5 Traits Of Resonant Leadership

By Sandy Clarke|28-08-2015 | 2 Min Read

Resonant leadership not only promotes positive relationships, but also drives productivity and boosts employee engagement.

Here are five key qualities to help develop resonance in your leadership style.

1. Self-awareness

It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses, and that your motives for driving progress in the workplace have the right intentions.

Self-aware leaders are honest about their limitations, but avoid being highly self-critical or overly optimistic.

They know how they come across and aim to establish genuine relationships built on openness and trust.

2. Authenticity

According to businessman and author, Bill George, charisma, image and style have been 'replaced by character, humility, and service'.

Perceptions of leadership have changed, and people no longer buy into the crafted image of omniscience.

Employees connect with leaders who show their human side and aren’t afraid of showing that they have weaknesses as well their strengths.

3. Empathy

According to Goleman, empathy has three components:

  • ‘cognitive empathy’ – which is simply having an awareness of how people feel.
  • ‘emotional empathy’ – when we get a sense of feeling what someone is going through.
  • ‘empathic concern’ – where we are moved to help others when needed.


Being able to emotionally connect with others is powerfully resonant, as doing so lets people know that you understand them and are concerned for their well-being.

4. Relationship management

This is where we provide a positive influence on others, help them to develop, effectively manage conflict and change, as well as establish teamwork and build bonds.

We all thrive on healthy connections and so team members will be much more likely to respond to leaders who are able to nurture valuable relationships with others.

5. Social awareness

As well as establishing relationships with others, resonant leaders are aware of how their organisation is functioning and are able to meet the needs of their clients or partners.

They do this by being attuned to how people are feeling, which allows them to say and do the right things at the right time in order to assuage frustrations and offer calm reassurance.

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Sandy is a former Leaderonomics editor and is now a freelance writer based in Malaysia, and previously enjoyed 10 years as a journalist and broadcaster in the UK. As editor of www.leaderonomics.com, he has been fortunate to gain valuable insights into what makes us tick, which has deepened his interests in leadership, emotions, mindfulness, and human behaviour.
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