Reciprocal Leadership: The Seesaw Of Trust

When you care for those you lead more than your own comfort and well-being…deeper levels of trust and a reciprocating cycle of support will emerge…

While they don’t exist as much anymore…there are very few structures on a playground that require more communication and trust than a seesaw or teeter-totter.

Whether getting on, getting off, or the actually movements and motion required to ride it successfully…communication and trust are vital for it to be a fun and enjoyable experience for both riders.

And while it comes in many shapes and sizes, the basic and simple design remains inherent in each one.  It requires some form of a board, balanced at the center, with a place on either end for a person to sit and take turns pushing one another into the air.  And while it is mechanically simple in its design, it requires great communication and trust for it to be enjoyable for both riders.

Not only does it require great trust and communication to make sure that the ride is enjoyable and smooth, there is a bit of vulnerability required as well.  Each rider is constantly putting themselves in an unstable position, up in the air, relying on the other rider to support and bring them back into a more stable and supportive position. ..

A constant back and forth of support and vulnerability…

The seesaw or teeter-totter can serve as a great example of how well people can work together when communication, trust…and even vulnerability are reciprocated and supported in a positive manner.   An ongoing back and forth.

A seesaw of support…

The seesaw or teeter-totter is also a great example of how disjointed and difficult things can be when communication and trust are lacking.  The ride is not only no longer enjoyable…you also lose sight of the other rider as you only look out for yourself and your own comfort and safety.

The equilibrium tilts and goes off-center…

Eventually eroding communication, trust…and the willingness to allow yourself to be or be seen vulnerable in front of the other.

It is only when communication, trust and the opportunity to allow ourselves and others to be vulnerable in supportive environments occur..will we create organizations that will have the ability to reach their full, and often untapped potential.

All of which require reciprocal leadership…


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