The video is a worthwhile 31/2-minute look at where you are, or better said, your frame of mind, in any given situation, and the behaviour that might arise because of it. It refers to the line between being open, curious and learning vs. being closed, defensive and committed to being right. You can find yourself either above or below “the line”.
At Staffworks, we have been looking at our values recently and as I watched this video, I realized that you cannot practice your values when you find yourself “below the line”.
So how do you maintain an open, “above the line” frame of mind — one in which you do not need to be right, you question everything and live a life of play? How do you know when you have moved “below the line”? Well, simple, common defensiveness is one of the hard-wired reactions that can do it. It shifts you to a mind-set in which you’re not able to practice your values.
So how do you keep from being defensive? First, start to recognize the feeling and the behaviours that come with it. Maybe you start to rationalize, or “get your back up” and negative thoughts might outnumber the positive ones. Once you get familiar with the feelings and behaviours you can catch them before they take over. Pretty soon, defensiveness will stop getting any traction at all, leaving you in a place where you listen for meaning instead of listening to respond.
Take a look at the video and see if you can imagine yourself slipping below the line from time to time. I challenge you to see if you can spend 50% more of your time above the line than you do now. If you can do that, I am confident your employees will be the better for it.
Please send me your thoughts on this video by The Conscious Leadership Group, or what you discover about yourself when you concentrate on being “above the line”.
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