It's a one page tool called "Locating yourself: Above or Below?". I keep a copy taped to the bookshelf behind my desk and refer to it often - both for my clients and myself.
What does it mean to be coming at things from "above the line"? In short: open, curious and committed to learning.
What do we find when we look at what shows up in the "below the line" category? A mindset that is closed, defensive, and committed to being right.
In a conversation, in a meeting, in a relationship - are you showing up from a place that's above the line, or below the line?
The best - and most aware - of us come to people and situations from above the line.
And let me tell you, most us come from below the line a good part of the time.
Why is that? We're not bad people, we're simply human. Our brains are designed to scan for threats. Our amygdalas (the ancient part of our brains) are wired for critical survival instincts. If we were wrong about that sabre-toothed tiger and how fast it was moving, we could very quickly become dinner.
And now? This old wiring serves us less and less as we face fewer physical threats. So instead of helping us, this part of our brains sees interpersonal threats as black and white situations. We become convinced that we're right. We start playing the blame game. We get defensive, and then we shut down.
Nobody really wins in that scenario. With intention and practice we can be better, and do better for our organizations, our families and our communities.
What's so useful about this tool? Once you see the list of statements, behaviors and beliefs on either side of the line, you can - pretty much instantly - situate yourself. Once you know where you're at, you have the option to consider where you may have gone off the rails, and decide what your next steps will be as a result.
Curious? Download your copy here.
I would love to hear from you - how could you leverage these ideas? Simply hit "reply" to this newsletter and let me know!
Darcy & the team at The Management Coach
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On the Shelf:
What I appreciate about The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership from some of the good people at the Conscious Leadership Group is that the authors fully acknowledge that many of the ideas they cover come from others - because there really is "nothing new under the sun". However, it's all in the approach - and the packaging.
There is a significant amount of good content here that you can dip in and out of. For example, one of the 15 commitments is "Eliminating Gossip". Imagine a world where we were able to do that!
You'll find a summary at the end of each chapter which highlights the main ideas, and other resources at the end of the book.
Check out additional website resources including videos and other tools from the Conscious Leadership Group.
Lots to chew on here - enjoy.