The Green Light Approach

Most successful people have a ‘forward lean.’

In our Communicate To Influence program we draw a parallel to the Ready Position, a posture that comes from all types of athletics, where you are on the balls of your feet. You can’t be back on your heels and be “ready” –
ready to move fast in tennis, basketball, skiing – any sport. You have to always be fast on your feet to move in any direction.

In speaking, when you are habitually in the Ready Position you are physically and psychologically forward. You WANT to get out there and talk, and convince and influence – you can move!

My friend Ben Sottile has been CEO of several companies, and coined another name for moving forward that I’ve found very useful. He calls it the Green Light Approach. We all operate under one of the three traffic lights, and he advocates Green.

  • Those who are ruled by the red light stop themselves – or never get started.
  • Those who always see yellow are very cautious about making a move.
  • But those who go for the green light are staunch advocates of their positions and DO move forward. While they certainly slow down if they see yellow – and stop at the red signals – they see life as a green light. Moving forward unless directed otherwise.

Same in communicating. Business would be vital and vibrant if more people had a forward lean and looked at communicating, much like life, as a green light.

2 comments on “The Green Light Approach

  1. Go green?
    One of my strongest influences is a character named Questor the Elf who appears in the video game Gauntlet. He wears a bright green suit.
    I asked the person who created Questor to tell me what his name meant. He said it’s about persistence, of a little guy who’s always on the go. It’s interesting because his objective is to solve mazes. You may start on one path only to discover you need to pursue another. How will you persevere after setbacks? As the game shows, there are many ways.
    What I like most about Questor is that amidst his battles, he laughs.

  2. As The LEAN Communicator, I appreciate the “forward lean.” Operating under the “green light approach” keeps you on your toes, able to respond quickly, effeciently and effectively. Great post!