How comfortable are you receiving instead of acting, giving, sharing, and creating?
Through my international coaching and training work, I’ve witnessed that while most high achieving leaders are comfortable producing, designing, and accomplishing their goals, it’s much harder to be still, be open, and be ready to receive from others and the environment around you. And from my experience, this holds true across cultures, languages, and value structures!
With such a busy season of creation happening in my life currently (from strategic business development to baby growth at eight months pregnant now!), I’ve found it essential to consider the alternate perspective of balancing receptivity with activity.
I call this practice Receptive Leadership, and it’s based on the framework that author and coach, Amanda Owen, shares in her groundbreaking book Born to Receive.
You practice Receptive Leadership when you intentionally choose to exhibit your influence through channeling your receptive power that is supportive, rather than using active power to force a particular outcome.
From Born to Receive by Amanda Owen
Embracing Receptive Leadership puts you in what Owen calls a “receptive state” where…
- You are calm, relaxed, and engaged
- You conserve your energy and suspend activity
- You listen
- You remain open
- You are patient
Receptive Leadership can look and feel different based on your context, natural strengths, and personal background. Here are some examples of habits and ways of being that Receptive Leaders embody and practice:
- Building in intentional time to relax and take a break, especially when your calendar is full and life feels crazy
- Watching and observing others as they interact and connect
- Letting go of the things you can’t control and the negative self-talk that derails you
- Appreciating what you have in your personal and professional life instead of comparing and judging yourself (and others)
- Welcoming interruptions as opportunities to disconnect and reboot
- Noticing how your environment is supporting you and showing gratitude in return
Owen also identifies these Top Ten Skills of Skilled Receivers that complement these Receptive Leadership practices beautifully.
From Born to Receive by Amanda Owen
“We need to compose our lives in such a way that we both give and receive, learning to do both with grace.” ~Mary Catherine Bateson
The Art of Asking
One specific ability that skilled Receptive Leaders develop is asking the right people for what they want in a humble and honest way. Typically, we don’t ask for help or support because we believe we can “do it all” (or at least do most of it) or we have mental roadblocks based on our pride and ego that prevent us from reaching out. Sadly, this creates more divides and disconnections, generally leaving us alone and without what we truly want.
“A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” ~Madonna
- How easy is it for you to clearly articulate what you need?
- Do you often take the next step of asking for this support?
- What gets in your way of asking for help?
- Name three specific areas that you desire more support in your life now.
- What one thing are you willing to do to reach out and ask for help?
Receptive Leaders are not afraid to ask for what they want, and they expect to get it. They are able to get over themselves enough to accept help from others, building bridges instead of walls. This forms a powerful sense of community and connection that cannot be created if we are working alone or think we can manage everything solo.
“Ask for what your want and be prepared to get it!” ~Maya Angelou
How will you embrace Receptive Leadership to enhance your influence and impact? I’d love to hear all about it!
Calling All Millennial Leaders and Managers
Over the next few weeks, I will be connecting with high-achieving Millennial leaders and the people that manage them to support the development of a BRAND NEW program that I’ll be launching later this year.
If you fit into any of the categories below, then email me for more information on how you can help (and get a FREE gift!).
- You are a Millennial Leader (age 25-35)
- You manage Millennial Leaders in your current role
- You know one or more awesome Millennial Leaders and/or managers I can connect with
Thanks for your support and create a great day!