In my experience, there are many coaches and consultants out there who are fans of conscious business and conscious leaders. Whenever we host an event at GCfCL or Conscious Capitalism, the coaches usually outnumber the business leaders! I don’t see this as a problem, however – just a sign that there are many enthusiastic and inspired coaches out there who are looking to make a difference to the leaders they coach in the business world.
When I was writing Becoming a Conscious Leader, so many of the leaders I interviewed had amazing stories which became great quotes and perspectives on business and on life. These naturally turned into provocative questions that can be used for other leaders who are looking to develop as conscious leaders. It struck me that pulling these together all in one place might be very helpful for coaches the world over as we work to make a positive impact on business, and through this, a positive impact on society. Even if you’re not coaching a ‘conscious leader’ (who we could think of as someone expressly interested in developing consciousness in themselves in business), some of the questions might be helpful to shift the perspectives of your leadership clients in that general direction.
To put these questions in context, the model of conscious leadership that we’re using here is a four-zone model whereby:
- These leaders develop self-awareness and self-mastery in the ‘I’ zone (choice over their egos; wholeness through their values and purpose; greater authenticity; and vertical development or the ability to lead successfully in conditions of great complexity).
- They aim to remain conscious and self-aware in their relationships and interactions – in the ‘We’ zone (including striving to be present with others; listening deeply with their heads, hearts and intuition or gut; being comfortable in devolving power, control and responsibility to others; creating opportunities for collaboration and multiple perspectives to be brought into the mix; and thinking about how they might establish partnerships across boundaries with previous ‘competitors’ so that they can innovate and create shared benefit).
- They develop deep systems insight in the ‘It’ zone (they have a highly developed awareness of how life is one big interconnection; they have a broad stakeholder view; they think about how they can create balance and benefit for the wider system; and they take responsibility for the long-term effects of their actions on the system).
- They have a sense of collective responsibility (felt as an inner urge or calling to contribute positively to the areas they believe need attention and reformation, using business or organisational life as a transformational vehicle for doing so).
The four zones that deal with this inner-outer spectrum of our experience cover quite a lot of the ground of conscious leadership and facets of this model appeared in all the conscious leaders I interviewed.
Here are the coaching questions that naturally arose from our conversations and their stories, under the four zone headings. They’re not intended to be used in their entirety, of course – that would be overwhelming! – but to be cherry-picked according to your needs. In the spirit of abundance, wholeness and making a collective positive impact on the world, feel free to use them, edit them, share them and add to them as we work together to create a positive net benefit to the world through our work as coaches. 🙂
These questions will also appear at the back of the book (due out on 30th November), along with the inspirational stories of the leaders who prompted them. I’d love to hear your additional questions to coach conscious leaders. Perhaps together we can create an amazing tool?
All the best,
Some Big Questions for Conscious Leaders
- What is your definition of success?
- What is the game, bigger than yourself, that you want to play?
- What is the difference you would like to make to the world and others?
- How can you catch your ego’s three strategies (being right; looking good; controlling and defending) at play and convert them to more open, inclusive acts?
- What are you resisting right now, in this moment, that you could accept?
- How can you practise and role model curiosity?
- What are the other ‘right answers’?
- What are your top three values that form your roots?
- What are the most courageous stands you need to take in your organisation? How does this relate to your personal purpose and/or to your organisation’s purpose?
- What is your story of the future and how is it provoking insight and invoking action in the present?
- How are you role modelling a more conscious way of being in your organisation, every day?
- Is the universe hostile or friendly? If hostile, how can you notice more friendly, supportive cues?
- Where are you being supported in your life right now, without even asking?
- What do you feel grateful for, right now?
- What’s your relationship to hierarchy?
- Where can you let go of control in your organisation and stand in a space of ‘not knowing’?
- What ‘big rules’ can you put in place instead for others to experiment within?
- How are you leveraging collaboration and collective intelligence? From which undiscovered corners of your organisation can you seek input?
- How can you create psychological safety for others in your organisation?
- How are you amplifying connections, strengths and diversity, and dialing down unhelpful comparisons, judgements and criticisms?
- Are you listening from your head, your heart and your intuition? What does your intuition tell you about your biggest conversation today?
- What is the context (the bigger purpose) you are holding for your team or your organisation?
- What are the qualities of the stories you are telling and encouraging to be told in your organisation?
- Are you speaking primarily from the past? The present? The future?
- What is still possible, even though the circumstances look like this today?
- What are the bigger conversations you need to have?
- How are you helping to bring the ‘maker instinct’ alive in your teams and your whole organisation? How could you do this to accelerate experimentation and innovation?
- What opportunities for personal transformation are you offering in your organisation right now for those who want to take them?
- Who benefits from your purpose? What are the outer reaches of those whom you impact?
- Where would you choose to recast the boundary lines with your competition?
- What opportunities exist to create potential partnerships with your competitors around a common purpose? What does win (you), win (them) and win (society) look like?
- Who do you need to trust?
- What is the value that can be created from innovating with your widest circle of stakeholders?
- Who all benefits when your organisation benefits?
- What level of responsibility are you engaged in for what others do to others in your organisation? And for the impact your organisation is having on your stakeholders, the world and the planet?
- How might you play in the dynamic space between giving shape to your organisation and listening in to the shape it wants to take?
- What is your organisation telling you right now about the direction it wants to head into in the future? How can you test this out?
- What experimental intention can you set right now, to notice the meaningful coincidences and patterns relating to this?
- How is what you’re creating through your organisation adding to the net benefit of humanity? In a decade? In half a century? In a hundred years? A thousand?
- What are your views on growth? How much is sufficient? What is enough?
- How much responsibility are you taking in the effects of the end-to-end processes in your supply chain? What do you need to speak up about?
- What does whole systems healthy look like for your organisation?
- What are the core indicators for your business that will help to ensure it contributes a net positive effect on life for all?
What question has most energy for you to begin with right now? How will you begin?
If you like these questions, please share liberally!