Here is a small, quick and interesting exercise.
Think of a name who you classify as BAD boss. Think of a couple of points why you think he/she is a bad boss. Take a deep breath and now think of a GREAT boss you have had in your life and think of a couple of reasons for it.
Let’s call the bad boss scenario as situation 1 and great boss scenario as situation 2.
What did you feel? I am sure the images in front of you and the emotions within you must have been very different in situation 1 and situation 2.
The important question is what makes for this difference?
I recently completed an e-learning course by the name ‘Inspiring leadership through emotional intelligence’ by Dr. Richard Boaytzis. The course was offered by Case Western Reserve University Coursera (www.coursera.org). The course has many interesting and insightful concepts. One such concept is ‘Resonant Leadership’. Let’s see if Resonant Leadership is one important aspect that creates the difference in situation 1 and 2.
Resonant leaders use (i) emotional and social intelligence skills to renew themselves; (ii) they create positive relationships and (iii) they foster a healthy, vibrant environment to engage others towards a common goal.
What words did you mark? Renewal, Positive relationship, Vibrant environment? Now think of the activity you did in the beginning. Was the great leader constantly challenging herself and you? Did she forge a strong positive relationship with you? Did she create engagement towards common goal by building trust, empowerment and a vibrant environment?
What do we do as resonant leaders?
Resonant leader (RL) creates feeling of harmony; Dissonant leader (DL) operates more on authority.
RL focusses on team and their development; DL maintains greater social and emotional distance.
RLs are visionaries, coaches, affiliators and exhibit democratic style of leadership; DLs are more commanding and pace-setting.
You can find more details on resonant leadership in a book “The Primal Leader’ written by Daniel Goleman.
Is it possible to develop or enhance resonant leadership?
Experts say we can. You and I can learn this by observing people who we admire in this area and to whom we have access to. Access will allow us to observe their choice of responses and reactions in various situations. Idea is not to keep evaluating them through any particular frame but to see if we can embrace some of it that suits our personality.
Where and when can we start using it?
The principles or characteristics that we discussed do not require us to be in any particular situation or at a particular leadership position. We can start using it wherever we are by demonstrating it with people who we are presently dealing with.
What I understood from the course is that resonant leadership is not a ‘technique’ but a way of life.
It will be fun to consciously try and embrace the new change.