5 Transformations The Best Retreats Offer To A Leader

For high-performance entrepreneurs, retreats are remarkably powerful tools — and the best ones can offer a significant transformative power to entrepreneurs who are seeking sustained success.

I will never quite forget the experience of an early retreat which truly opened my eyes to the transformations one can experience. I was participating at a retreat on the tranquil west coast of Canada, and I declared my intention to be selfish, indulgent and receive all I could muster. I let go of analyzing, controlling and worrying about how I was perceived and catered to my needs only. I couldn’t remember the last time I had the opportunity to be so selfish! I re-entered my reality with a fresh perspective of not needing to please others. Putting myself first for an entire long weekend actually drew people closer to me.

Let’s explore the five ways in which the best retreats, aligning perfectly with the needs of high-performers, can transform entrepreneurs from the inside-out.

1. Self-awareness and reflection

A study from 2014 found that individuals who took just 15 minutes at the end of each day to think about what they learned performed 23% better than those who didn’t reflect at all.

Now, think about the advantages self-reflection could bring to entrepreneurs for an entire three days and three nights.

Great entrepreneurs know that self-awareness is the foundation upon which leadership mastery is built. Retreats, especially those that are transformative and inspire change, curate an environment that stimulates profound self-reflection. Nestled in inspiring, naturous and private locations, these retreats create the perfect backdrop for leaders to delve into their inner selves.

2. Leveraging vulnerability

With more concentrated time outside of Forum, there’s more space to go deeper into a significant happening in your life. We can go beyond sharing it in a lifeline, or our “Update/5% Reflections,” and explore the lessons and emotions afforded by these occurrences.

For example, many entrepreneurs have experienced significant traumas — many which have never been shared before. Sharing out loud is often a first step in healing and growing from trauma. The second step is processing the lingering emotions that are creating shame, guilt, fear and judgment. Processing is where a retreat is the most impactful.

Experiencing curated exercises in nature, responding to coaching questions, and enjoying solo time to reflect and journal are impactful practices. The concentrated time gives you permission to stay in your heart and embody the lessons from this time in your life.

When someone shares something deep and personal, it can liberate others by offering a sense of belonging (“You aren’t alone in this; I’ve experienced it, too.”)

With the guidance of a facilitator, current vulnerabilities like financial strains, marriage woes, health challenges, and aging parents can be discussed at length with time to feel emotions and curate action steps together.

There are very few places in our lives outside of Forum that we can lean in, be selfish and express ourselves without judgment. There are even fewer places with a captive audience to share things out loud with that we haven’t yet entirely thought through.

Focusing a retreat on different beliefs is a rare type of “5%” focus and an excellent way to bring a tenured or stale Forum closer. Even contrasting views bring more empathy and compassion to a Forum when shared safely. Engaging an external facilitator to guide sensitive conversations around contrasting beliefs can bring a Forum to new depths and trust.

3. Clarity of purpose

The finest retreats help individuals attain profound clarity regarding their life, purpose, and objectives. Engaging in curated exercises, personalized coaching sessions, and inspiring conversations, entrepreneurs and executives embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Within this transformative space, participants reassess their priorities, fine-tune their vision, and establish meaningful goals that harmonize with deeply held values and aspirations.

It’s a blend of structured exercises and uplifting dialogue. Combined, they craft an environment where individuals can not only navigate the intricacies of their professional life but also infuse a sense of inspiration into their personal growth endeavors. A reconnection to a sense of purpose becomes strengthened and activated in ways that simply hadn’t occurred before.

4. Mindset shifts

The most successful retreats have the ability to engage entrepreneurs in mindset shifting: an experience which feels more like walking through a portal of transformation. Retreats become a playground for leaders to challenge and reshape beliefs — many of which we’ve held unknowingly for years or decades.

The more immersive the retreat experience, the more profound the mindset shifts can be. As a facilitator, I can almost see beliefs liberating themselves in real-time from their shackles, stepping into new ones which (finally) serve the goals and dreams we have for ourselves.

When the beliefs and perspectives which have shaped us are adapted, we’re able to see possibility and opportunity in an entirely new light.

5. From “doing” to “being”

Immersing yourself in nature and disconnecting from the non-stop clamor of the external world facilitates a mental decluttering, creating room for what genuinely holds meaning in our lives. It’s a shift from constant “doing” to “being.”

By tuning into emotions, really feeling all bodily sensations, and fostering receptivity to novel concepts, leaders are encouraged to seamlessly integrate their passions with professional aspirations.

Ultimately, the most transformational retreats create an environment that empowers individuals with the tools for self-awareness, vulnerability, clarity of purpose, mindset shifts, renewed motivation, and reconnection to what truly matters.

Leah Diteljan is an executive coach and retreat facilitator with 16 years of experience collaborating with inspiring entrepreneurs leading 7- to 10-figure businesses. She is the founder of MindSpa, which endeavors to reconnect leaders to themselves, other like-hearted humans, nature, and their purpose through 1:1 coaching, group coaching and retreats.

For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO blog.

Categories: Best Practices Coaching Entrepreneurial Journey LEADERSHIP WORK-LIFE INTEGRATION


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