In this episode of HR on the Mat, Courtney and Peggy discuss influential leadership traits. They talk about vulnerability, sharing what works, the importance of taking care of yourself, and Zoom fatigue.
This transcript was created using an automated transcription service and may contain errors.
Welcome back to HR on the Mat, where we talk about the parallels between your work life and your yoga mat. I’m Courtney with Balance and Harmony Yoga, and joining me today is the always lovely Peggy Hogan with Purple Ink. Today, we’re gonna be talking about influential leadership traits, especially in this virtual world. The first one we want to talk about is leading by example, and exactly what that means and some practical tips on how to do that yourself.
Yeah. So today, I think a few of the best practices that we both acknowledged when we were preparing this is really leading by example and showing confidence, which…I think most leaders know that they need to display confidence, but not as many know that they need to display vulnerability. This is not our concept. Brene Brown has mentioned it, and a lot of other kind of experts on best practices for strong leaders, they talk about vulnerability. And it’s hard right now, because we are in a virtual world, so we might only be seeing our boss or our team once a week, if that. So it seems like it makes it a little more complicated, doesn’t it?
It does. And I think one of the easiest ways to be vulnerable, but also display confidence, is taking time for self-care and sharing that with the team. So self-care is everything from the physical exercise to making sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, we all know about that precious food pyramid, relaxing and recovering in a two to one ratio, and mindfulness. And mindfulness means a lot of things to a lot of different people. And as a yoga teacher, I pretty much can geek out on the mindfulness, but I think one of the biggest lessons I take from my mat and apply it to the…my experience in the corporate world is this idea of modifications. In yoga, we offer modifications for various poses, either to go a little bit deeper, or to back it off due to the body’s stiffness or the injury. And I think that’s so relevant in the corporate world when you’re thinking about your leadership style, and how do you apply it if you’re entering into a situation where you know that that environment is you’re a strong leader, then go a little bit deeper, try some different stuff. However, if you’re walking into a situation like I did in my last role, where I inherited a team…I’ve never inherited a team before, I’ve always built my teams. I had to reel back my leadership style and do some things that were a little bit different in order to adapt my style for that environment of the team that I was walking into, versus me being able to build my team from the ground up.
Yeah, that’s great. And…and I hear a lot from my career coaching clients that sometimes they feel like they’re imposters, and, you know, sometimes there is a little bit of that “fake it till you make it,” but we still do need to be vulnerable and and just kind of maybe sometimes step back, slow down, see what’s going on, too. What else do you think, beyond self-care, is important?
I think a lot of it comes back to sharing what works. Everything from what works in…in communication styles, to ways to get decisions or processes through the organization, to what works for your self-care and sharing that with the team and allotting that time for the team to share the practices and to humanize the team. So starting each meeting off by asking if there’s anything to celebrate or if anyone’s got a best trick or learned a new tech gadget that helped them to lead a balanced lifestyle, whatever that means for them, and just wanting to share. Everyone loves to tell stories, and giving folks an opportunity to do that at the beginning of the meeting. It’s a great way to do that. In yoga, we always say you set an intention at the beginning of practice, and you either take the intention for yourself, because you need to continue to grow and you recognize that, or you give your practice to somebody else, meaning you hold space for somebody else. Setting…and you can take that same philosophy, set an intention for the meeting in terms of trying to drive to a resolution. Is it a brainstorming type of meeting? Is it just a sharing meeting? But setting that intention on how you plan to spend the time that you have together, that precious time, is a really great way to take a lesson from your yoga mat and applying it to the corporate world.
Yeah, and…and I think the manager, the leader, really does need to kind of show that self-care is important and show them team care. I know one time, we had a leader who really was not taking care of herself, and it came back on a 360, and she was shocked that that was even important to us, that she was taking care of herself. But it was important to us. And we’re looking at now, you know, people who are doing yoga during the day, and maybe that’s okay. But it’s even more okay if your boss says, “hey, I gotta go to yoga,” or “I’m going to take a run at lunch,” or “let’s do a walking meeting.”
Getting that permission, that it’s important. And even when you’re on the Zoom, kind of the the Zoom meeting cycle that people are on, and they’re…they’re…I mean, they’re calling it Zoom fatigue. What are some examples, that, if you…if that’s the only kind of meeting you can have, as a leader, you can kind of lead by example, and acknowledge kind of the body and the wellness, too? Yeah, I mean, I think if you’re on a call for more than 15, 20 minutes, taking 10 to 15 seconds to ask everybody to stand up and forward fold. By putting your head below your heart, or your heart above your head, however you want to think about it, it’s amazing what that will do from an energy perspective to just kind of replenish the blood. And also telling the team to take a bunch of deep breaths, especially during heavy critical thinking times, or we’ve got discerning opinions, there is nothing better than a big breath in and breath out to kind of really reset and recenter. And so asking the team to doing that and being vulnerable, and being able to…to exhale on a Zoom call, as a leader, really give an opportunity for the team to see you as an equal partner. And also just, again, we humanize the team and put some personalization back into this virtual world that we’re using. That’s great. So just being creative and thinking about different ways to let the team know that taking care of themselves is important to the team. Let them know that you’re taking care of them, as well, is important to the team, too.
Yeah, and there’s also nothing better, because we sit all day, and now we’re on these calls, to really, outside of, you know, getting our heart above our head, and those big inhales and exhales, is really twisting the spine, that spine health is really important. So yeah, get…like you said, Peggy, getting people to do walking meetings or stand up while you talk. And show and also just…Yes!
I’m doing it right now, because it feels so good, so amazing to do.
It feels amazing, those juicy stretches. And that’s, like, classic, pull on the back of the chair, just make sure you’re rotating from the torso and not your hips around, pulling it around. And one of my favorite stretches, I’m not going to do it, but it looks…. It’s amazing. It’s called legs up the wall. It’s where you sit in an L shape like this. So your legs are here, the wall is here, your back is flat on the mat, and you just feel the blood rush down the legs. It’s amazing, what it’ll do. Sit like that for a minute, and you’ll be surprised how energized and ready to go you feel.
Yeah, that’s great, because we’ve all been in those meetings where we’re seeing people looking at their phones, zoning out. Your meeting is going to be much more effective if you set that intention in the beginning for the meeting, what do we want to accomplish today, and allot for some of that personal time, too, to check in on the team and the individuals on the team. And, like, when we do celebrations, it’s personal celebrations, too. It’s not just business celebrations. It might be that somebody had a baby or a grandchild, or they just completed a certification that was important to them. So this was so fun, kind of talking about some of these traits and tips. I hope that they’re some new things that people can try out and and kind of incorporate into their office or virtual office.
Yeah, absolutely. And certainly, if you’ve got ideas or you want Peggy and I to be your thought partner on this, we’d love to talk a little bit more individually with you, and our information will be provided in the slides outside of this webcast. And so we’d love to connect with you individually and talk about how we can take some of these practices and apply them directly into your workspace right off of your yoga mat. So we’re pretty excited about that and looking forward to the continuing our conversation on influential leaders. We’ve got a lot more content to come and are pretty excited about some other really practical ways to move your yoga practice into your office in a really effective way.
Great. Well, shall we end?
Let’s do it. Alright, namaste.