7 Essential Embodied Tools for Leadership, Training and HR

Integration Training’s specialty as a company is the fast growing area of embodied training, sometimes called somatics or physical intelligence. This way of doing training engages people who learn with their bodies (kinaesthetic learners), works at a fundamentally deeper level than power point so it enables real change and it sticks because real learning is always a full body experience irrespective of learning style. The video below shows what embodied training with corporate groups looks like. This article is a collection of useful tips and tools for leaders, training mangers and HR managers, drawing from that work.  This video shows what embodied training looks like.

1.     Centring

Centring, is way of keeping it together when all around are losing their heads and blaming it on you to paraphrase Kipling. Use this technique  to manage yourself when leading a challenging training group, giving or receiving an appraisal or for any other situation where the pressure is on. As with all these embodied tools practice is key.  This video shows you how to centre.

2.    Make sure you’ve got “length, width and depth”

This simple yet deep model of personal impact comes from the Srozzi Institute and is useful for all leadership, confidence and situations where you need to come across well and feel your best. It involves “grounding” down and standing/sitting to your full height, balancing your body left and right and front and back. It is included in this video.

3.     Identify and manage your mood

Mood as defined in this work is a physical predisposition for action, as emotions are bodily things that influence what we do. If you’ve got a friend like Tigger who is happy no matter what or one like Eyore who is the opposite for example then you’ve seen mood in action. Mood defines what we are capable of, even what we see and what we don’t. It creates the “lens” through which we see the world. Scarily we get used to our own moods so they are hard to notice ourselves, so I recommend asking a selection of others what mood you generally live in – you will have a reputation! Moods (as opposed to emotions) are long-term and changed through modelling others and practice – what do you need to practice to manage your mood? One model of mood I use that come from the Newfield coaching group is below. More on what is mood here

4.      Listen (with your body)

Listening is essential for leadership, training and most HR functions, and it is an embodied activity. By this I mean that empathy involves “tuning-in” to another person, and this is done via mirror-neurons and paying attention to both their and your body.  Next time you are listening centre your own body (see above), and keep attention on both them and your own physical reaction.

5.     Learn to make “somatic assessments”

Beyond just paying attention to others you can also make informed guesses about what they are like as people from how they are in their bodies. This is an incredibly useful skill for people who conduct job interviews, are involved in negotiations or are just interested in others.

See this article for how to do it or this one where I applied this in the last general election to see it in action.

6.     Develop Embodied Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a key skill for both training managers and HR managers, making the difference between career success and failure in many cases. Again it’s embodied. This video shows exactly how it works.

7.     Use your intuition

Intuition is not magic but an embodied skill that can be fine-tuned. This article asking what is intuition will tell you more about it and working with “gut-instinct”:

I hope these tips have whetted your appetite for learning more about embodied work which is best learnt face-to-face. To find out more call us on (+44) (0) 7762 541 855 or (+44) (0) 1273 906828.

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