What is conscious leadership and three ways to develop it

Being a conscious leader means leading with integrity and accountability, and no ego. Here's how and why to have consciousness in your business and coaching toolbox.

One of the most valuable tools in your business coaching toolbox right now is a a leadership style for taking ultimate responsibility—here's the key to knowing what is conscious leadership and three ways to develop it .

Conscious leadership is just what it sounds like. It's the mark of people who lead with authenticity, speak and act with integrity and hold themselves accountable.

They're leaders who listen because they want to not just respond but understand. They do it—as Jim Dethmer wrote in The 15 Commandments of Conscious Leadership—by being in tune with the world around them and not letting their reactive egos take centre stage.

Conscious leadership takes what we know about psychology and personal growth and puts it into business.

We're finding in this changing world that so many leaders and stressed-out managers don't really know how to lead. Under pressure, business cultures turn toxic and become places where people can't thrive.

If you're a leader or team member anywhere in the world, here's my three steps to implementing conscious leadership in your life and work.

But first, what not to do if you want to develop conscious leadership skills.

So many of us start pointing the finger when we get into a conflict: "It's their fault. I'll need them to change. If they didn't talk to me like thatm things would have worked out differently."

Some people point the finger the other way, thinking it's always their own fault and they should have done better.

Whether we're pointing the finger of blame inward or outward, it's a waste of energy. We're not here to look at who's right or wrong. Instead, look at every opportunity as one to learn about others and others so we can keep evolving and grow the business together.

Right. Here's what to do:

Step one: Have a conscious rant

Take yourself away from the conflict or challenge and have a conscious rant. Express what you're feeling exactly as you feel it. Let it out. Be a victim for a moment. Say it loud. Let the energy out of your body.

Step two: Accept 100 per cent responsibility

Physically step into a room where you can set up an anchor and accept 100 per cent responsibility for the situation, for your part in this and for your ability to learn from this challenge.

Step three: Gain insight

Everything is a learning opportunity if that's how you see it. The conflict we experience is very rarely outside of ourselves—nine times out of ten, the conflict we experience is inside our minds and are stories we tell ourselves.

Arguably the single best thing you can do if you want to practice conscious leadership is become self-aware. Get to know yourself as a person not just as a title, and monitor your feelings, motives and thoughts.

Get into the habit of asking yourself personal questions every day, and bring the same consciousness to conversations with colleagues to really build self-awareness.

When I'm in this situation I turn to a handful of statements. First, "This moment reminds me of ... "

Maybe it will remind you of a time this happened previously and give insights into patterns and reactions within yourself.

"I keep this issue going by ... " Ask yourself what it is you're doing that's enabling the issue to continue.

One of my favourites is, "The lifelong pattern I'm noting is ... "

See what you can learn about yourself. Remember taking ultimate responsibility and practising conscious leadership is really challenging and it's easier to point the finger.

Also remember that the people you most associate with—just five, according to Tony Robbins' mentor Jim Rohn—play a huge role in your success and character. Are they contributing to you being your best you?

If you have questions about leadership and business coaching, join our next events at The Coaching Institute.

Start learning how to create success as a business coach immediately.

Make it a conscious decision!


One of Australia's leading coaches, trainers and speakers, and head facilitator at The Coaching Institute. In between mentoring thousands of coaches and leaders all around Australasia and helping others build incredible culture, Matt is passionate about fitness and music. His healthy office lunches whipped up in five minutes are the stuff of legend

Matt Lavars life coaching
Matt LavarsThe Coaching Institute