Forty plus people gathered to deepen their understanding about what it means to be an embodied leader. After two rounds of World Café-style discussion, we shifted into more experimental mode, exploring physical ways of being more fully present as leaders. Heightening awareness of breathing and body posture, participants themselves embodied some of the leadership qualities they felt could serve them in becoming better leaders in their work and life.

We added a meta-learning loop at the end of harvest, inquiring about the process and structure of this leadership laboratory, as well as reaping personal takeaways from the activities.

Many people wanted to learn more about how to use their body to embody leadership….

Leadership qualities embodied by participants included:

Authenticity, compassion, clarity, courage, determination, focus, inspiration, intelligence, love, being non-judgmental, space-holding, trustworthiness, vision, vulnerability.

Takeaways, in the words of participants, included:

  • “To listen to your body. Remember [and] embody the quality you want to exhibit.”
  • “I chose clarity & holding space and realized I should stop making plans and just relax…”
  • “I noticed that I become too quiet among Japanese people, Oh no!”
  • “Holding space [for others].”
  • “Reflection about how body/posture/movement can support/reinforce your emotions/thoughts.”
  • “Small group work is really effective for learning. Good format. Great people.”
  • “Our body has a lot to teach us. I want to work on my breath.”
  • “Get out of my head and connect with my body more.”

Facilitators in order of appearance: Yuka Kojima, Skip Swanson, Dori Yanagi, Michael Shell, Tatsuya Yamada, Annette Karseras, David Nevin.