Resonant Leadership

I was preparing a personal coaching session and I was revisiting some coaching material I have from my trainings, when I found this little gem about Resonant Leadership from a training course I took in 2014 on Resonant Leadership and the Neuroscience Behind It and I thought it would be nice to share it.

This is an exercise we did in class where we had to compare good (resonant) leaders with bad (dissonant) leaders as a preparation for the upcoming modules.

This is the result, exactly as I wrote it by then. It is really sad that still today we find such people in organizations. We can do better.

On one hand, the good leader challenged people around him. People feel energized and safe. Safe to make mistakes and take risks.

If you want to become a leader you must first lead yourself and this requires a lot of self-awareness. This is something typical of the good leaders I’ve met in my professional career. They had a good knowledge of themselves: their values, beliefs, behaviors, emotional reactions, fears, weaknesses and strengths.

Good leaders I’ve met ask more than tell or say. They listen to all perspectives and try to do what is best for the organization, not what is best for them. These guys pull others, rather than pushing. They are at the front using all their energy to move forward by pulling, inspiring and empowering others.

Good leaders don’t micromanage, they work on the environment, on the relations, on the system and empower and inspire people to do their best.

Good leaders manage by values and principles, not by rules, fear, procedures and politics.

Good leaders treat colleagues as equals, as people, not as resources or means to and end.

On the other hand, bad leaders tend to treat people as means to accomplish something, as resources.

Bad leaders don’t lead themselves, they don’t have self-awareness and they don’t practice any kind of mindfulness.

They manage by control, because they have fear. They are victims of the situation and by enforcing rules and command and control they think they are safer.

They typically point with their finger and blame others. They don’t take responsibility.

Others around them feel stressed and demotivated. People are not committed to something big, they just go to the office and do their job. Their environment lacks psychological safety and trust. When they are not around people feels better.

What is Resonant Leadership?

Leadership is not just a person, leadership is a relationship. You cannot be a leader without followers.

Outstanding leaders are resonant. They are in tune with you, in sync. What does that mean?:

  1. Effective or resonant leadership relationships typically involve the experience of hope, compassion and mindfulness.
  2. Effective, or resonant, leaders remind people of the purpose or vision of the organization. This arouses context, meaning and hope.
  3. Resonant leaders care about others, beyond empathy or understanding, they deeply care.
  4. Resonant leaders are mindful. That is, they appear to be authentic, transparent, genuine, and act with integrity.
  5. On the whole, resonant leaders inspire others. Most of the time, when you leave a conversation or their office, you feel charged up, excited and inspired.

If you want to know more about Resonant Leadership you can follow the work of Richard Boyatzis on the topic.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

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