Embodied mind knowledge in leadership practice: creating space in patterned thoughts and behaviors

Astra E.A. Karssiens, Claartje van der Linden, Celeste P.M. Wilderom, Elfi Furtmueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


This article invites leaders and managers who are successful in their work, but feel unfulfilled and stressed, to create space in their fixed patterns of thinking and acting. Creating such space generates the possibility of experiencing meaningfulness and satisfaction at work and producing innovative results. Space in the head creates space at the conference table. We explain and link the notions of “embodied mind,” “way of being,” and “basic goodness.” Given that behavioral patterns also manifest themselves in the senses, breathing, and the body, the creation of space may occur through opening of the senses; slowing down one’s breathing and doing slow movement exercises. Leaders who develop the ability to create flexibility in their behavioral patterns can become agile, for instance in their use of power when this serves an organizational necessity. They can approach situations with an open and non-judgmental attitude when this is more appropriate. The contribution of this article lies in identifying a path to access the full potential of human thinking and acting, where success and fulfillment can go hand in hand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-241
JournalJournal of management inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2013


  • Leadership development
  • Patterned behavior
  • Management training and coaching
  • Sensory intelligence
  • Eastern philosophy
  • Mindfulness in organizations
  • Embodied mind learning


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