passion and area of expertise. Facilitating learning experiences, both with and without horse partners, allows my clients to better understand and leverage their somatic intelligence (SQ) to become more effective leaders. What is meant by somatic? It is defined as ‘of, or affecting the body especially as distinguished from the mind.” (Webster, 1979).
Bill Torbert’s Action Inquiry, Otto Scharmer’s Theory U, Susanne Cook-Greuter’s Leadership Maturity, Richard Boyatizis’ work on Positive and Negative Emotional Attractors, Bob Anderson and Bill Adams’ Universal Model of Leader Development, are theorists, researchers and practitioners who have influenced the way I coach and facilitate leader development. I have been a student of the mind-body connection since a very early age and integral perspectives make sense to me.
Often, in the world of leadership development our perceptual Sense- abilities are left out of the equation, taken for granted. Yet it is this somatic awareness that underlies and creates what we see happening and what we experience in the environment around us. In the words of Richard Strozzi-Heckler, “the body is indistinguishable from the self [and therefore]… it is essential to include the body if one wants to build the skills of exemplary leadership.”(2003). It is only when we balance our intellectual, our emotional and somatic intelligences that we become congruent and are able to ‘show up’ and serve as a transformative leader.
My goal when working with people is to provide a somatic experience of leadership – of what it feels like to project and hold an Intention, a Vision, or create mutual engagement. I challenge my clients to utilize perceptual skills that have long been dormant. When we spend time rediscovering how to learn holistically we can then leverage all of our intelligence in service to others.
All In Good Spirits, Lissa