In our fourth session of the Conscious Leaders Forum, we talk to Helen Urwin, a master trainer of transformational leadership.
Dr. A: Well, welcome everybody to our conscious leaders forum. I’m Dr. Wayne Andersen and it’s the first Tuesday of the month at noon, Eastern Standard Time, and we’re going to have a great call today. I want to first remind everybody of basically what the ideas of this forum are and what they constitute and why we’re here. You know, a forum is a place, meeting, or medium, where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged and so we put this together to really help people start learning more about being conscious. About being aware, present, and put them in a better position to be able to manage their surroundings and we’re going to talk a lot about that today, but as far as the format for the form, it [references slide] says, “That means you,” and we’re talking about all the individuals that are on today.
I have a special guest which I’m going to introduce in a moment, but what we want to do as far as the methodology, so we can really get some great questions and great dialogue going, is when you have something come up, where either myself or Helen are talking, take notes, put it into the chat as a question of something you’d like to be— you’re curious about, you’d like to learn more on, or something that’s going on for you that you’d like some help with and we’ll go ahead and put that into the cue.
Rachel, who’s our coordinator, will basically cue you up and then be ready to ask your question and it’s important to make sure, since this is video, that you have the light in front of you, so it’s shining on you so we can see you and answer your question. So, with that much said I have, you know, we do this every month and one of the things that I’m excited about are bringing fellow thought leaders, people that are really committed to growing not only their own consciousness but becoming teachers, leaders and practitioners of conscious leadership. So, today I have a special guest, Helen Irwin, she really needs— most of you already know her. She’s been a valuable asset for us over the last several years but she’s a master trainer of transformational leadership.
She’s also a global business thought leader and actually, she’s in New York. Flew across the pond to come work with a large company. She works with some of the biggest companies in the world to help them with all kinds of things that are important for their development and their leadership and so she’s in a hotel room today and she’s got a kind of a funky picture behind her [laughing], it’s the best she could do, but, Helen, how are you today? You staying warm up there in New York?
Helen: Yes! Yes, thank you. Yes, I am and first trip stateside in two years and I’ve celebrated it with this amazing background [laughing] in this hotel. So, hopefully people can see and hear me and that’s the main thing but it is a little different if you’re used to a usual studio setup but anyway, here we go. [crosstalk 00:02:44]
Dr. A: I know you just flew in yesterday so I know there’s some jet lag, but you look great and really excited. I’ve been looking forward to this. I know our listeners and viewers are as well so let’s dive right in. You know, we want to— we want to remind ourselves truly why it’s important to work on becoming more conscious, Helen, I think it’s, you know, in the world context we’re in now— I showed a video and showed a film about the world on fire and actually showed that, that with the pandemic continuing, technology coming on, artificial intelligence, you know, there’s just so many things that are in our face every day and a lot of people are stressed out about it. They’re having trouble, they’re feeling overwhelmed, and whether you’re on today for yourself to learn more about how you can manage that, or you are building a business, or you are a conscious leader already. Helen, I’m very excited about having you, what are your thoughts on that?
Helen: Well, it is a fascinating time for sure, you know, again, very reminded of this because of literally flying here to New York yesterday. First time in two years on the road, on a business trip. Working with business people, clearly of course, virtual working we all know, thank goodness we’ve been able to to keep the conversations going and work with clients throughout that time and when I think about now emerging, sort of to the new normal, the amount of change, the amount of sort of— I think there is a rising in consciousness right now because such exceptional circumstances have made people think about what they really want and that’s something that we’ll talk about as we move through our conversation today, but clearly, and you know so, so much more than me about maybe the physical and some of the sort of stresses that people will experience as a result of this fast pace of change, uncertainty, ambiguity, and more than ever before in the work that we do, it is about equipping leaders, which is my work.
[00:04:51] Equipping people, doesn’t have to just be in business of course, but equipping people to respond powerfully to the new normal and what’s expected moving forward and I think if we dive straight in because we’ve got valuable time with everyone here today, the thing that I think we don’t often consider, but in a forum like this we can explore, is that stress actually— you know, what’s great about this awareness is that stress doesn’t come from a situation, really, when you think about it. It comes from our inability to deal with that situation. Now, of course it can seem that way, but we can all think of times when maybe we were doing something for the first time and now it’s really normal. We were exposed to a new situation and now we do it without thinking. So, I think we can all relate to the fact that as we grow in our awareness and capability, what used to be challenging, no longer remains a challenge.
So, in this kind of new normal that we’re all emerging into, I think there is more interest and awareness around, “What is it that I want? What is it that I’m growing into? What are my choices?” And I think people are now interested in what I call a concrete path, like a really tangible path in their development because this can sound quite nebulous. This can sound quite, kind of, intangible and if we think about the technology that you have mentioned today, we are the same in the sense if we have an operating system. An internal operating system based on our conditioning, our education, everything that we’ve been experiencing in our life so far and it’s time to be deliberate in upgrading that operating system, that internal operating system and that’s the best metaphor I can think of actually to make it more tangible for people to say, “It’s possible to upgrade our internal operating system” and there’s nothing wrong with us if we’re feeling stress. There’s nothing that needs fixing.
And we’ll talk a lot about that later, I’m sure, but we do have this awareness now that we can upgrade our operating system in our life, in our leadership, and if you think about our technology, when we do that, our technology devices are capable of more and so when we upgrade our own system it means we are capable of more and this is a practical way to talk about it, as opposed to consciousness is a word that is discussed in many different ways and disciplines, but sometimes it does sound a bit out of reach. Today, I really— my intention in this conversation, Dr. A, with you is to make it as tangible as possible and give people some sense of what this path is because without it, we are just kind of, “I want to do this. I want to grow but I’m not quite sure what that means,” in practice.
Dr. A: ? I love that and, you know, go to Amazon or any bookseller and put in “self-help” and like you said, there— we don’t need more information. We need specific information and we need to know where we’re going and that’s why, you know, our title today is The Path, The Path to Becoming and I love that and just as a physician I just sometimes, you know— so, ten thousand years ago, we were— we had real threats every day in our life and so we were wired for the amygdala, our limbic area, the emotional area, to respond all over the place and today basically most of the threats are gone and actually technology has helped us with that. So, you have airbags, you have side bars, you have avoidance collisions, so even the car accident now, you don’t have to do much.
It’s all done by technology and that’s the good part of technology, but the part that’s not so good is the emotional management and, you know, we talk about that emotional, psychological, flexibility, emotion, being able to— what happens in life, how you respond to it is going to determine the outcome and that matters, not just in everyday life, but when you compound with AI and all the technological advances occurring where companies are actually mining our data, the way we think, and if we’re not waking up and thinking about this and actually managing it, and learning how to develop it— and I love the word development, because development is— we come at a certain pace, designed with old hardware and old software, and now we’re going to work today and this talk, really, that we’re— this discussion we’re having, is really about, how do we upgrade for this new world we’re living in? Where perceived threat, not real threat, perceived threat is what’s causing all this, all the stress.
So, pretty excited about that and I love how we talk about it— you think about it, our skill sets will change. I think today, people will— moving forward, will change their jobs like five, six, seven, times during their lifetime. So, they’ll learn different skills but what we’re really talking about is this vertical development. [crosstalk 00:09:46]
Dr. A: It’s basically learning to be more aware, more present, and have a— I love the word you like to use, and I love it too, psychological flexibility. The people that are the most flexible and adaptive to the changes are the ones that basically are going to be successful.
Helen: Yeah, and I think these are the points that are worth really highlighting because the important thing, that we have access to more information than ever. I mean, my first personal development book I bought at 16 in Newcastle, where I’m from. You know, the self-help shelf was this size [gestures with hands] it was tiny and I bought a book and it was quite odd, you know, to buy a book like that at the time and since then there’s an explosion of so much information. So much amazing information, but I’ve got to this point now where I realize because of that, there’s so much information and it doesn’t necessarily always result in development and what we mean by development is this expansion of consciousness, which does take us vertical. It’s like, “I can see more than I could see before. I can see things differently,” and a raising awareness is always that vertical kind of shift in consciousness, but then our capability at that new level becomes possible.
[00:11:07] So, it’s really like this staircase of development. Rising in consciousness, developing capability, rising in consciousness, developing capability, because of this continual development, that it is possible to find our path and determine what that path is, and we’ll talk more about “the path,” but I think for me, it’s like none of that information, I really would like people to really consider this is, that none of that information can tell you what your life is about. None of that information is going to be the author of your life. It can assist us, of course it is, you know, I’ve had amazing breakthroughs in my own emotional intelligence evolution as a result of the training and reading that I’ve been on, but in terms of, “What am I on this path for, ultimately? What am I trading my life energy for?” Ultimately cannot come from anyone else.
It can only come from us and so this vertical rise and this horizontal kind of capability development is in service of what we’re growing for. It’s in service of why we’re here to contribute and when you combine those things together, then you have a reason to grow and I think that’s often— people often think, “Well, you know, I need to fix myself,” or “I’m not good at that,” and it becomes, problem, solution, but this is about growing into more of our potential and I love to shift the conversation to that because it’s creative. It’s about our own evolution. It’s just, we often need some guides or frameworks, or models that help us make sense of, “Well, what does that look like in practice?”
Dr. A: I love that and you know what’s great about that— so what you’re really saying is that if we look at this journey that we’re talking about and think of it as stages in our development we go through, some ordering, and some of those things serve us very well, and they did at one time, but we need to know there’s, “What’s next?” You know, many people [crosstalk 00:13:09] by the time they’re 14, they basically have kind of set into the way of the way the world is and it doesn’t really change after that and they can function, but not function very well in today’s world, or if they decide to move on to become leaders.
Helen: And this is the whole point of, you know, it’s 2022, we’re in a whole new era and it’s up to us to take the lead on our growth and in a way, when you think about it, the pace of change being so fast, we’re really conscious in our own evolution. We’re very consciously participating in our own evolution, whereas I look back to generations in my family who didn’t need to do that because they weren’t exposed to the conditions and circumstances were having to contend with and I think it’s probably a good time, talking of stages of development, to pull up the Russian doll slide if we can do that. [coughs] Excuse me. And just take a look at this construct because it’s designed to just bring a visual [refers to slide], really to different ways of operating and we’re going from the left with the little doll, all the way up to the right hand side and I’m going to put some language to it. This doesn’t have the labels on, so please just listen to maybe a couple of distinctions as I walk through this because it’s a bit of a map. It’s a way forward. It helps to see that, you know, I’ve talked about being conscious in our own evolution. I’ve talked about growing into more of our potential and people say, “Well what is that really? What does that mean?” and what we want to do is kind of show that with this Russian doll metaphor.
[00:14:51] The little Russian doll there [refers to slide], you know, is what we would call our adolescent self and we’ve all been adolescents and it’s a natural stage of our development but beyond that— childhood development is often talked about, but not so much: adult stages of development, and so beyond our adolescent self, which is the the little doll with the the little diagram in the head area there, is because we’re quite self-centered when we’re in adolescence, we’re working out who we are, we’re going through so many changes in life, and it is about us and that’s a natural stage in our development.
The next one, we go beyond that, and include the social self. So, the next doll, before the arrow, is the social self and what’s important about this, is that this is so necessary, because we need to fit into the world. We need to be part of society, communities, families, etc, and we learn to navigate the social conditions that we find ourselves in and as we grow up, you can imagine because we’re here in this forum to discuss it, we may not think about this in the hurly-burly of everyday, but with that journey from childhood, to adolescence, to our social self we go through conditioning and we’re all from different— I was looking at the chat there from all different places and backgrounds and I grew up in a mining village in the North of England, so you know, a very, very interesting background there and had to learn to really navigate the social situations but then, what’s possible beyond that?
So, Dr. A, you said some people never grow beyond that, there’s no need to, but in the world of today what’s really, really important is that as we move into, and we’ll talk about the universal leadership paradigm later, what’s beyond our social self is our liberated self and this is the self that is self authoring. This is the self who begins to get in touch with what we really want. The compelling future we’re moving into and we self-author. That’s the point. So, some of that social, kind of conditioning, can fall away because we want to step into more of our potential and that’s the first step in leadership development because leaders show the way.
Leaders go first and then the final Russian doll, which I won’t say too much about, is beyond that, which is what we call the integrated self, which is, we can keep growing. It’s not just about self-authoring our future. We can grow even further into our potential and integrate parts of ourselves that maybe we put away in our journey so far and I won’t say too much about that today because the big leap for many of us is to go from the social self, the leap to this self-authoring stage of development, and it doesn’t mean we’re leaving the rest behind, but consciousness is about expansion. It’s about more. It’s about capability. It’s about seeing more and that’s what this does and it is a definite stage in development and when people begin to see, “Oh right, these are different stages,” or “these are different paradigms that we’ll come on to,” then there’s a kind of framework to say, “Okay, now I see why. What I used to find important is no longer important. What used to really bug me, no longer bugs me and that’s because we’re growing beyond the conditions of the past and growing into the future we want to create.
Dr. A: Love that, Helen, and you know, in essence, we’re saying, we continue to evolve and that evolution opens up all these possibilities and if we can overlay that with the change in the world, it puts us in a much better position to be able to thrive versus just survive. If we stay to our old programming or our old software, we’re more likely to feel more distance than what’s going on in the world and not able to adapt [crosstalk 00:19:10] or accommodate to it and so that kind of brings up the word transformational. Transformation, because there’s a transform— in this evolution there’s a transformation that you’ll undergo, basically, and there’s a dynamic to that. So, if we take that and now maybe let’s put it into a pathway, what does the path look like?
Helen: Yes, so this is great and I think, just to clarify, before we go to the pathway, is that we’re really focusing in this forum today, the social to liberated. I just noticed a couple of comments there and the social to liberated is when we’re going from taking our reference points outside of us all the time because we’re social beings, we always will be, but the liberated self is elevating to say, “and how am I going to find my way through this? This new era? This new world that we’re in? What do I want to create?” As opposed to looking to what others are doing, and this does take us to the double arrow of transformation, which is the path, which is on our next slide.
So, transformation has a dynamic and I always strive to make things that are as simple as possible to grasp because there’s a lot of psychological theory that is way too academic and we need things that really support us. You know, when the rubber hits the road, when we’re working through our day, things that we can actually use practically, and this arrow of transformation, what is really being shown here is that we are on our path, and this is our life journey, and we get to a point— and we may have had events occur, obviously we’ve had a global event occur, but people can have— catalysts in life can be many different things, changing jobs, having a family, going and traveling, it could be anything.
[00:21:00] Any sort of trigger for growth and we begin to say, “Well, what do I need to let go of that no longer serves me?” Because our personal gravity is there, because of our conditioning, because of our comfort zone, because of life so far, and so what this is meant to do is kind of show us just, you know, placed in space and time and become mindful and aware of, “Maybe it’s time to let go of some thoughts or concepts about myself, about the world that really no longer serve me.” And the future is about creation and so this is the, “letting go, to let in,” dynamic and we let go, and we let in. Now, our propulsion system, as it says there on the slide, is that, II’ll always talk about what’s the compelling future you’re growing into as a transformational leader? What is the compelling future that is bigger than your past? And if that propulsion system is more powerful than our personal gravity, we can move forward.
This is the cool thing and this— it doesn’t mean that we’re broken or need fixing because a lot of people do come to the coaching that we do, with some kind of thought that because they haven’t achieved something, haven’t been able to do something, that there’s something wrong. And actually they’re just on a path, and they just haven’t achieved it yet and when they learn this dynamic of, “Well, what do I need to let go of so I can let in ideas that match my future?” Then it all becomes more, sort of— It’s a bit of a way of splitting out and separating out our thinking so we can actually see and people often talk about this feeling of, “Oh, this is what I need to let go of so I can grow and move forward,” and growth is more about letting go than people realize.
That’s why a lot of this information that’s coming towards us doesn’t develop us, it just gives us more stuff to think about and a lot of people will read a personal development book, I read them all the time, and sometimes I look back and think, “Oh, I feel a bit worse about my life as a result of reading this book,” but we’re all on this journey of growth. There’s no perfect life. There’s no perfect way to grow and this is something that I do feel so strongly about. I’m sure you can tell and how I’m speaking but in my own experience it’s a kind of understanding these dynamics because no one can tell you how to live your life, no one can tell you how to lead a business, your business, but what we can learn to do is realize that if we put ourselves on our path of growth, we’re always going to be in this continual dynamic of letting go and letting in and it’s continual and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong.
Dr. A: All that is, is just— it’s so, so important. It’s, you know, it’s about the creative process, it’s about structural tension, it’s about actually realizing conception. We have things from our past, they’re just part of our past, but the good news is stop trying to give yourself a better past. Focus on what you want and as you look into that future. I love that because when you have a compelling future, it gets you up in the morning and now you’re really sensing the things that you love to do. You’re doing things, not because you should or could, you’re doing them because you want to do them.
You feel great about it and that alignment, especially at a time when the world’s changing. We may have lost our job or got our job downsized or what we were doing for a living. It’s the opportunity to reach out and create this future that allows you to become everything you want to be and so, just simply starting today, you know, that’s kind of hopefully what today is [crosstalk 00:24:53]. It’s one of those kind of wake-up calls, Helen, that rather than focus on things I have absolutely no control of, let me look and say, you know, “What if I wrote a new story of where I want to go in my life.” [crosstalk 00:25:03] It’s kind of like when you’re a kid and you grow up, you go away to school, or to college, or start working, you start realizing some of the parental stuff that you learned, the dogma that you learned. Your parents were doing the best they could do at the time [crosstalk 00:25:16], but basically, for our future is, it’s unlimited and with technology advancing it can actually help amplify. It’s actually the best time to be alive. If we focus on developing this dynamic.
Helen: Yes, and I think what’s really important is people are listening to this, is that let’s be kind to ourselves. You know, when we realize this social to liberated, this is a big leap in our stages of development and it happens over time as well. It doesn’t happen overnight, it happens over time, which is why development is so important and one of the key things to really take, I think, from this dynamic of transformation is that we have a past, but we’re not our past. We all have a past, but we’re not our past and it’s really quite interesting how— and I’ve done it and I hear people in coaching say to me, so we can move through it, but talk about life events, and it’s defined them.
[00:26:16] It’s defined them and this is something that happened to us along the way, it’s not who we are and there’s a loosening there, of kind of, maybe how we have conditioned ourselves to limit ourselves and we don’t know we’ve done that because how would we? You know, it’s— and so social to liberated is a big leap. It’s self-authoring. We’re moving from using the expectations of others to define us, to setting our own expectations of what’s right for us and that really just happens over time, but with intention and no one training course, and I think this is the point, that it’s not one training course, it’s not a book, it’s not a podcast, and we all listen to more, I’m sure. Especially if we’re in this forum and they are really important input but our development path is ours, no one can tell us what that is for us other than ourselves.
Dr. A: And that’s why we have to take control. That’s why we have to take the locus of control, responsibility. This morning I was talking to a lady that lives up in Pennsylvania, in a resort area, and she was talking about, you know, well they loved it. Loved it there. They like the beach and everything, they love it there and I said, “Yeah, it’s a great resort in the summertime, for three months,” right? I said, “The rest of the year it’s not so good” and that story that she’s repeated so many times, all of a sudden it was like “boom” she said, “Wow, that story isn’t serving me. I actually wish I was living in Florida right now,” and you know, that’s a simple example, but it applies to everything rather than, stick with the story you know and stay with it, no matter what it’s doing for you, the reality is, look at the reality, and I love what you said about, don’t beat ourselves up.
You know, because we’re not broken, we’re doing the best we can do with what we have, but now that we’re aware that there is a path, I think it’s really important because humans think a certain way and they do that again from the protective area of their brain and the reality is, if we really want to grow and become as successful as we want, in all the key areas, whether it’s our health, our finances, our relationships, it requires us to, as you said, upgrade our programming from just being a human, acting like a human, to now specifically, deliberately, taking control and the path.
Helen: Yeah, and I just, I think you’ve just reminded me of something there that is another characteristic maybe to point out. Is that, when we are moving from social to liberated, being more creative and less reactive is another way to talk about it. Be more creative and less reactive. The minute we think of, “the should.” I know we’re going to come on to the paradigm next, but the should, the must, the ought, we’re in a social reference, usually, and the difference is, in terms of going towards our future, it’s because we want to. We want to create something and in “the letting go,” this question, and you know, we talk a lot about journaling with clients all the time. About just staying in touch with what’s going on in our unconscious mind, is to just journal on that question and see what comes up, you know, “what is it time to let go of that no longer serves me?” And you will begin to develop a rapport with our unconscious mind, your unconscious mind, because we need our unconscious mind on the journey with us and that’s another aspect again.
I’m not going to go too much into that now because we are going to talk about the the difference in paradigms, but I do think it’s important to just emphasize, like you say, that this is a natural, evolutionary process and we can be intentional with it and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong or that we’re broken.
Dr. A: Yeah, and you know, the other part is the expectations of society are not that high. I mean, you know, we’re supposed— they want us to kind of be part of the flock, right? And so [crosstalk 00:30:20]
Dr. A: When we really think about ourselves and our compelling future, individually, to really add value and become our authentic self, it requires understanding this, because [crosstalk 00:30:31] you’re going to have to do the work yourself. It can’t be done by anybody else.
Helen: Yes exactly, and I think in terms of just finalizing the input that I think we wanted to achieve before the questions come, is this one final distinction to share, because, this for me says it all on one page in terms of this leap, and on the left [refers to slide], and I know we’re going to talk about the definition of a paradigm as well, I think, Dr. A, because it’s quite an interesting word that— but we have universal paradigm of humans and then when we step into this self-authoring which we’re calling here leadership. Why? Because of self-leadership universal leadership paradigm. So I know you wanted to talk about the paradigm word before we go any further.
Dr. A: Well, it’s funny because that word was thrown around, I remember a couple decades ago, you heard that word every day and so just, for people that may or not be that familiar, and you’ll get it right away. It’s just the model. It’s a way basically of viewing and reality and it can become standardized within society. So, as you’re moving from that social to that liberated self, understand that most people, and most people act a certain way because they’ve been trained a certain way, but basically when we really go into leadership, and that’s why I love how you’ve labeled it here, when you become a leader you’re really now creating and I love that because that’s how our brain works, Helen, [crosstalk 00:31:54] and I know you know this, but you know in the reactive area, the amygdala, those neural trip wires are there all the time to try to protect us and keep the world a certain way and that’s the world view that most people have.
[00:32:04] They think outside of them is happening to them, but when we make this change and we go on this journey of transformation, when we start moving for our future, our compelling future, we’re using the executive areas in our brain [crosstalk 00:32:18] and they light up! You know, there’s actually— looking at the scans, it lights up and when we are now attached, we’re getting up in the morning and doing something we love, time just— it’s kind of like being in the zone, right? You’re now saying, “Well, I’m on track. I’m gaining momentum and I’m focusing on making sure I’m guiding myself and creating the meaning. That I create the meaning for everything and I want to start focusing now on where do I want to go? What do I want? How do I want to evolve mentally? Physically? Financially?” All the areas of us now we’re becoming in charge. What’s in our best interest, which universally, if you’re a leader then you have other people that you’re helping do the same. So I just love that.
Helen: Yeah and I think what you said there about the intentionality and the creativity, that takes energy. That takes energy. Transformation takes energy and so the intention of sharing this particular distinction today is because on the left [refers to slide], our energy can be drained by this and really, what we’re seeing here with the universal human paradigm, because this is how most people operate in the world, is there a way things should be. So this is the worldview that people have. There is a way things should be and when they are that way, “Everything’s right. Everything is fine, out here, in the world, everything is fine,” but when they’re not that way, “There’s something wrong, with me, with them or it.” So, this is the, “I have an expectation. My expectations were not met. There’s something wrong,” and it can get very dramatic. You know, humans are meaning making machines, something happens, we make it mean something, and we can get dragged into drama.
We can sort of use a lot of time and energy putting our awareness onto things that we have no control of. More importantly, and passing through an airport yesterday for the first time in a long time, it was really interesting to watch different behaviors in The Apple because, you know, the foundational, of transformational leadership, is the person with the most flexibility and thinking in behavior stands the best chance of success and I was waiting to get on the plane and we had to be coached out because there was a delay and lots of people were huffing and puffing and, “
It shouldn’t be this way,” and of course I understand that, and we all can go there, let’s face it, but to spend all of our time there. To spend more time there than in the creative orientation, it does take energy and it takes away from our creativity.
So, what’s the alternative? So, when we become aware of that, we know we always have a capacity to go there, we always will have a pull to go there. We’re not making it wrong. We’re just identifying it. This is really important. We’re not making it wrong, we’re identifying it. So that as a leader who has psychological flexibility in thinking and behavior because I’ve decided to develop myself that way, we can have a very different world view and that world view is simply, “What is happening, is what is happening,” Okay? There’s no should or you know, should or shouldn’t. It’s just, what is happening, is what is happening, and because of the compelling future that I have as a transformational leader of my life, or my business, or both, I decide to use that and create the meaning of that in a way that serves me, and what this means, is we go from being unresourceful, potentially to resourceful, and this for me is the reason to think this way.
To have the energy, to have the resilience, to be the person in the room, or in the community, in the team, who can see something else. That’s true psychological flexibility and not get caught up in the drama that many people will because they haven’t developed that capability yet and I think from a self-leadership point of view this vertical and horizontal growth that we spoke about at the beginning, this universal leadership paradigm is very much that vertical growth to say, “Okay I can’t change what’s happening but I can create the meaning of my experience in a way that serves me,” and this for me is so practical that it’s something that you can put on a post-it note.
You can have it in a journal, but to really begin, you know, just because we choose. To really look at the world and say, “What is happening is what is happening,” and “I can create the meaning of everything I experience.” And all it means on the slide [refers to slide] with shifting our philosophy, shifts our psychology. All that means is shifting the paradigm means that our psychologies just follow us, you know, there’s nothing else we need to do but be intentional on growing into the universal leadership paradigm.
Dr. A: Well. We let go, to grow. [laughing]
Helen: We let go, to grow. [crosstalk 00:37:29]
Dr. A: I love that. So, this has been amazing, Helen, and I think it’s just so important because, you know, I used the analogy on one of the calls back, about being in a slow-moving lane. The guy’s going 35 and it’s a 45 mile an hour, you know, you could sit there and ruin yourself in a second [crosstalk 00:37:47]. You said everything is going like it’s supposed to and it just automatically— and it just sucks your energy and energy management is more important, and focus, and energy management, but if you’re now fully focused on where your compelling future— where you want to go, then things like that are like water on a duck’s back. You say, “You know what? I’ve got a little extra time, so maybe while listening to something, a podcast, I’ll just think ‘it’s gonna take me two minutes longer,’” you know, and if it’s really irritating that much maybe “I should have started it earlier.”
Helen: Exactly. [crosstalk 00:38:17]
Dr. A: So, taking responsibility, bringing that locus of control back in and now you’re guiding, because you said it better than anybody I’ve ever heard, when you said, “No one’s going to do it for you. No one is going to take this journey for you,” and it is going to take energy, but when you light up your brain, you’re putting more glucose, you’re putting more blood flow, you’re putting more energy management into this area [gestures to head] and this is the area that’s very acutely aware and has the best chance for you to have flexibility, versus going down that rabbit hole, that so many do so many times during the day. So, and by the way, as you mentioned, it’s not that we’re broken, it’s just that the world’s changed.
[00:38:55] The world we live in has changed, relationships have changed. I mean if you just look, the world is evolving and people aren’t putting up with the same stuff they did before [crosstalk 00:39:03]. They’re not staying as much in that social space. So this, what we’ve been talking about, is so critical for our development.
Helen: And in the world of today, and I’m sure everybody who’s looking at this can see it, is that if we go around saying, “There is a way things should be,” anymore, then that’s an interesting way of living today because of what we talked about at the beginning of our conversation today.Now of course, we’re human. We’re gonna go there. It’s a human paradigm and now we have an alternative one. We have a choice and that’s the main thing today, is this somewhere else to go.
So we can actually navigate our way forward in ways that others still cannot, until they are on their development path and I find that the more I am, I’m still growing, I’m evolving, the last two years have been fascinating for the growth of our business and working with clients with challenges unlike anything else I’ve had to see before is that energy and that psychological flexibility is what we really do need to be successful and if we want to have the contribution, make the contribution, and have the impact, this is the way. This is the foundation of us being able to be that person who can make that contribution and have that impact. That’s what drives me every day because this is the stuff that allows us to give what we want to give.
Dr. A: It’s our superpower. It actually is our superpower. To be able to adopt, adapt, and evolve. Living in is crazy— you know, the world’s moving faster, changing faster than any— right now, slower than any point in our future I mean, if you think about it, It’s crazy stuff. [crosstalk 00:40:47] So well, this has been great, Helen, and, you know, what we’d like to do now is open this up for some questions. If you can take the slides down, and Rachel, do we have our first person that wants to share?
Racheal: Yes, we do. Kristin, can you come on camera and unmute yourself?
Dr. A: Hi. Where are you Kristin? Don’t see her yet.
Kristin: Here I am.
Dr.A: There you are! Hey, Kristin. How are you? [crosstalk 00:41:20]
Kristin: I’m good. How are you?
Dr. A: Great. So, what would you like to say?
Kristin: So, I’ve been coaching for almost three years now and being seen as a leader is very new for me, just in life in general, and it’s a role that I’m continuously learning about and growing into but one roadblock that I’m trying to break through right now is that I can find myself listening to respond. I’m sorry. [showing emotion]
Dr. A: It’s okay, go ahead.
Kristin: Instead of listening for understanding, and I’m trying to discern when is a response necessary and when it’s not. My husband is— this is Sean. He’s extremely emotionally intelligent and aware and has a very high discernment, which I’m so grateful for in this business. Coaching together and in our marriage, but I’m just having a hard time of figuring out when it’s just time to— I like to fix and I like to help.
Dr. A: Well, Helen, you take this one. I know you have a lot of passion on this.
Helen: Okay. Yeah, well thank you for sharing this. This is going to be so powerful for— because of your sharing and asking the question for people to hear, so thank you. The most important, one of the most important elements of shifting from a more social self to that leadership self is that we give up proving. We give up proving. Okay? Yeah? Because as we’re socially conditioned, sometimes, depending on our background, depending on our conditioning, whether it’s, you know, anything in life, where we’ve— if we’ve been rewarded for proving, we’ve been rewarded for maybe being best, or number one, or competitive, or whatever it might be and when we develop our leadership self, which is very different in the sense of, sets up the conditions for people to be successful and listening is an environment, we set up for others to be successful [sounds in the background] I’m sorry. Oh, it’s just something going on with the fire alarm. I think I’ll be okay. [crosstalk 00:43:53]
Dr. A: Okay, if you smell smoke, just leave and I’ll finish up. [laughing]
Helen: I think he’s saying please ignore, but I better check in a second. But essentially we are so used to proving and it’s in our kind of automatic habitual response to want to say something in a conversation because it’s coming from a place of wanting to add value, but we’re just conditioned to prove. The other one, for some people, by the way, is “people please” and you know, these are all things that we begin to just let go of. Doesn’t mean we won’t be ambitious. We’re just ambitious in a different way and all I would say, as well from yourself talk, so thank you so much for sharing. Is that what I would say? With what you said, would be instead of kind of “I can’t, I can’t,” You know, I understand why.
I know the proving thing was probably a bit of a heart to help you make sense of maybe why, but what I would be saying to myself, “I’m learning how to respond today,” you know, “I’m just learning how to respond today.” Because that’s flexibility, and each time you move forward in conversations you’ll learn step by step conversation, by conversation, and, “I’m still learning how to respond today.” Yeah? We all are, as leaders, and that’s the way to be kind as you’re evolving into the more responsive of you.
Dr. A: Kristin. What’s really interesting is you love coaching, right? And you just seem so incredible. So, you know, what it can lead— going back and using some of the lessons from today. Your compelling future is going to be incredible and when you focus on that more, you’ll realize that you know you’ve changed jobs, you’ve changed what you did before these things that have been suppressed, and you were kind of like a coil. You have them all inside you, right? And they’re suppressed because you didn’t want to deal with them. Well now you realize as you learn your skills and you’re developing vertically and horizontally that these things are coming up.
[00:46:05] They were there and the reason why they create such emotion is because they hurt going away. You— they hurt. And you were suppressing them before and now they’re coming up. So you should be those should be joy, tears of joy, because you’re actually— you’re moving on this journey and as we talked about it, it requires energy. It requires you to now deal with yourself, but the beauty is the compelling future you have is so much more powerful than the little bit of disconvening and you want to get because— bottom line, it’s going to help everything in your life. It’s going to help you be a better coach, set you up to be a great leader, and it’s going to improve your relationship with your family, with everything.
So, these are things you just have to know, like Helen said, this is part of the journey. It’s part of the journey but the end point, the compelling— what it’s going to allow you to do in your future and the other part is, remember you’re starting to let go, you’re letting go of stuff that one time served you. It served you in some way now, for you to become a transformational leader and a conscious leader. It’s not serving you anymore. So, it sounds like you’ve got a great partner there to help you with this, and you know, just work on it and it’s okay. Again, proving and pleasing are moving from that state, the social self to the liberating. When you liberate, you’re going to feel this great weight start coming off you. So congratulations. That was awesome.
Kristin: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Dr. A: You’re welcome. All right. Who else we got, Rach?
Rachel: All right now we have Joan and Mike. Can you come on camera?
Dr. A: There they are. Hi, guys!
Joan and Mike: Do we unmute ourselves? Yes, we do. [crosstalk 00:47:38] Thanks for doing this guys. Thanks for doing this. The question is, we were talking about consciousness earlier in the conversation and consciousness often has a mystical quality to it, so what would be the easiest way for us to demystify that for our clients and coaching partners? That would be my question.
Dr. A: Helen, you take these. I want to listen too. [everyone laughing]
Helen: Okay. Well, again thank you for the question because it does have a mystical quality and you can read very different versions of this as a definition. For us as leaders in business and wanting to support people as cultures and so on. I think what’s useful is to think of consciousness as awareness. “How aware am I?” Yeah? Now as we grow we become aware of things that we weren’t aware of before, you know, I’m certainly more aware of Habits of Health for my own life than I was when, you know, before Dr. A and I met. So, becoming aware of more. Awareness also is just being able to see more for ourselves. So the paradigm shift is we have more awareness. So again, it’s like this vertical shift in awareness or in a way, learning more knowledge, we gain awareness.
Our consciousness will always want to expand. It will always want to go in a direction that kind of unfolds our potential and of course we know we need to let go of things to practically go there, in that direction, but I think the other one for leadership, that awareness is key but, the way I think of it when I’m in the moment and facilitating, coaching, I always think of, “How responsive am I being.” So, as we grow in consciousness, we have this responsiveness to our environment. So the more conscious we become, the more responsive we can be to our environment, and that’s how I tend to think about it. Whereas the mystical side of things, different kinds of names for consciousness, different you know, labels of consciousness, there’s something to that as well. For us though, I think in the fray of the day, kind of, out there living our lives and coaching. It’s, you know, I’m learning to respond just like we were saying before, “I’m learning to be more aware. I’m learning to respond,” and that is all we can do every single day.
Dr. A: Love that. That was great, thank you.
Joan and Mike: Thank you. Thank you.
Dr. A: Yeah. Who’s next, Rach?
Rachel: All right, next up we have Timmy. Can you come on camera?
Dr. A: Hey, Timmy.
Timmy: Hello. Hi, Dr. A. Hi, Helen.
Timmy: I am a 2021 TLDP graduate and I’m so thankful for both of you. My question is, what are the best ways to help others see and work on their inner game? How can we help them see past their current reality and empower them to build their own compelling future?
Dr. A: Go ahead Helen.
Helen: Me again? [laughing]
Dr. A: Yeah. I just think this is refreshing.
Helen: It’s great. So, thank you again for the question because there’s so much focus, isn’t there on the compelling future? What is the compelling future that compels our growth? That really pulls us towards our future? And I think for me, as a coach, having the questions that allow people to think differently, you know, and we do have inner game questions to ask. What’s important though that I think behind that, is that we’re crystal clear on ours. The more clear and conscious we are of our own inner game, our compelling future, what we want for people not from people, who we choose to be as a leader, because these are all inner game questions. Our energy and presence is what enables people, allows people to kind of find theirs. So for me, and I know you weren’t asking this in terms of, well, what are the questions? Because you didn’t ask that in your question, but a lot of people do feel if they’ve got a list of questions as a coach that’s good and it’s a start.
[00:52:03] Our very presence as a transformational leader is what makes the difference. The person who is asking those questions. The person who creates a space for someone to explore that for themselves means that we don’t have the answer for them. We’ve only got the questions that allow them to find what this is for them and I think sometimes in the social self, people can have these questions and have a view of what people should be doing, have a view of what people should want, whereas a transformational leader and coach you’re creating space for someone else’s unfolding and it will emerge over time. There’s no pressure to craft it in one coaching session. There’s no pressure to have it articulated in any particular way but in a way that’s meaningful for us.
So I like to give people permission, because they’ve sometimes given themselves a hard time, help them with that sort of permission of self to say, “I’m learning about what my compelling future is. I’m exploring what this means for me. I’m enjoying it unfolding,” to kind of play with it. Not force it, because that’s one thing in our consciousness journey, by the way, that we haven’t talked about. We cannot force our growth. We can create conditions for our growth, but we can never force it. So, sometimes people put too much pressure to have a fancy answer too soon, but our presence as a leader, I find, makes all the difference in how we’re being and how we’re showing up and there’s a transmission behind the question. Not just the words themselves.
Dr. A: That’s great, Helen. Timmy, the other part is just like we talked about earlier, remember it’s not about fixing you and it’s not about fixing them. So the person has to be aware, but your actual behavior sends a new model, and a new standard, and they see— you know, I hear this all the time, that it changes relationships even if the other person isn’t working on it yet and hopefully over time it’s just kind of helping with the Habits of Health. Until someone’s ready, you can’t make anybody do anything they’re not ready to do. But in the case of, as we grow as leaders, it sets a beautiful president up for others. So, we got time for maybe one more question, Rach. Do we have somebody?
Rachel: Yes, we have Shelley. Can you come on camera?
Dr. A: Don’t see her yet. There she is. Hey Shelley!
Shelley: Hello! Thanks for taking my question. I also did the transformation program with Helen and so enjoyed it, but my question is, I started coaching in 2018 and you know, grew pretty rapidly, and then reached a certain level of success, and then kind of went kind of backwards in my business, and I’m, I mean, I don’t really feel like my action. I mean I’ve always been in action, every day I do this full-time, you know, I retired, my husband, and we’ve just been growing and helping. I tend— I am a very passionate person. I tend to put my blood sweat and tears into everything that I do and sometimes I feel like that can hinder me [laughing], because then when I had several coaches that kind of grew and then just dropped out, who were personal friends and I thought we were creating together, and building together, and then we’ve kind of went backwards. So, just working to rebuild and I’m wondering, I know that it’s a me problem and it’s a leadership in my own growth that I need to go through, but what advice would you have for somebody like me? Or questions would you ask? [crosstalk 00:56:09]
Dr. A: Well, we’ll do two parts. I want Helen to do this as well, but I do want to say one thing. Remember, just what I just talked about, right? You know, the compelling future has to be there for those individuals. You’re enthusiastic, you’re all about it, they may not have been in that same space, right? And if they’re not [crosstalk 00:56:27], is that— did that happen?
Shelley: Well, what I experience is people tell me they have a compelling future and we’re creating this compelling future together and I’m like going all in with them and then they hit a, you know, they hit resistance, which we all will, and then they just want to go back to comfort, and then I kind of end up getting annoyed.
Dr. A: Yeah. Well, that’s exactly right. [everyone laughing] [crosstalk 00:56:54] So, you hit it, and I want Helen to finish it, but I just want to say one other thing. So understand this is— you can be over-exuberant, and again if you’re getting annoyed then you’re letting that limbic part, you’re letting that again, that social, “They should be a certain way,” right? It has to be organic. It has to grow and Helen said it earlier, it’s got to come from within. Only we can make ourselves better or not better, but actually more for this compelling future. So, Helen, we don’t have much time so I wanted you, from your vantage point.
Helen: Well, first of all, on a path of leadership, unfulfilled expectations like this will happen again and again and again and again because we’re dealing with people and I’m just going to talk over the tannoy [referring to the same alarm as previously heard]. So, one of the key things about that then, is then, “How do I approach this? How do I learn from this? What does it mean?” And one of the key things, Dr. A’s just mentioned it, but as a transformational leader, we use everything to grow. Transactional is— we need to be transactional in business, but sometimes when we’re purely transactional we go for the result. As a transformational leader, we go for the result with people. However, we learn to help people grow to get the result and one of the things that you just mentioned was that maybe people weren’t growing in the way, to get the results and so that’s going to happen as a transformational leader.
[00:58:21] If you want to keep helping people grow, you’ll find the ones who don’t want to necessarily grow like you and my model of the world now, for this very same thing, this very same experience, is to say, “How is this helping me grow as a transformational leader? How is this supporting what I ultimately want?” and “How is it along the way, not in the way?” “How is it along the way, on my path? Not in the way,” and when I think like that I hear different answers in my mind, I see things differently, I can still be frustrated. I can still not like it [laughing], I can tell you that now. Doesn’t mean we have to like it, but what we can do is we can use it to move forward and that’s what a great transformational leader does, because that’s psychological flexibility in action and one of the key things, if I’m allowed Dr. A, is one more thing with time, is when you’re building a business, you want a sustainable business with your people. Any leader would, and you’ll find the ones who can stay the distance and that’s the gift of not having the expectation already fulfilled. The people who will last the distance with you because they’re prepared to do what it takes to be there with you.
Dr. A: Thanks, Shelley that was a great question and, you know, that’s— we can’t want it more for them than they want it for themselves and that realization and as you become more— we talked about consciousness as being awareness, as you become more aware to their tonality, to their posture, you know, it’s not just what people say. It’s sensing and being aware you know because if— and if they’re not self-aware then they can’t self-regulate. So, this has been amazing. Thank you so much. Helen, some closing remarks I mean we’re just about out of time, we got one minute left. I’d love for you some closing remarks on this journey.
Helen: Well, I was just seeing how many people were listening today and being part of the conversation which is incredible. The world needs us all to grow and evolve in the way that we feel compelled to and we’re learning how to, that’s really what this is about now. It’s how to. So, it’s been a pleasure, an honor to be here. Love the questions, thank you, and I really do hope that what we shared today is more practical in a subject of consciousness, that can be a little intangible as we said at the beginning. So you know, that we can use this moving forward and put it into practice.
Dr. A: Awesome. Thank you, Helen, and obviously we’re gonna have to have you back again and we will make sure that they’re aware of the other sources, resources, that you can provide to help them on their journey. We have another five, almost doubled again, our participants, and so there’s a great energy [crosstalk 01:01:11] for people to learn more and a thirst for consciousness and our development and you know, we’ll make sure that we continue to provide the forum, and thank you so much for your time and energy and welcome to the Big Apple, and have fun, stay warm. I’m looking forward to seeing you soon. Thanks so much.
Helen: Thank you. Bye.
Dr. A: Bye. Bye.