A.R.I.S.E. Back to Openness

Screenshot 2023-06-03 at 7.59.14 PM

The mind is a wondrous thing…it opens and shuts and opens and shuts. At times we want it to stay open, but it doesn’t. We wrote last week about the importance of being open in the practice of leadership. Here, we explore staying open. 

Once we raise awareness to be open—adopt an open mind, open heart, open arms, etc.—we don’t always remain that way because certain situations might cause us to react and maybe even clam up. 

A few potentially triggering situations come to mind, even though you may have started out being open: 

  • Someone says something that defies what you believe. 
  • You notice someone behaving in a way that’s not what you expected. 
  • Someone infers or even says that you are wrong, uninteresting, stupid, and so on. 

Even though being reactive serves at times (it can help us attend to what we feel, what’s important to us), there are ways we can mitigate the ‘human clam effect’ as I call it. Try these ways to “A.R.I.S.E.” back to openness: 

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Acknowledge that you became temporarily closed off…and yes, the word ‘temporarily’ is important here. Our human biology is such that chemical reactions cause us to get triggered, and that’s normal. After a few minutes (or hours or days…whatever you need), recognize the need to get back to a state of openness. 
  • RESONANCE: Re-connect yourself with your physical body. This could be through any sensation that works for you – tapping your fingers, rubbing your hands together, hearing sounds near or far, shifting your physical posture. 
  • INQUIRY: When you find yourself feeling tense or upset, ask questions to get back to a place of curiosity – this might be questions you ask others or even yourself. Remember to be fascinated by what you can learn. 
  • SAFETY: Defend yourself from your ego which may be boomeranging you into a closed mindset. Think of it as getting out of a “box” that’s trapping you…this box might be called ‘must be seen as’ or ‘better than’ or ‘worse than’ or ‘I deserve’. Each of these is a story the mind can create to protect the ego. 
  • ENVISIONING: Imagine what it is you want from a given situation instead of staying focused on what you don’t want. You might find metaphors and analogies useful here to bring you back to a position of openness. 

Openness is fundamental to connection, growth, and influence. It’s a worthwhile pursuit for your leadership practice. 

This Week: When you get sideways or feel shut down, try the A.R.I.S.E. approach to bring yourself back to a state of openness. 

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1 Comment

  1. Doug Brady on June 6, 2023 at 9:59 am

    Nice Jen!
    Not always easy to remain open but the acronym helps reset.

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