Do you lean in or out? How to tell & what to do about it


Are you geared to lean in or lean out? Move towards or away?


Here’s what I’m talking about, why it’s important for you to know & what you can do about it.


Did you know you’re in the business of change?


No matter what you do you’re likely at some point aiming to change behaviours. Or change attitudes. Or get people onboard with your idea.   Or work with a team towards delivering a product, a service.


They all involve change. And the more you understand if you tend to lean in or out, move towards or away, the more likely you’ll achieve the change you’re striving for.


You’ll have less of that roiling about feeling like your wheels are stuck. And more ease, efficiency & effectiveness.


(Plus you’ll likely have better communication, be able to include more diverse opinions & have less conflict.)


Think of it like a finely tailored Italian suit- custom made to fit you to a T. It’s the same with striving to reach your goals- you’re SO much more likely to get there if the path towards them is custom fit for you.


So back to my original questions.


In general do you tend to lean in or out?


Do you have an approach mentality or an avoidance mentality?


Research from ‘Your Personality Explained, Exploring the Science of Identity’ (National Geographic), tells us that people generally fall into one or the other – an approach or avoidance mode.


Here are two examples of each. See which ones resonate.



Goal: let’s say you want to loose some weight.

Which one of the scenarios below fits you the best?

  1. You decide to loose weight because you want to feel healthier, more fit. You want to experience new foods & have your clothing fit better. You want to be more comfortable, & be able to stay out longer on the dance floor. OR
  2. You decide to loose weight because you don’t want to have a stroke or a heart attack. You want to lower your blood pressure & not have high medical costs resulting from health problems caused by excess weight. You also don’t want to be made fun or dread having photos being taken of you.


Which scenario is more like you, 1 or 2?


Let’s try another one.


Let’s say you are getting your website redesigned.

Which one of the scenarios below is the best fit for you?

  1. You are super excited to have an aligned, strategic new look. You’re eager to use new ways to engage people through your website & use technology in cool, creative ways. You look forward to expressing your creativity through your website.
  2. You are getting your website redesigned because you don’t want to loose traffic with your old website or put people off by the old design. You don’t want to get left behind with technology.


Which scenario sounds more like you, 1 or 2?


If you picked number 1 in either of the scenarios, those are approach strategies.  Approach means that you’re more likely to lean in, to move towards positive outcomes.


If you picked number 2 in either of the scenarios, those describe avoidance strategies. Avoidance means that you’re more likely to be motivated by leaning back & avoiding negative consequences.

Spoiler alert; speaking of website redesigns,

I’m soooo close to unveiling my brand new look.

Stay tuned for a new look very soon.



Here’s the kicker.


Research tells us that approach motivations last longer & are more effective.


So if you tend to pick approach motivations, carry on.


And if tend to avoid, think of how you can turn your motivation into more of an approach.


With a better understanding of your lean in/approach or lean back/avoid motivation, you can more easily reach your goals because you can create customized ways to get there that fit you like a finely tailored Italian suit.


So go on, lean in & approach, because the world needs more of your gifts & talents.



Annnnnnnd take action




  • Take my grit assessment & find your GQ (grittiness quotient) to also help you understand what motivates you so you can continue customizing how you reach your goals.

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