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How "Awake" Leadership Creates Healthy Workplaces

Here at The Conscious Leadership Company (TCLC), our Conscious Leadership framework is built around five pillars, which we believe are the key areas that leaders must develop to help themselves and their teams thrive. One of these pillars is awareness or being “awake” to self-understanding, an essential quality for successful leaders to possess.


Authors of “How to Become a Better Leader” cited self-awareness as the most important capability for leaders to develop. By recognising what drives their behaviour, staying connected to their emotions, and understanding their natural inclinations, leaders empower themselves to improve and build stronger relationships with their teams.


What Does It Mean for a Leader to Be ”Awake”?


“Awake” leaders strive to understand themselves and others through continuous reflection. They exhibit self-awareness, empathy and the ability to remain present, staying focused on the work that matters most. To become a Conscious Leader, you must embrace introspection and commit to personal development, learning about yourself and what drives your behaviour. The following are characteristics of awake leaders:


Understand Triggers


Practising Conscious Leadership means identifying and understanding the triggers or beliefs that drive your behaviour. To be awake, you must determine why you do the things you do and reflect on how you react to others. In addition to looking inwards, leaders should also consider how others respond to their words or actions and the kind of impact they have on the people around them.


When leaders understand these triggers and learn how they react in different scenarios, they can use this awareness to focus on behaviour that brings out the best in everyone.


Stay Connected to Thoughts and Feelings


Awake leaders are emotionally intelligent, which means they’re in tune with their own emotions and those of others. By staying connected to their thoughts and feelings, successful leaders can recognise their own needs, manage their emotions constructively and better relate to their teams.


Open to Feedback


Being open to feedback helps Conscious Leaders understand their behaviour’s impact on others and identify their own limitations. Self-awareness through feedback takes time but is a valuable exercise to help leaders become the best they can be.


Practice Humility


Conscious Leaders develop humility as part of their journey to self-awareness, letting go of pride to serve themselves and their teams better. When leaders are awake, they are aware that they don’t know everything and that there’s always more to learn and improve upon.


Work on Shortcomings


To be awake as a leader is to act on what you discover about yourself. Conscious Leaders can identify patterns in their behaviours and be honest about them, seeking to do more of what makes them exceptional leaders and less of what negatively impacts themselves and others. This helps them lead their peers more effectively, guiding them to success.


Strive for Development


Thriving leaders don’t see consciousness as a one-off goal to achieve but as something to continuously improve on and invest effort in. Continual personal development is key to responding to new challenges and understanding your ever-evolving self.


How Does Self-Awareness in Leadership Benefit Organisations?


Awake leaders benefit everyone, inspiring their peers and creating a positive company culture from the top. Effective, Conscious Leaders are intentional in their decision-making and take actions that positively impact on an organisational and individual level. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from self-aware leaders:


    • Greater control over emotions and actions results in behaviour that positively impacts teams.

    • Enhanced decision making — self-knowledge is used to make better choices and guide teams to the best possible outcomes.

    • Greater empathy, ensuring that the emotional needs of others are met.

    • Improved performance — when leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses, they can better fulfil their responsibilities and inspire peers to meet their potential. Data suggests that organisations with strong financial performance tend to have employees with higher self-awareness.

    • Reduced burnout — awake leaders are connected to what’s going on inside and around them, which helps them avoid overwhelm and recognise signs of stress in their teams.

    • Leading by example — leaders who practice self-awareness and stay in tune with their own emotions and needs encourage employees to do the same, resulting in a more positive and healthy work environment.


If you’d like to become more “awake” and be a better leader, we’ve got the tools to help you. Our UCL validated Conscious Leader psychometric gives you a real-time view of how you’re doing as a leader. At the same time, our Consciously app is a digital learning and well-being platform that helps you build self-awareness and take time to reflect.


Book a call with our expert team to discover how our leadership development and psychometric platform can improve performance and support well-being within your organisation.