Strozzi Institute (SI) is the original architect of Embodied Leadership – a unique approach that combines the latest in neuroscience, holistic practice, action-oriented communication and mindfulness.
Somatics is not a set of relaxation techniques or methods to strengthen and improve the body. Somatics derives from greek word „ Somaticos’ and means the living body as a whole: physical body, mind, emotions and spirit.
The body in Somatics isn’t something that needs to be repaired or developed. According to Somatics the body is indistinguishable from the self.. The self shapes the body, and what one does and how works in and through the body directly impacts the self.
Somatics supports the development of:
1. Pragmatic wisdom: the capability to act for bigger goal than fulfilling on individual needs and desires. It leads to the state when the person is internally relaxed and at the same time alert and ready to act for the sake of something big.
2. Skillful action. This is a set of different skills, necessary to build personal and professional leadership. It includes the development of “technical skills”, interpersonal skills, capabilities to collaborate, conflict solving skills, and many others
3. Grounded compassion. It is the area of acceptance of others and respect for their life. It creates the foundation for the diversity, differences’ acceptance, gratefulness. Here the innovation and entrepreneurship is born.
Based on recent neurobiology findings , Somatics assumes that the action, learning, collaboration, emotions and dignity based on values occur not only in rational mind but in big extend in the body, taken as a whole: physical body, mind, emotions and spirit.
- Example 1: Emotions are bodily reactions to external situations, events or people. Biologically these are neural and hormonal reactions triggering many different systems and organs in the entire body. This biological arousal happens before the signal gets into the conscious mind – so its first phase can’t be consciously stopped. This prepares the body for a certain reaction, so it predisposes a human being to act in a certain way. This “chosen” way of action is the way we act predominantly. This type of action/ reacting happens almost automatically. We can change this typical way of reacting only if we are aware – meaning if we feel, recognize it and learn in practice a different way for action. If we don’t recognize such a conditioned reaction- we surrender to this dominant automatic behavior
- Example 2. Learning. Learning is a bodily phenomenon that occurs through practice. Theoretical learning is often necessary, but usually not sufficient. Without the training we are rarely able to use new knowledge in real life. It happens in the case of new computer program, car driving, playing an instrument, singing, speaking a foreign language or making a surgery. Some of our capabilities are so deeply embodied that we can have a problem to explain and teach others how to do it.
Somatics uses the approach enabling to build embodied, pragmatic skills that can be used immediately in life. These new skills are available also in stress and under pressure- so in situations, when the logical thinking is diminished.