April 2023

LEADER PRACTICE No. 2: Checking In

Over 70% of leaders report sometimes feeling as if they are on autopilot – not present for themselves or others. Sound familiar? Whether or not we know it, the lack of self-awareness, including inattention to our mood, affects our leadership and the people we’re trying to lead. Emotions are contagious. We’ve all experienced the energy of leaders who are enthusiastic, encouraging, or calm. And we’ve felt it when they’ve been frustrated, impatient, or anxious.

To be sure, it’s not realistic or even desirable to “be up” all the time. And it’s usually counterproductive to stuff unpleasant feelings. We need to feel all of our emotions. The goal is to be more aware. Being aware reveals choices. We have the choice to shift when it serves us, others, or the situation. We can also choose how we process what we are feeling and shift to benefit ourselves.


Experiment with the check-in practices below to become more aware. Try to connect it with something you already do every day or set a reminder for yourself:

  • Check in with yourself at least once a day, especially when you are feeling “activated.”
  • Name your mood. Notice the sensations in your body that accompany the mood.
  • If your mood is not serving you or the situation, ask yourself,  “Do I want to shift?” (It’s okay if the answer is “not now.”)
  • If yes, what can you do to process the emotion and make the desired shift?

Check out our favorite video about checking in from our friends at the Conscious Leadership Group.

Until next month…

Dana's signature

Founder and Principal Coach