I once had a principal who I considered to be a resonant leader. When he talked, everyone was engaged. He could inspire his teaching staff and motivate us for the school year with his stories, humor and passion. My principal was a confident leader who inspired everyone to give their best.
His leadership was not the only reason staff members gave their best. From the moment I was hired, he expressed an interest in supporting and helping me grow as a teacher. He shared stories about his family life and past-times and asked questions about my own life. I felt special because he took the time to get to know me as a teacher and as a person. This was just his way. With staff, students, parents and every person he met, my principal made people feel valued and heard.
Resonant leaders inspire others to give their best by drawing out and amplifying the best in people. They tend to be “approach” oriented and have leadership presence.
Every day, my principal took time out of his day to go for a jog. He told me it helped clear his mind and made him feel energized. This was time he took for himself. When I took on a different teaching position, I understood the importance of taking time for oneself. For me, it became about living in the present moment. Taking the time to breathe, feel my emotions and body, and observe or express whatever feelings rose within. This simple yet difficult practice eased my stress and anxiety about the past and future. I learned there were no problems if you could live in the present.
Resonant leaders attain resonance with those around them through self awareness and relationship management.
As I grow in my teaching and awareness of self, I wonder, “Am I a resonant leader?” When I am fully present, I am aware of my surroundings and my purpose. I am expressing my authentic self. People value authenticity because all human beings want to be heard, seen and accepted. When I am my true authentic self, I am truthful and compassionate with people. I speak candidly from the heart and about things that matter. My passion comes across and I can resonate with people around me.
Resonance also comes from relationship management. Being present with human beings means accepting each interaction for what it is, without the need to judge. Relationships are easier to form and manage when you can see the good in all people. I am working on developing and extending my relationships at work. Naturally, I feel more comfortable with the colleagues who are closest in grade or division to me. I am working on extending my encounters to teachers and students outside of my division. The easiest way for me to start this is to give my full attention to every personal encounter I have with people outside of my division. Valuing people and seeking to support and help them, is my way of developing resonance.
By practicing mindfulness, being present in the work I do, and working on extending and developing relationships with people, I strive to be a resonant leader. What kind of leader do you want to be?
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