In my practice as a coach I often experience people who approach their leadership from a “low crouch”. They feel the need to constantly cover their bases. They over-analyze decisions and potential stakeholder responses. Enormous energy can be spent on problems before the situation even becomes a problem. If a problem doesn’t surface fast enough, they may unwittingly create one. It’s as if they are battening down the hatch for an emotional hailstorm despite the fact the skies are perfectly blue.
One can only imagine the toll a low crouch would take on the body if that physical posture was constant. An emotional low crouch can have serious repercussions as well. Strained relationships, decreased credibility, stress and personal exhaustion are just the beginning.
There are three things that can help move a leader out of a low crouch.
1) Learn what it looks like. A trusted colleague or a leader coach is a good resource to help bring about this cognitive awareness.
2) Learn what it feels like. Where in your body are you experiencing stress and tension? Try to notice when those sensations are heightened and what is happening. The body doesn’t lie.
3) Learn to shift your focus. Good leaders use their gut for more than just avoiding bad situations. The gut can be an indicator that something positive might be going on. Allow your gut to ease you out of that low crouch into a relaxed posture with a 360-degree view of all possibilities.
Where are you experiencing a low crouch mindset? What indicators can you use to help transition out of that posture?