On being a disclosive space

Have you noticed that there are people around whom things get said that matter?

It’s as if their way of being in the world is a huge invitation to speak, to say what’s true. People like this offer us safe ground on which to stand, and space into which to articulate what’s important, without fear of judgement or rejection.

They make it possible for us to say what we didn’t know even needed saying, and in the process to discover much about who we are and what we’re up to.

You could say that people like this are a disclosive space for others.

It is possible to cultivate this way of being over time, if you wish. It takes attending to the discipline of listening, of course. And beyond that it takes working on:

presence – the capacity to be here, in this moment, and nowhere else, even in the midst of strong emotions

compassion – the commitment to understand and respond to others’ worlds, even if radically different from your own

attunement – the ability to discern what other people are feeling, and how they’re orienting to the world, which may be very different to what they’re saying

Of course, there are also people who, simply by their way of being with others, close down the possibility of speaking. Their defendedness, their judgement, or their distraction speaks volumes to us about what’s possible in their presence. Around such people the truth of what’s happening gets covered over, hidden away.

So being a disclosive space for others is foundational for leadership. It makes it possible for people to make their most important, most creative and truest contribution. And it’s foundational for being in relationship, for parenting, for teaching, for coaching.

Are you even working on this yet?

Photo Credit: aspect3 via Compfight cc

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