• Dr. Lisa Gonzales

Four Questions (part 4 of 4)


Leading from the heart can be better navigated with four questions that highlight trust and empathy, understanding and compassion. Each of these questions should be viewed from the perspective of our staff and how we reflect on how they respond can strengthen personal reflection:

  • Can I help you?

  • How can I care for you?

  • Can you trust me?

  • How can you help me?

How can you help me?

Whether they say it or not, our staff does want to help and support our work. As a whole, they have a vested interest in our success and that of the district. They may not specifically ask what they can do to support us, but our staff members really do want to know what they can do to provide support and help us assimilate into new roles, or to thrive in new projects and tasks that ultimately benefit students. Darrien Johnson, Director of Human Resources in the Rescue Union School District, has her staff help her by bringing her in the loop early. She said, “They are ultimately helping me if they share a concern about any matter concerning personnel early on so we can collaboratively intervene, saving us time in the long run.”

Used together, these four questions can begin to make up the foundation of leadership, and of leading from the heart. Positive and inspiring leadership that makes a difference begins with keeping questions like these in the back of our minds when we work, or more explicitly as probing questions when the setting is appropriate. If asked, how do you think your staff might respond to each and your heart as a leader?


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Dr. Lisa Marie Gonzales, #brandher
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