Mindful Leadership Part 2: Finding the Leader Within

Blog: Mindful Leadership Part 2: Finding the Leader Within

An Interview with Hal Adler

Editors’ note: Hal Adler is a certified Depth Hypnosis Practitioner and Executive Coach. His daylong workshop on Mindful Leadership will be at the Sacred Stream Center on February 3. In this second installment of a two-part post on Mindful Leadership, we talk to Hal a bit more about his coaching work and the upcoming course.

Q: Is the Mindful Leadership class meant strictly for people who lead in organizations, or is it also suitable for those who lead in their homes and communities?

A: I would say that it’s for people that lead their contemporaries and that really do think of themselves as the leader of others. You can be a leader in your community or a leader in your church or a leader in your family. What I mean by leadership probably doesn’t include parenting or coaching little league, for instance, but it doesn’t have to mean leading for-profit or not-for-profit organizations.

Q. In your recent post on intention you mentioned that it can be a challenge for leaders not to fall back on what worked in the past when faced with a problem. In your experience, what kinds of issues have motivated people who are leaders to decide to get help from someone else?

A: The truth is that it’s not uncommon for me to come across people who are doing really great. About half of my clients want to leverage potential. They are doing team building, and they want everyone in a new team to do individual coaching as well as group coaching. Or someone has been promoted into a role with a different skill set, such as becoming the manager of other managers rather than the manager of front-line people. Or someone has been identified within an organization for a senior executive role.

I also often work with people who are up against the reality that they are slightly less comfortable in a situation than they realized. They find themselves in a place where they realize that they are having problems communicating or they are having problems with their supervisor or they’re in a particular challenge. Sometimes it’s an existential challenge, which is not uncommon in my coaching practice. What’s my purpose? What am I doing here? I thought I was on a path to success but now I don’t know if I’m doing what I value in the world.

Q. Why are you teaching Mindful Leadership and what are you hoping that people will understand or know how to do when they leave the class, and why?

A. I want to play any part that I can in untangling all of the suffering that happens inside of work. Just as our relationships with our partners reveal our patterns, the same is true for the workplace. So, for instance, if you are being talked down to by your manager or having a hard time speaking in front of 200 people, the workshop will offer tools to shift those issues on the surface but also to look at it from the perspective of what your reactions can show you about yourself, how inner patterns are enacted by situations and circumstances at work, and how to be in front of these patterns rather than having them control you.

Until patterns are dissolved they are going to keep coming up. The question is, are we aware enough of the pattern when it engages us that we can participate with it rather than be hijacked by it? Even if we don’t dissolve the pattern—if we can acknowledge and come to terms with the fact that something makes us run out of the room, then we don’t have to run out of the room. We have a different relationship with the pattern. I’d love to see everyone in the class more able to get quiet enough in the face of a pattern for a shift like this to happen.

Ultimately, this isn’t just about work; it’s about being in relationship to all things throughout your lifetime. Noticing the pattern, being patient, being accepting, being compassionate toward yourself and the person you are in reaction to, and participating with the pattern and possibly dissolving it over time.

Students will also be able to identify their deepest intentions as a leader and recognize where they are out of alignment with that intentionality, begin to close that gap, and every day in every interaction be closer to their own truth and be closer to how they want to lead themselves and how they want to lead others. The idea is to create the space that allows the insight people need to find the leader within.

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