The most important thing you can do as a leader is to keep your heart open. What do I mean? Think of it this way. When your heart is closed:
- You are distant and aloof.
- You don’t connect to people.
- Communication shuts down.
- You leave people to fend for themselves.
- You focus on what people are doing wrong.
- You are critical and demanding.
- People feel oppressed.
The result? Possibility dries up and the organization begins to die.
Conversely, when your heart is open:
- You are fully present and accessible.
- You connect to people.
- Communication is wide open.
- You are a resource to your people.
- You may focus on what is missing, but not on who is wrong.
- You are affirming and encouraging.
- People feel free.
Isn’t that good?! He presents it for leaders, I believe it’s for everyone.
So why was I convicted? Because in certain scenarios, I am in the first group. I have this thing I’ve been working on for years. I wish I would just change, but that hasn’t happened yet.
It is fairly easy for me to keep my heart open when I am one-on-one or in a small group of people (2-4 people). Or, if I am a designated leader of the group. If I am not the designated leader and in a group of more than 4 people, I really have to work to keep my heart open. I don’t know if I necessarily become critical and demanding, but I do withdraw. Anything larger than a group of 4 drains me.
As I mentioned, the one exception to that is if I am one of the leaders. Then I remain fully present and fully engaged. If I’m not one of the leaders, after 20-30 minutes, I begin to fade. It becomes too much effort.
So, what do I do? I don’t know. Maybe being in a group of more than 4 will always be that way. I know it drives my friends’ crazy.
What are your thoughts? How are you in group situations?