Not long ago, I read an article called 6 Qualities of Relational Leaders by Michael Porcelli that reminded me of something that came to me in meditation. 

Partway through the meditation, a woman stated an affirmation: “I am relaxing into healing.”

What struck me about this was that it relates to a new type of leadership that I’ve been sensing, one that is relaxing in some ways. 

This can look like relaxing into our true selves – and showing up as our full selves.

We are asking for what we need, offering what we can, sharing stories, being curious, and playful. This idea of “relaxed leadership” dovetails into the 6 Qualities of Relational Leaders article.

Thinking back on a leadership session we hosted with the Narrative Project, Jim Drescher from Windhorse Farm explained the concept of Nothing Missing Leadership, and he used the words “relaxing into our leadership”. It really struck me as something that I’m doing now and am seeing others doing around me

Because of all that is happening in the world, we are collectively grieving for the old normal, for the plants, animals, and people who are suffering. There is also widespread anxiety around the completely unpredictable weather and unknown future scenarios which we’ve never fully experienced before – to put this in perspective, who would have imagined, two years ago, that a pandemic would hit the global economy. Sure, climate scientists predicted future pandemics, but how many of us could actually imagine it was going to happen?

Considering all of this, I have noticed a new style of leadership that is beginning to take hold. A key part of this involves tending to our hearts and central nervous systems, both individually and collectively, while we work together through these complex times we find ourselves in. Working with emotions and play, things that were once seen as “non-productive”, are now being recognized as essential tools for navigating the complexity of our daily work and lives. Even my health insurance provider is coordinating sessions for companies on psychological safety at work. 

This fresh take on leadership is checking in with these things, and we’re co-regulating our emotions.

We’re showing up as our authentic human selves, reflecting,  taking responsibility and holding ourselves accountable for the things we’re responsible for. These leaders are sharing their love, and gifts without judgement.

How are you incorporating these practices into your leadership style? What else bubbles up for you as you think about these ideas?