We know we need a strong inner game in order to sell, lead, and influence. When we think “strong,” we usually believe we must be on alert. Letting no one take advantage of us, dismiss us, threaten us, or criticize us, we get ready for the next call or meeting by raising shields. We seek invulnerability.
And what we become is closed.
Trying to be strong, we cut off a good portion of our basic abilities to relate. The bulk of our focus is on our fear of what bad might happen. We then miss subtle and obvious cues from within and from the other people. We become less creative, less nimble, and less likely to see the opportunities. We are more likely to fixate on one, usually suboptimal idea. And desired results become harder and harder to achieve.
Let’s open up instead. Let’s be willingly vulnerable. We choose to remain calm, confident, and present. Knowing that we can handle anything that might happen when/if it actually happens, we realize we have zero need to prepare our defenses. Thus open, we get back our creativity and ingenuity.
Others can tell we’ve opened up. Though it make take some time for them to trust what they see, they will eventually, happily follow our lead. And our sales, influence, and leadership will have more honesty, creative collaboration, and results.
In your corner,
PS: A strong, rigid pole snaps in the wind while the spindly, vulnerable willow bends without incident.
PPS: Careful not to confuse willingly vulnerable from plain old vulnerable. With the former, we open up because we know we are not really vulnerable at all. With the latter, we expose our underbelly even though we can feel it’s not safe. Avoid the latter, please.