Kathleen,

I am puzzling over the geometry suggested by vulnerability as a lowering of barriers as opposed to the openness and capaciousness that your example of expanded involvement suggests. Is there a way to get there without starting out from the adversarial positioning that “vulnerability” suggests? Could this way of leading be characterized as a readiness to listen? I know you have written about listening before vulnerability. But maybe it is worth stressing that “readiness to listen” informs “listening” to emphasize the point. There you begin “It seems that deep listening calls for emotional and intellectual openness” and the keyword “openness” might bear repeating. There is an alertness in the readiness to listen that is far from being vulnerable — it’s an attentiveness to opportunity (and not mere opportunism) … the raptor’s keen eye, the prey’s sharp hearing — an ecology that recasts “vulnerability” to a time-sensitive attribute : ) F.