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Leading with an Open Hand

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Throughout history, open palms have been a symbol of truth, openness, and honesty. When you have your palms up and open, it allows you to be more calm, sincere, honest, and accurate.

Go ahead and open your palms up. How do you feel? I expect you feel a little better, perhaps a bit calmer.

When you do this, it can suggest a vulnerable or nonaggressive attitude. This can put you and the person you are speaking with more at ease.

Now think of the opposite stance.

Your palms are down, and you are clutching your knees or perhaps have balled fists. When you have this stance, you can appear defensive or closed off. When we see someone like this, it can seem like they are hiding something.

Lawyers have found that when they are deposing someone, if the person’s palms are down it is more likely that they are uncomfortable and feeling defensive. They are fighting internal tension and it shows. Conversely, if the person being deposed has their palms up, they are more open to the questioning and seem less bothered.

So, what does this have to do with leadership? A lot!

When you lead with open palms it will make the other person at ease as you work to accomplish your task. You will find it is a lot easier to come to a consensus with your team because they will be their most open and sincere selves.

When faced with a problem or a challenge, remember to lead with open palms and you will be amazed at how calm and at ease you will be when making the tough decisions.

Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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