Deep Stream Leadership Approach
An Interdisciplinary & Systems Approach to Leadership Development
Each individual is a complex intersection of lived experience, and internalized assumptions and beliefs from these experiences and our social context. Along with this, our nervous system is constantly scanning for stress and threat.
Within micro-seconds, our reactivity can sabotage our desired intentions and our most clear purpose.
Unfortunately, in our culture of efficiency and cognitive knowledge, most of us haven’t received education about how to navigate the complexity of our internal reactions and neurobiology, in the context of interpersonal and group dynamics.
Deep Stream Leadership workshops and coaching equip individuals and teams with concrete skills and behaviors that enable connection and collaboration amidst the significant interpersonal, diversity, and inclusion issues that challenge how we “show up” in personal and professional relationships, and hinder our team and organizational success.
Experiential and whole-body methods are the cornerstone of shifting limiting mindsets, behaviors, and reactions, along with transforming internal barriers (inner critic, perfectionism, self-doubt). We also draw on research and frameworks relevant to building successful relationships and teams that include the following topics: Neuroscience. Managing Responses to Threat. Emotional Intelligence. Blind Spots & Bias. Interpersonal Communication. Diversity & Group Dynamics. Repair from Conflict.
Deep Stream Leadership raises awareness of factors that shape perceptions, reactions, and behaviors (and ultimately effectiveness and influence) that are largely unconscious. These factors include individual tendencies when triggered by stress, uncertainty, and/or perceived threat; false assumptions, perceptions, and beliefs we hold about ourselves and others; information about how certain behaviors of ours impact different people; understanding about how social identity, power, and status are internalized and manifest in interpersonal and group dynamics, often to the detriment of relationships and potential success.
Deep Stream workshops and coaching are based on concrete practices that develop skills and behaviors foundational to effective leadership and collaboration. These behaviors include the following: owning one’s internal reactions; regulating one’s nervous system when activated; interrupting false narratives; transforming judgment through curiosity and inquiry; expressing appreciation.
Without intention and practice, our behavior is driven by unconscious processes, including the brain’s bias towards negativity and stereotypes, as well as our own inaccurate assumptions and beliefs.
Dan Siegel, Harvard-trained psychiatrist introduces the field of interpersonal neurobiology in his book, “The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are.” Intentionally focusing attention through concrete practices, done on one’s own and in relationship, creates new neural pathways and changes the structure of the brain. Deep Stream practices engage this process of “neuroplasticity,” which enables us to choose mindsets and behaviors that support our goals and aspirations vs. react unconsciously.
SOCIAL IDENTITY, POWER, AND STATUS
As a culture, we tend to focus on the content of our work – “what” we do together. Yet whether we are conscious of it or not, social identity, power, and status inextricably influence how we perceive ourselves and others and “how” we show up and engage with others. This ultimately impacts our relationships and how effective our collaboration efforts are. Given this, we raise awareness of the following:
- each individual’s social identities
- how we create assumptions about others based on social identities, power, and status
- how system-level dynamics shaped by social identity, power, and status, can manifest at the interpersonal, group, organization, and system levels.
INTERPERSONAL AND GROUP DYNAMICS
Any interaction involves a complex intersection of processes and dynamics at the intra-personal, inter-personal, team, organization, and system (culture) levels. In order to expose participants to these processes and dynamics, Deep Stream workshops involve a small-group learning lab called T Group (stands for “training group”). T Group is a learning format that enables group members to engage with each other and stretch out of their comfort zone to practice desired skills in. Facilitators provide in-the-moment coaching and support, as well as raise awareness about patterns and dynamics that are playing out interpersonally and in the group.