Hands up or hand out

Is your guard up or your hand out?
Over the years, I’ve demonstrated to different groups how your attitude can affect others. It is very easy to do. Here is how it works.
I call a person up to the front of the room and ask to give me their first reaction to my action. After they agree, I step toward them and put my guard up in an aggressive fashion. Inevitably, they respond by putting their guard up, too.
Next, I extend my hand out in friendship. They always respond in turn. Finally, I ask them to put their guard up. When it is up, I extend out my hand in friendship. They always give me a blank stare, followed by a handshake.
The point of this drill is to make everyone aware of how easy it is to REACT to the energy of others by mirroring their energy. When they act defensive towards us (guard up), it is difficult not to act defensive back. Likewise, when someone is friendly towards us (hand out), it is pretty easy to return the favor. The real challenge for us lays in the third example. When you cross paths with someone who has their guard up, can you resist the instinct to respond likewise and put your hand out in a gesture of friendship instead? It isn’t easy and takes mindful effort, but the results can be stunning.
So the next time you find yourself in a hostile environment, I challenge you to resist your first instinct, no matter how strong, and really try to extend your hand in friendship. You’ll be amazed.

Stolen without permission from a mentor in the USA Dave Kovar

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