Hello! We are experimenting and doing something a bit different for these blogs now... I will be doing more video and discussion of what may be happening in your organizations, cultures, and personal and executive leadership.
Today I talk about where we're at in the pandemic, our conversation of racial inequity, cultural health, and seven different "energetic" and "emotional" states you can tap when you are wanting to learn, listen, stay open, be an invitation, navigate difficult conversations, and help be a part of a productive conversation...
In the meantime -- these are the states I mention above that have been useful to me. These work well for sorting through bias and racial tension now, but they also work for anything in leadership and showing up.
- Intention: What IS my intention? What is the impact I want to have here? Get really clear about the intention you have, what impact you want to have on someone, the impact you want to have in a conversation, etc. WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION. Start there.
- Presence: Am I present and available for what is happening/being communicated/needed? Am I actually present to listening? Am I present for the now? Be incredibly present so you can take in what's going on and BE with all of it. Being present to your truth, another's truth, and the curiosity of the truths around us are essential to being an invitation and learning.
- Awareness: Am I aware that there is even an issue or of what's happening? Am I aware of my impact, my bias, my privilege, my opportunities to serve, my needs? Am I "being" open and an invitation for authentic conversations? How am I showing up? Being aware of our emotions, frustrations, fear, sadness, joy, anger, confusion, etc... how we're feeling - and creating safe space for it - is essential. In addition, if you're leading other human beings, or in any kind of relationship (with anyone), what is your impact on them? Being aware of our impact and how others are experiencing us creates more space to meet people where they're at, get feedback in the moment for ourselves, and do better together.
- Curiosity: What IS going on? What is the experience of people around me? Why is there so much anger? Where have I totally learned something wrong or misunderstood or just been blind? How can I listen better? What can I do? This is the secret sauce... it opens up the gateways for more information, more receptivity, and more space to engage wisdom, feelings, and places to step into together.
- Service: How can I be of service? What's the littlest thing I can do to "help things go right"? Again, back to what is my intention? (If it's to be of service, you're on the right path.) The intention of service - if your intention is to be of service, is to understand, to learn, to serve the conversation, serve the relationship, the person, the cause -- if the intention is to be of service, and it's pure, even when we mess things up, we're better able to help things go better.
- Decision: What decisions have I made that I may not be aware of about this situation/person/etc.? What decision do I need to make? Have I decided? (Once we truly decide, we are most often all in.) The decisions here could be to do the work, to learn more, to have good relationships, to be anti-racist, to help things go right, to treat humans with equality, to take care of ourselves, to be more curious, etc... if you are having a hard time making something happen, it's highly possible you've not truly DECIDED.
- Action: What action will I take that is congruent for me and in alignment with all of the above? What action will most serve this situation/person/etc.? What action am I committed to taking? Numbers 1-6 are great and important AND you actually have to get into action. What's the littlest thing you can do or the biggest? Everything counts. Your action may be listening, it may be starting, stopping, or continuing something, it may be a huge overhaul or a tiny daily movement... When you're connected in #1-6 (and 8-10 below) -- the action will be clearer.
All of these can build beautifully on each other. Numbers 1-4 lay a strong foundation for stepping into numbers 5-7. Of course the sauce that needs to be integrated into all of these, that will make it more powerful, sustainable, and effective? Self-care, useful energy, and.... love (let's call these #8-10). Love of self, love of others, even love of the opportunity to solve the problem at hand so that you can learn from it, partner with it, and get into action in it. Paying attention to the energy you bring to everything; for example, the energy of generosity, positive intent, assuming positive intent, and care. And taking care of yourself which is more essential than ever right now in order to do this work together and to show up for each other. While these states may apply especially powerfully to right now, and our conversations moving forward, these apply to any conversation, any relationship, and anything you want to have a positive helpful impact in.
Lead and be well. / AXC