Evidence That It Works
In one study, leaders from executive MBA courses participated in one of two conditions. In the experimental condition, participants reflected on three positive qualities that made them good leaders. In the control condition, they described three neutral (neither positive nor negative) experiences. Leaders reported less energy depletion when they participated in the self-reflection intervention focused on positive qualities, which was also related to greater work engagement. Further, greater work engagement led participants to perceive greater prosocial impact and leadership influence.
Why Does It Matter?
School leaders are faced with a range of difficult decisions and tasks each day, which place a high demand on their energy. Intense demands can lead to burnout or poor leadership.
Research shows that employees who are suffering from energy depletion are more prone to violate work norms and expectations and engage in more abusive behavior. Thus, it’s helpful to identify meaningful ways to energize leaders so that they can support the work of their staff members and contribute to a more positive school climate. This self-reflection practice can help energize and motivate leaders in a more sustainable way by reconnecting them to their personal goals and values as leaders.