Receptivity and Courageous Conversations
I was recently asked about whether I thought a group would be receptive to a particular discussion.
My response was that sometimes, we need to have courageous conversations regardless.
Sometimes, it’s not the receptivity of others that is as important as our perceptivity in the moment.
We worry about others being receptive because the opposite of “receptive” is “rejection.”
Rejection sucks. It’s uncomfortable. And it is reflexive to back away rather than learn through it.
However, “give” is also an antonym of receptive's root, “receive.”
What if we could reframe receptivity as two-way giving?
Rather than stopping ourselves from a tough conversation or new idea as a leader because we anticipate negative receptivity, let’s lean into whatever the response, be it positive or negative.
From there, we can learn through that response as a team.
“I just felt the energy in the room drop, let’s talk about that.”
“I see body language changing, let’s talk about why.”
“I hear (concern, questions, etc) in some of the responses. Let’s unpack some of what this discussion is surfacing and talk about how we might address together.”
Don't assume a negative response.
Respond to what comes back.
How do you approach courageous conversations?