Monday, 16 October 2023 13:45

The Bottom Iceberg

Self-awareness, authenticity, and accountability are three vital skills for any leader. But how can a leader tap into them?

Ernest Hemingway coined the Iceberg theory, but it was Sigmund Freud who was responsible for making it popular, especially within the realm of psychology. Freud developed a topographical model of the mind describing its features. The use of the iceberg presents the idea of three levels of the mind: conscious, preconscious and unconscious. He stipulated that the unconscious mind is the primary source of human behaviour.

Within the workplace, the Iceberg theory is a practical model for leaders to understand, connect with and motivate their teams. The model demonstrates that effective and authentic leadership is not just about observing what is visible but rather delving into the depths of what drives those behaviours. For a leader, understanding their bottom iceberg entails recognising their own emotions, motivations and personality traits as well as that of their team members. This self-awareness is pivotal for problem solving, developing interpersonal relationships and communication therefore making it a fundamental aspect of effective management.

By understand their bottom iceberg, a manager can:

- Understand their emotions. They can better control impulsive reactions and approach conflicts or challenging situations with empathy and patience. In turn, this self-awareness can inspire the team to be more open and honest about their feelings, fostering an environment of mutual understanding and support.

- Communicate well. A manager can better anticipate a challenging conversation and put a strategy in place to get the best from the situation. They can choose the right moment and method for addressing issues, allowing more constructive and less confrontational interactions.

- Make effective decisions. By being aware of their bottom iceberg, a manager holds valuable insights into their problem-solving style. Some are analytical and data driven whereas others rely on intuition and creativity. This understanding enables managers to leverage their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

During our free seminar, we will explore how by understanding your bottom iceberg, you can become an effective manager, leader and colleague. Our seminar focuses on authentic leadership for organisational success. 

You can book your free place by clicking here.

If you can’t wait, give us a call on 01452 331331 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how effective training can help your business develop authentic leaders.

Read 2768 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 May 2024 16:38


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





We are located in Gloucester in the West of the UK close to the M4 and M5 corridors. For a precise map and directions find us on Google Maps

We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.