Meet Silvia Christman- an empath, leader, and life-coach, who thinks out of the box and helps those who seek her guidance balance their professional lives with a more mindful and consciousness lifestyle.
What is a quick sign or flash of a strong leader?
I think of leadership as a mindset in action. It’s not a title given to you, it’s a skillset you. Expertise in your field does not automatically make you a leader. While there are many styles and paths to effective leadership, I focus on wholehearted, mindful leadership that inspires greatness in others. Quick ways to identify a naturally inspired leader are:
- Vision – They have a strong sense of self, including their purpose and values. They can articulate their vision and give clear direction. They invite participation and ideas to creatively solve problems on their mission towards a common goal.
- Positive attitude – They lead with infectious enthusiasm. They have mastered the art of engaging people in a purposeful way. They bring their magic to the table.
- Courage – Leaders take ownership of their own actions and the actions those they lead. Strong leaders are able to own their mistakes and ask for help when necessary. They have humility, a good sense of humor about themselves, and tend to relinquish their need to be right in honor of being able to move forward. They trust their instincts.
How does a leader inspire collectively, but also nurture one-to-one relationships? How important are the latter in the workspace?
A strong leader has the ability to translate their values into actions and engages a group of people to collectively move in the same direction. They foster an environment where ideas are shared and collaboration is appreciated. They inspire people to believe in themselves, their strengths, and their worthiness – they encourage people to be bold and deliver exceptional work.
One-to-one mentorship is very necessary to grow talent. Leaders who spend time with people to get to know their strengths are able to utilize these strengths better. Having an open door policy allows people to discuss challenges one-on-one. It creates a realm of communication in which potentially uncomfortable challenges can be addressed.
What is the best way to handle antagonism? In most cases, antagonism – manifested in people who are defensive, aggressive, and/or close-minded to new ideas – stems from different forms of fear-based thinking. Antagonistic people are often hooked on a story of inadequacy. On some level they feel afraid of being blamed, or ashamed of having done something wrong or not being good enough. Meet people with kindness and assurance when they are stuck in antagonistic behaviors. If we take the time to put ourselves in their shoes for a minute, we can usually easily identify what makes them so defensive. This gives us an opportunity to meet people with understanding while highlighting their strengths and offering help where needed. People will then naturally let down their guard and become more interested in solving the problem. This attitude allows you to set strong boundaries when inappropriate behaviors negatively affect others.
How important is emotional intelligence? How can you develop it?
VERY! Leadership is a process of social influence. A strong intuitive nature or EQ is needed to identify and regulate your own emotions, and appropriately respond to those of others. People with a high EQ are able to motivate people, calm them down, lift them up, and encourage them to be brave when they are afraid to act.
Having a strong meditation and self-observation practice trains us to pause and observe our own thought processes, interpretations and reactions, as well as understand those of others.
Let your integrity translate into compassion towards others. If you can admit your flaws you can allow others to do the same. This form of compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. And that is the sweet spot of someone with a strong EQ.
How do you refuel after office hours in order to be your best self the next day (and everyday)?
I have various unwinding rituals for the end of the day.
First I recap and reflect on the day. I make sure I review my to do’s and organize them according to priorities. I note everything down, literally unloading my mind. I believe when we are intentional about when and how we switch gears, we learn to be more present for the people in our lives. We show up fully, without distraction. One of my favorite rituals for deeper sleep is taking a hot bath or shower, making myself a cup of tea, and meditating.
What are the top three most effective habits that you recommend we introduce in our daily routines to help us meet our goals?
- Learn how to manage your time. Stop doing things out of a false sense of obligation. Don’t agree to do things that prevent you from moving forward. Learn how to say yes without resentment and no without regret.
- Meditate and decompress. Take the time to sit with yourself, observe your thoughts, and pause. Taking small breaks throughout the day to regroup and recharge can be critical to your ability to make good decisions and remain calm. You want to clear your head and keep your energy high.
- Be intentional + foster an attitude of gratitude.
- If you start and end the day intentionally you can stay focused on your values, your mission, and your priorities. If you recap and plan at the end of the day you will wake up aligned with your mission. You are more likely to stick to your priorities and won’t get sucked into the inbox vortex, Facebook, and other people’s agendas. I start my day by practicing gratitude and setting a positive motto for the day. I think it’s mission critical to staying engaged and maintain momentum no matter what.
How do you discover goals that really matter to you?
If you want to create a life that feels exciting, rich, and fulfilling, then you need to focus on goals that really matter to you.Here is what you need: A strong WHY, people that are on your team, a strong ability to keep up your mental fitness, and clarity about your goals. Develop a strong WHY. Evaluate what gives your life meaning and energy, then use that to craft an overall mission for your life, which you will apply to any situation and relationship.
Build a personal board of advisors:
Find people who will give you clarity, courage, and positive energy. Focus on spending time with people who can serve as mentors, enthusiasts, motivators, collaborators, and people who give you honest feedback. Identify your energy vampires and don’t let them suck up your time. We can’t grow if we surround ourselves with people that weigh us down and muddle our vision
Cultivate your motivation.
Work on your mental fitness. Regular self-reflection will reveal how your thoughts affect your behavioral choices. Observe when your beliefs limit your ability to move forward. Create three triggers that will help uplift your thinking and create a positive mental attitude.
Map out your goals:
On a regular basis, map out WHAT exactly you want to LEARN, EXPERIENCE, CHANGE, and CREATE. Then evaluate WHY.
When you evaluate your choices, ensure that the time, energy, and money you need to invest is proportionate to the ROI: the value it will bring to your life, the potential for personal growth, and the lifestyle you desire.
Keep in mind that inspired and audacious actions depend on sparking the necessary human drive to get you there. If you have a clear mission, a team to support you, mental habits to maintain momentum when you face challenges, and are pursuing goals you really care about, you will reach your goals faster.
How do you inspire change without imposing?
You lead by example. It’s simple. People with infectious enthusiasm who wholeheartedly embody what they believe in are engaging. Have a strong sense of purpose but be very flexible in your approach. Have integrity. It builds trust. Nothing erodes confidence faster than a leader who gets caught up in half truths or rationalized shortcuts. Have the courage to be imperfect and take responsibility. Don’t try to be perfect. Ask for help. Having an open and curious attitude signals that you are part of the team and open to feedback and suggestions. Know that you will never inspire anyone by micromanaging, controlling, or creating an energy of fear.
What are the most overlooked qualities that you think people want to see in a leader?
A strong leader has the ability to translate their values into actions and inspires the team collectively to move in the same direction.
They are sources of stillness and reason. They are aware that the overall mood of an organization is dictated by the leader in the room. They instill trust and encourage others to realize their potential and find their greatness from within. They do not compete with their team or need to take the spotlight. They want others to shine and delight in their growth. They look at limitations as opportunities to grow and inspire others to see obstacles as a learning journey.
Words to live by?
Only from the heart can you touch the sky – RUMI