Most of us have an innate drive toward health. My doctor friends would tell me that the mind/body moves toward healing on its own, regardless of the interventions we engage in. Effective interventions for promoting physical and mental health are the ones that unblock or pave the pathway for the natural healing process to occur. Healing occurs when increased integration occurs.
As an executive development coach, I work in the domain of mental health. Dr. Daniel Siegel, in his new book, Mind, has said, “Positive emotions, like joy, love, awe, and happiness, can be seen as a felt experience of increasing levels of integration. Negative emotions like anger, sadness, fear, disgust, and shame can be viewed as decreases in integration.” I would agree. When we are happiest and most successful is when we feel connected, aligned, in flow with our work and with those we work with. Ninety percent of my coaching practice is about helping others move into a higher level of integration. Integration of the various parts of one-self starts with integrating the various aspects of one’s mind. For example, integrating intuitive skills with logical skills. But also integrating one’s mind with one’s body. Noticing and appropriately responding to what we are sensing, feeling and thinking. Being present, aware and able to acknowledge our subjective experience. Let’s take it further. Once one is clear and integrated within themselves, this integration needs to extend to relationships with others and the environment. The more connected one feels, the healthier and happier one is.
I have been coaching executives for over 30 years. The common challenge most of my clients are faced with, is that who they are today doesn’t fit right with what they are doing. This includes a lack of integration or connection with others to the extent that is required for happiness and success. They lack optimal integration, within themselves and between themselves, others and the working environment.
Most leadership effectiveness coaching generally needs to enable a higher level of integration. The following is my approach to helping with that.
- Gaining a better understanding yourself in terms of what intrinsically motivates you, what you value, what your technical and interpersonal strengths and weaknesses are. What behaviours get you into trouble when you are under stress? You will see how these “derailing” behaviours contribute to “separation” rather than “integration”. This is all accomplished through my assessment process that will prepare you for designing a future that fits for you, and promotes integration and connection, within yourself and between you, others and your environment.
- Setting realistic goals that support you moving toward integration. Realistic, in the sense that these goals fit with who you are, so you are innately motivated and have the skills to achieve them. These goals will not and should not, require ongoing willpower. They work with your nature, not against it. If you find yourself using willpower on an ongoing basis, you have the wrong goals.
- Committing to an action plan which starts with getting out of your own way. By this I mean, discovering and releasing the unconscious foot on the brake, we all have. This requires exposing and letting go of old habits and beliefs, that separate you and prevent you from achieving those goals that move you toward integration.