Chain Reaction Foundation
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Heart Centred Leadership: The Whole Me – A Leader with Self-Respect

by Margaret Bell | March 14, 2018

Last week we discussed the confluence of two seemingly independent concepts; the concepts of leadership and of self-respect. After examining these concepts, it is clear that they are not in fact independent, but rather are mutually entwined. Leadership–good leadership cannot exist without self-respect. 

I want to explore this further today as we introduce the first session in our new term here at Learning Ground. The title of this week's session is 'The Whole Me'.

A Journey to the Heart of What It Means to Be Me

So what does 'The Whole Me' mean exactly? Well, at Learning Ground, we are helping to build and nurture the next generation of leaders. As we have said before, we are not necessarily talking about future prime ministers or organisational leaders; instead we are talking about a generation of people with the knowledge and skills required to lead society towards a better state, be that in the work place, in the classroom, or simply in the home.

This requires self-awareness. In fact, it requires more than this. It requires self-knowledge and self-understanding. The more of it the better.

This is what we mean by 'The Whole Me'. This is what we mean by 'A Journey to the Heart of What It Means to Be Me'. We explore understanding ourselves, being comfortable with who we are, and knowing our potential.

At Learning Ground, we seek to help individuals develop an understanding of self as a whole. The Whole Me is considered in five parts - physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The last point on this list is important, even though it is sometimes a cause for concern among young people and their parents. Australian society is becoming increasingly secular, with 29.6% of people describing themselves as having no religion at the last census in 2016. However, this does not mean that we cannot have a spiritual understanding of ourselves.

This is something we will be exploring in the first session.

Gem Allocation

In order to support moves towards a more complete understanding of the self, the team at Learning Ground has implemented a structure of gem allocation. This is a form of positive recognition which provides rewards and encouragement for clear thinking and positive choices.

Positive reinforcement is something we firmly believe in at Learning Ground, and research supports its impact. Studies have repeatedly shown that young people perform at a higher level and exhibit better growth when they are presented with positive reinforcement rather than punishment.

Gem allocation gives us a framework within which to explore this and to apply it to the concept of “understanding of the self”.  Last week, we were discussing self-esteem, which is part of the understanding of the self. Without feeling positive and good about the self–or, at least having the ability to look at positive and negative aspects of the self proactively we are unable to act from a point of knowledge which helps identification of true self-understanding.

In short, the process becomes stalled. Gem allocation and positive reinforcement are means used to keep our attendees on the right track.

But the concept is not limited to use within our sessions at Learning Ground. Leaders in work places across Australia may also find such structures useful when it comes to building a highly functional, effective, and compassionate team.

At strategic levels, the benefits of such an approach could be enormous. Businesses who adopt such methods are crafting an engaged workforce, one which truly cares about the organisation and its goals. By considering a form of gem allocation, businesses are moving towards a framework for safeguarding a healthy, happy, and conscientious team; a team who have an intimate understanding of themselves and who are equipped with what is required to move the business in the right direction.

What sort of positive reinforcement might you implement in your work place?

Margaret Bell, AM - Founder and CEO of Chain Reaction Foundation.

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