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Naked Leader Week – 54 – Monday 10 May 2004

Leadership from a different perspective – yours

Thank you for sending in your naked leader weeks. This week, Liz Hill-Smith shares her thoughts on…


“I have to admit to having been a little cynical about ideas of mind reading and intrapersonal energies.  However, a few recent experiments and experiences have begun to challenge my view.  On a programme I attended a couple of years ago, we were invited to try and read what was on a fellow participants mind.  Almost everyone present managed to do this with uncanny accuracy, just by listening with their eyes as well as with their ears.  I now run the exercise on my own leadership programmes and have been consistently amazed by peoples’ ability to do this. Even my most sceptical participants are stunned by their own abilities after a bit of guidance and practice.

A second experiment started as a game with my kids.  One of them would creep silently up to my back and I had to guess which one, just by sensing their energy.  It proved amazingly easy to get that sense.  A third experiment was carried out by a colleague.  He and another colleague decided over the course of two weeks to note down the exact date and time each time the other person came to mind.  After the two weeks, they compared notes.  The similarities in timings were uncanny.


Not definitive scientific proof, but enough to make me wonder just what are our abilities to sense what is going on in other people – if we really put our minds to it.  How powerful can it be to do this?  What an amazing gift we have if we choose to develop and use it – to be able to sense what others are thinking and feeling, to gain even greater understanding and insight, even across cultures and languages.  In fact, leaders I have shared this skill with have found their personal effectiveness soar.

And you?

So how do you build mindreading abilities?  Believing in it, practicing hard, listening more with our eyes, observing close, and checking out our intuition.  Quietening our own internal noise helps too.  Too often though, we don’t look because we don’t like what we see.  Others in discomfort may make us anxious or wary, and we shield our eyes – in doing so, we miss or ignore important signals.

I love the title of David’s book – The Naked Leader.  For years I have used the presentation skills technique of imagining my audience to be sitting in the buff.  Now, I try and look into their hearts and minds, sense their energies, feel where they are at.  It doesn’t tell me everything, but it does tell me more and more each time I look.

Liz is a facilitator, consultant and coach specialising in Change Management and Leadership development.  She is also a director of The Growing Edge .  Mind-reading and other useful skills form part of her programmes of coaching and leadership development.

Thank you Liz, although I couldn’t begin to imagine my audience in that way, maybe I need to hone my imagination skills!

And thanks again to everyone reading this, and in particular to you for sending this on to others, when you do this there is no need to mention me or The Naked Leader name, as these powerful messages belong to everyone.

With love to you, whoever you are and however you are feeling today



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