Palms Up

November 2014

Last week I wrote about one of the six organizational behaviors that Andy Stanley discusses in his leadership podcast. This morning, I want to focus on another; remain open handed.

As a quick review, the six organizational behaviors that North Point uses to practically live out their values are as follows:

  • Make It Better
  • Take It Personally
  • Collaborate
  • Replace Yourself
  • Stay Fit
  • Remain Open Handed

Today, I am focusing on what it means to remain open handed. Andy describes this habit as being “open to change…even [facilitating] change in your organization”.  Often, as leaders and as team members we balk at change. It is easy to hold onto tasks and roles tightly, and to remain open handed can take a lot of intentional effort. It is incredible what can happen if you practice this habit, though- even literally.

As Andy mentions in the podcast, Bob Goff cites this literal practice in his book Love Does. As a lawyer, Goff often tells his clients to literally sit with their palms up and hands open during depositions:

“When their palms are up they have an easier time being calm and honest, and accurate…When people are angry or defensive they tend to make mistakes. But nobody can be defensive with their palms up. I learned this technique from Jesus, actually…palms up means you have nothing to hide and nothing to gain or lose. Palms up means your string enough to be vulnerable, even with your enemies. Even when you’ve been tremendously wronged. Jesus was palms up, to the end” 

How can we live our lives, both at work and in our personal and spiritual journeys, with palms up? What does that mean for your job responsibilities, for your personal finances, and for your free time?

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, I am excited to see how my family and I can practice “palms up” generosity when it comes to each of these areas of life.