One of the advantages of having a young person in your life is that you often find yourself with an “opportunity” to explain challenging concepts, words, and phrases in a way that is age and developmentally-appropriate for their understanding. Given the fluctuating bevy of topics that present themselves, I sometimes wish a few of those “opportunities” fell to someone else, yet onward we forge regardless of my comfort level with select topics. 😬

After one of those recent opportunities, I found myself further dissecting and parsing words and their meanings, almost by default, in my subsequent coaching conversations. One of the benefits of our complex neurology, I suppose. 

Take a quick second and reflect on the meaning of the word “RESPONSIBILITY“.

  • What came up for you? 
  • If I asked you to define responsibility for me, how would you do it? (I’ll pause while you do that, *|FNAME|*)

Was that task relatively easy for you? Yes, no?

It’s such a common word and we use it all the time in our personal and professional lives.

As I ruminated on the word, it was as if the letters started to morph and pull apart like a strange animation from Alice in Wonderland. 

What came up for me was: “Responding with Abilities“.

After all, isn’t that what we do when we attempt to fulfill our responsibilities? We respond in ways that elicit, maximize, and utilize our abilities.

Sometimes the “opportunities” and “responsibilities” we find ourselves tasked with can feel heavy, overwhelming, and daunting.

If we reframe words and their meaning to maximize that complex neurology of ours, we might notice that “Responding with our abilities” is a lighter lift than we think. We all have abilities; we need to see them in an alternate way and call upon them when we need to respond at our best. 

Try it one more time and reflect on the meaning of….”LEADERSHIP“.

—————- PAUSE ——————-

(I parsed that word to mean “Lead Her Ship“. And as I get ready to hit the road for this month’s speaking engagements, specifically geared to female executives, that’s exactly the phrase I’ll be using as I task them to consciously respond with their abilities.)